It’s been a while since I updated my series on getting a book published, partly because I’ve been so busy with book-related activity!

The publishing industry works backwards.  That’s not a slur on their approach, just an observation.  They set a publication date based on a number of factors:

  • Is there an event they can associate the book with? If you’ve written a book on space travel it probably makes sense to time the launch to coincide the publication with a large space conference or the intended publication date of the latest Mars pictures, or whatever.  There are two reasons for this: firstly, the human brain works by associations and if the media are developing the neural paths to space-related thoughts your book is going to feel more relevant and is more likely to get noticed.  Secondly, journalists looking to cover the event will appreciate an angle from you that helps them make their piece more interesting.
  • What other titles the publisher has scheduled and whether they have an obvious position in the calendar: with limited resources you want to be published when the publisher can give you it’s full support, not be fighting with every other new book author for limited internal resources.
  • The lead times for publicity and submission to catalogues: some media have very long lead times (such as monthly magazines), some are much shorter.  It’s no use being on radio today if your book isn’t going to be published for another two months.  Equally, it’s no use being in next February’s magazine if the book is going to feel like old news by then. 

I was expecting more of a break between final editing and initial publicity, but that’s not been the case.  I’ve already done a handful of interviews, articles and contributions to articles.  For me, this process will probably be a little more drawn out because the US launch of Consumer.ology is the month after the UK launch.

Mind you, even when things seem quiet your publisher will probably be working in the background, trying to sell the translation rights to your book.  I believe that the Spanish rights have now been purchased for Consumer.ology, which is fantastic news!

The role of the publisher’s publicist is critical.  I am incredibly fortunate to have Nadia; an enthusiastic, experienced and dedicated publicist working on my book.  I was given some incredibly good advice by my unofficial literary agent Francis: “Get on well with your publicist – if he or she doesn’t support your book enthusiastically you won’t get anywhere.” 

Fortunately, I haven’t ever  had to try hard to get on with Nadia, it’s easy because she is the sort of person who oozes integrity: she’s a credit to her profession.

I’m also lucky that my publisher has recently taken on an internet publicity manager, Dan.  I’ve not been able to support his efforts as much as I would have liked in the last couple of weeks because of other projects, but in the next week or two I hope I’ll be working with him to make sure the world wide web gets to hear a little more about the book.

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