Can you explain why the publishing process takes so long? I see sales on Publishers Marketplace, and then the books don't come out for a year. Why is that?
You know, I really don't know the official answer to this, but I'd love to hear it, so if anyone knows, please chime in!
I can tell you that in my situation, it will be a year and a half (!!!) from the time we sold the ms to the time it will be published. There's been a lot of lag time but things are picking up now. For a little breakdown - we sold in January, I got my revision letter in mid-February, turned in the revisions in March...and then didn't do that much between March and the summer. In August, I got my cover art, last month, we dealt with catalog copy and copy-edits, and in the next few weeks, we're getting the ARCs, which is when the fun really begins. Once I get the galleys, I'll send them out to my editors/contacts/reviewers, and my agent, editor and PR person will send them out to every person whom they deem important too.
I guess part of the reason for the lag is that some magazines/reviewers need about six months lead time, so if you rushed a book to print, you'd miss out on some big plugs. So, for example, I'll get my women's magazine editor the ARCs by Nov/Dec to ensure that the book could receive potential placement in the May or June issues. Additionally, I know that publishers tend to set their release dates about a year in advance, so if you sell your book and hope that it can come out nine months later, the publisher isn't likely to have a slot for it. Now WHY they work this far in advance, I'm not sure. Maybe it just takes that long for the ms to go through all the steps of the process: the editing, the art, the copy-editing, the promotion, the sales to stores, etc. I imagine that some of it also has to do with getting catalogs and the actual BOOKS into booksellers' hands - the sales team needs time to do that, though how long, I really don't know.
Shrug. That's my best guess. Anyone know something that I don't?