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Author Topic: Getting Books Into Shops:Why So Long  (Read 1252 times)
Jason71
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« on: October 11, 2006 »

Can someone tell me why it takes publishers so long to get a book into the shops.Take for example Elizabeth Becka's second book Unknown Means.This book was completed in April 06 & has now been told that the book wont hit the shops until  March/April 08.Since then she has completed book 3, which probably wont hit the shops until 2009/10.Another long delay
            Penguin/Michael Joseph are another publisher that are notorious for messing about with publication dates, especially the lesser known authors.How many different dates have we had this year for John Rickard's book no3?
    It seems strange how MJ/Peng  wont mess about Jonathan Kellerman or PJ Tracy?is this a case of double standards?
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chelbel
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2006 »

I just don't know, probably something to do with contracts and promotion!! (i'm guessing)
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smudge
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2006 »

best sellers always get priority over new,average selling or `niche` novels.I have heard of novels being put out in the slipstream of a huge launch by Dolefiddler Rowling or somesuch in the hope that it will not be noticed, will sell nothing and discourage the author from writing another,thus negating the book deal.Maybe the `conspiracy theory` of a bitter author,but 2 different writers have mentioned this.Perhaps a tax loss or just bollocks
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John R
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006 »

I don't think it's quite the conspiracy it might appear. For instance, this summer Penguin had to shuffle half their writers around because Dick Francis suddenly produced a book and as summertime is bestseller season, that's where he's earmarked. And it'd do them no good at all releasing other books they want to sell at the same time as that because Francis would be hogging column space in papers, advertising spend, blah blah blah. Which means either before or afterwards - and someone's always got to be afterwards. A publisher can't hold off on releasing anything for two months every time a big name hits the stands just to make sure everyone gets breathing room.

There are plenty of ways of cancelling a deal that don't involve such arcane ins and outs - and it'd be a rare writer indeed on a multi-book contract who'd be so discouraged they wouldn't write another. Delivering a book under most contracts = a chunk of advance money to which you're entitled. If you don't have a contract where that's very much, chances are you're not expected to sell so much and the publishers won't need to try scaring you off to get rid of you on the cheap; they'll just do a limited print run, no promo and write the whole thing off as a bad loss. If you are on a contract with a big advance, you might as well write the things and get the advance cash.


            Penguin/Michael Joseph are another publisher that are notorious for messing about with publication dates, especially the lesser known authors.How many different dates have we had this year for John Rickard's book no3?
    It seems strange how MJ/Peng  wont mess about Jonathan Kellerman or PJ Tracy?is this a case of double standards?
In this particular case, the problem was getting a cover that wasn't shite, something which neither of the above suffered from. And which, when it comes down it, is the fault of the designers. It wasn't schedule changing for the hell of it. The final change to next spring was made because, with the cover still being finalised/sorted in July, the planned November release couldn't have included the supermarkets as they do their ordering for the Christmas run-up in May. So they moved it to spring (February according to Amazon).

Kellerman and Tracy haven't had that problem. That's all. No double standards, no grand conspiracy, no great unfairness, nothing. Granted it's not ideal, but it happens.
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All about the monkey love.

smudge
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2006 »

Thanks for the `insider` view.That makes a lot of sense.Suppose i`ll have to read your books now eh? With pleasure.
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stevemosby
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2006 »

Ah, I highly doubt there's any kind of conspiracy in that sense. A publisher's out to make money, after all, and will surely target a book into a timeslot that they think will maximise profits. If a publisher wanted to get rid of a writer then they don't need to discourage them - they just wouldn't renew the contract. But it would make no sense in the meantime not to wring as much money out of that author's books as possible.

Jason - I know you often get frustrated at delays in books being published, but in reality it can often be a good thing. You're shelling out your money at the end of the day, and you want what you buy to be as good as possible. It might help to remember that people who work in publishing, in my experience, love books and get very enthusiastic about putting out a book they really like. Nobody wants their name on a stinker, whether you're the author or the publisher, and maybe you should be pleased that delays are occuring rather than any old tat being shoved out for sale.

So delays can sometimes be about a commitment to quality, and done with an eye on the future career of the author, as much as anything else. But you also have to remember that books take time to write and the majority of authors have to hold down day jobs too, not to mention having actual lives. In the publishing world, an author missing a deadline by a couple of weeks can translate into publication getting pushed back a few months. But surely that's a good thing if it means you, the customer, don't end up with a rush-job?
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Jason71
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2006 »

Its going to take two years to get Elizabeth Becka's book two into the shops.What a joke
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Jason71
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006 »

According to Liz Becka book two titled Unknown Means was finished in the first half of this year.Yes the book is fully completed & yes the book does have a cover.So why is it taking so long to get it into the shops.Cant find a suitable release date.HaHa
         Ive sent off an email to Orion Books, so hopefully next week i might get some sort of reply back from them.Cant wait to see what it says
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