Monday, January 20, 2014

A Year In the Life of a Debut Author: Timeline Edition

Hi guys! Happy Monday!

Hard to believe it, but it's been a little over a year since I announced my first book deal. So what's happened since then?

Well, first off, there are quite a few great posts floating around the internet that talk about all of the steps involved in getting a book from a publisher’s initial offer to the actual bookshelf. One reason I think this post gets written a lot is because authors get asked about this a lot—except it’s usually phrased like Your book sold when? And it’s coming out when? Why so far away?” And then I, at least, just sort of nod and smile and say, “yes, it’s normal for a big traditional publisher to take that long, no it doesn't mean they hate my book, yes, I am very patient, thanks, etc...”, and then I try to explain everything that’s been happening behind the scenes, but I usually mix up my dates and words and end up just losing people halfway though.

So! I thought I’d write something on the subject down in a post, so I can just direct people to it instead. And because I liked specific dates and stats and stuff when I was researching everything before I was published (and even after, too), I thought I’d be as specific as possible—although, of course, this shouldn’t be used as a guide, since publisher’s timelines—even among the same imprints and same editors at the same house—are going to vary wildly.

This is just for fun, just for those curious about what my past year has looked like. Also keep in mind that this is my only experience, and it’s with one of the Big 5, and I’m sure other publishers work different, and that’s cool. Yay for other publishers and all the methods we now have for sharing beautiful books with the world! This is not a “let’s compare one publisher to another and talk about how slow traditional publishers are and how they’re going the way of the dinosaurs and blah blah blah!” sort of post. Incidentally, I’d never write one of those posts, because I happen to think my publisher is pretty kickass, and honestly this past year hasn't felt that slow at all. But I digress.

Right, anyway, here are some of those promised “behind-the-scenes” stats for you; enjoy! :)

Initial Offer on FALLS THE SHADOW made: January 3, 2013

Offer Accepted: January 14, 2013

Offer Announced: January 15, 2013

Contract (after agent negotiations) signed:  March 18, 2013

First Edit Letter Arrived: May 3, 2013

First Round of Edits Deadline: June 3, 2013

Second Edit Letter Arrived: July 29, 2013

Second Round of Edits Deadline: August 26, 2013

Book is considered D&A’d:  August 29, 2013
(D&A stands for “delivered and accepted”, which basically means I held up my end of the contract and produced a publishable book, which means I then get the second part of my advance, and we move on to…)

Copyedits Arrived: October 14, 2013

Copyedits Due: October 28, 203

First Look at my Book’s Cover: November 14, 2013

First Pass Pages Arrived: December 23, 2013

First Pass Pages Due: January 13, 2014

Official Release Date for FALLS: September 16, 2014

So there you have it. These are all the bigger things that have gone on this past year; all of this, of course, in between writing a new book (and a half!), revising said new book, and doing things like setting up interviews,  cover reveals, working with my editor on flap copy, filling out author questionnaires, eating lots of cookies, etc…

If you have any questions, ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!

Stefanie Gaither writes YA novels about killer clones and spaceships, with the occasional romp with dragons and magic-users thrown in for good measure. Said writing is generally fueled by an obscene amount of coffee and chocolate, as well as the occasional tennis and/or soccer break. She's represented by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary, and her debut novel, FALLS THE SHADOW, is forthcoming from Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers in 2014. You can add it on Goodreads here!

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2 secret replies:

  1. So helpful! Thank you! I never had any idea what the timeline for edits looked like.

    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog; I'm glad you found this post helpful! :)