Having emailed the revised manuscript for BLACK WOLVES to my editor yesterday at 1 a.m. (which means technically today but let’s not quibble), I managed to do pretty much zero today which all told I am taking as a win.
I do not have enough bandwidth to write anything that takes more than 5 brain cells rubbing together so I decided to take a photo of my three current projects all lined up in a row on my kitchen table.*
On the left we have the page proofs for THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT, a short fiction collection by Tachyon Publications, due for publication in February 2015.
In the middle we have the page proofs for COURT OF FIVES, a YA fantasy novel (“Little Women meets Game of Thrones” is what the publisher is calling it) being published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 18 August 2015.
Finally, on the right, the typically monstrous epic fantasy since that is apparently the only type of epic fantasy I can write. BLACK WOLVES will be published by Orbit Books. Possibly October 2015 but that is not yet confirmed.
I have all these books coming next year because I had nothing come out in 2014 due to the events of 2013 putting the brakes on my writing for the year.
Publishers usually like to have completed revised and edited manuscripts a year ahead of publication date because that gives them plenty of time to move through the production phase and whatever marketing and publicity work they are going to do to get pre-orders and publicity going for the novel. There is a lot of lead time in this business (books can be produced quickly but it costs more, so with commercial publishers a very short lead time is an option only for books that must have a quick turnaround for timeliness or are expected to be bestsellers).
What do I personally get for all that lead time? Focused and intensive editing, a good-to-excellent copy edit, excellent design and typography, great covers (not always for everyone but I’ve had quite good luck with covers), an expansive distribution network, and a lot of miscellaneous work that I simply could not do myself or wouldn’t be good at. On a later date I will post the timeline of COURT OF FIVES to give a sense of how the process worked.
Meanwhile I am going to bed in the hopes of catching up with my sleep so I can embark tomorrow on the glamorous immediate-post-manscript writing life of laundry, filing, opening mail, and a few errands.
* the advanced reading copy in the background is Wesley Chu’s TIME SALVAGER (July 2015, Tor Books)