Friday, May 20, 2016

Writing: Release Dates (Sort Of)

More about the writing life. I've mentioned before that writing is only part of a writer's life. After writing and editing, all of which takes months, eventually the book comes out. Then comes the fun of letting people know it's available, which is a whole other skill set. And if you're one of those folks who says all you want to do is write, then this post isn't for you.

My latest book, Medical Judgment, was supposed to release this week. There used to be such a thing as an "embargo" on book releases. The books would come into the store with a stamp or label indicating that they weren't to be put on sale before such-and-such a date. But that's fast becoming a thing of the past. My novel was being shipped by online retailers a couple of weeks before the official release date. Of course, my thought was, "Great. The sooner it gets out there, the sooner my readers can discover it." But for them to discover it required the efforts of a number of people to spread the word.

I appreciate my "influencers." These are a group of people I've selected to receive copies of my new novel, hoping that they'd help promote the book. The newer term is "street team," and some authors have large ones. I haven't put together my street team for my next novel, Cardiac Event, but I do want to let you know that it has a home. I hope to sign the contract soon and reveal the name of the publisher. Until then, you can join me in waiting patiently. And influencers--do your stuff, and thanks.

To celebrate the release (whenever it was) of Medical Judgment, I'll send a signed copy to the person leaving the best comment--funny, serious, a diatribe against the publishing industry, thanks for it, whatever. The decision of the judge (me) will be final, and I'll announce the winner next week.

Tweet with a single click: "Think the 'official' release date of a novel is firm? Think again." Click here to tweet.


Sally Shupe said...

I figure publishing companies do whatever they want. It's always a nice surprise to get a highly anticipated book before you expect to get it. It's like saying here, have a great day. This is just for you. Thanks for the chance to win a signed copy!

Richard Mabry said...

Sally, actually the publishing companies send the books out on a schedule. I don't know if they still do it, but they used to have the cartons stamped with something like "Don't sell until **." Now, it seems that these embargoes don't mean much. However, as I've said earlier, in the end it just means that people can get the books even sooner, so I'm happy with that.
Thanks for your comment (and I appreciate your sharing the info on social media).

Gail H. said...

I'm sure publishers have a hard time. I have questions though on why some of them pass on good books that others later snap up. I also have always thought it would be fun to get paid to read and edit on soon to be published books. I find so many errors in some of the books I read. Some grammatical but others confusing like the use of the wrong characters name. Sometimes I find myself scratching my head going huh??
If you ever need to add to your influencer team, please consider me. I love reading medical mystery/thriller type books. And I always review every book I read whether I'm an influencer for that particular book or just "reading for fun."

Richard Mabry said...

Gail, there's plenty of fault to go around. I've found errors that slipped by me and another proofreader. When we consider how many words are in a published novel (average 80,000, some as high as over 100,000) I guess it's a wonder we get anything right.

By the way--all commenters, don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact the winner. You know the drill: Dr R L Mabry at gmail dot com.

Gail H. said...


Lee Carver said...

My new novel was released this week, too. So I'm also doing marketing instead of writing--definitely not the fun part IMHO. Doc, I'm not putting my name in the hat for this novel because I won the Audible of the last one, thank you very much. I'll put out the money for the new one, with pleasure! But I'm writing just to sympathize with you. How much we would love to have our books fly off the digital and bookstore shelves without doing publicity! I wish you all the best.

EM Griffith said...

Things have sure changed since the late 90s when my books were published. Back then, they released on time. On the other hand, publicity was insanely handled. I'd get a call at 6:50 a.m. to say I'd be on air for a radio talk show in 10 minutes with no prior notice, or at 3:15 p.m. to ask if I could make it to a book store nearly 2 hours away by 7:00 p.m. for a book signing, or (the winner of sudden anxiety) be in NY in 2 days, because I'd been scheduled for a cooking segment on a TV show. Did I mention in addition to my husband, our two very young sons needed to be considered for all of the above? Not to mention other writing projects in the works. I drank so much coffee during those years that I could have single-handedly kept Maxwell House in business. Coffee was one of my 4 basic food groups. My hat's off to you, Richard! You've got an amazing attitude about it all. God bless you.

Richard Mabry said...

Lee, good luck with your new novel, and thanks for being so considerate.

Elise, I appreciate your comment. Things have certainly changed, and maybe those of us who complain that our publishers don't do enough for us regarding publicity ought to read your comment on a regular basis. Sounds like a case of "careful what you wish for." We may not be so vocal after this.

EM Griffith said...

Richard, the craziness took such a toll on my young family that after my 3rd book was released, I took a break that's lasted almost 20 years. Our sons are grown now, and my husband keeps encouraging me to take up writing again. I'm just not sure my nerves can take it. It's something I've been praying about quite a bit. My original publisher was sold to Random House. I never heard from them, so didn't know until an acquaintance googled my name that the books had been both re-released and translated into a few different languages to be sold worldwide. I received no royalties, yet laughed out loud when I saw the Turkish version (we now have a copy of it), and the Spanish versions of one of my books. God does have a sense of humor! Prayers sent for you to find the best publishing home for 'Cardiac Event'... I'm ordering 'Medical Judgement' now that it's officially released. Ha, ha! As you probably know, the key is having a good sense of humor as a writer.