apropos of the previous post

George R. R. Martin has an announcement.

As a professional, this is fascinating to me. They have set a publication date of July — in this year — for a book he says he isn’t done with yet. By contrast, I finished With Fate Conspire in September of last year, did copy-edits in January, and will be getting page proofs in March, for a street date at the end of August. I know the reasons for that schedule, and in no way begrudge them; a lot of factors go into determining what gets done when. But it’s fascinating to see how quickly it can all go, when the publisher decides to push.

0 Responses to “apropos of the previous post”

  1. arielstarshadow

    Here’s hoping he didn’t fall into the same trap as Anne Rice and decide he didn’t need an editor…

    (And let me add that’s not intended as a slur – he seems like a very nice man, and he’s an excellent writer. But that IS an amazing publication date for a book that he has stated is very long. The only thing I can think is that he’s been sending it in pieces to his editor.

    • aulus_poliutos

      Since Martin writes in chapter sized bits due to the POV structure of the books and his own out of order method, most of the chapters are already in the hands of his editor.

    • Marie Brennan

      Yes, I suspect much of it has already been dealt with, and now they just have to rush the physical production.

  2. stillsostrange

    Meanwhile, I’m trying desperately to finish a book this month to make a December release date. 😛 Of course, if I was making my publisher as much as Martin is, I’m sure they’d move time and space for me, too.

    • Marie Brennan

      Yeah, when you have a hundred thousand fans ready to line up outside the bookstore on the release date, they have incentive to rush. 🙂

  3. missxtravesty

    Holy cow, thank you for enlightening me that he has a Livejournal! I love having my favourite authors on here. ^_^

  4. green_knight

    I can see a number of points where the schedule can be shaved off safely:
    – the cover and promotional materials and all of that are done
    – they don’t need a long lead-in to convince bookstore buyers they want that book: reps are gonna call up and say ‘we’ll have the latest GRRM’ and they’ll say ‘when can we have it.’
    – given the amount of copies they’ll likely shift, they’re likely to print domestically rather than in Singapore etc, which shaves months off.
    – the publisher is likely to be bumping other projects down; the copy editor and proofreader and book designer will not need to be found and need to make room in their schedules – whatever the delivery date, it’s gonna ‘be ‘you’re booked to read a book for us next week, can we send you this one instead.’ They’ll have _someone_ standing by to do work for them.

    The potentially unsafe bit is where people are asked to work faster than they usually would, but I don’t know how much of that would even be necessary.

    • Marie Brennan

      Exactly. The schedule can be flexed — but there are costs associated with it, so that only gets done for the stuff that’s guaranteed to repay it a dozen times over.

  5. mindstalk

    I have a dim memory of seeing books about some event come out 6 weeks after said event. At the time I was more in awe at the writing speed — “someone *wrote a book* that fast?” until I realized what even my 30 wpm typing speed means when you know what you want to say or can keep up a stream of bullshit. 1800 per hour, 90000 per 50 hour week, bam!

    Did you get my con-related e-mail of about 5 days ago?

    • Marie Brennan

      Yeah, things about current events go ridiculously fast through the machine. They have to, or they lose most of their value.

      I did get your e-mail, but have been behind on my inbox. Expect a reply soon.

  6. thespisgeoff

    I find it fascinating looking at the succession of cover art – the dragon gets further and further away the longer the book took to finish.

    I used to check his website obsessively for news. Well, once every three to six months or so. That stopped a LONG time ago. Now I’m at the point where I’d definitely need a re-read to get back in the swing of things, and I’m not sure if I’ll arrive at the Dark Tower place of not wanting to go any further in the series until I’m positively sure he’ll actually get around to finish it.

    • Marie Brennan

      Funnily enough, I just hit that place myself (or just realized I hit it, which is sort of the same thing) within the last couple of weeks. Like you, I would need to re-read, and then how long would I have to wait for book six? I’ll probably do what I’ve done with the Wheel of Time, and leave it dropped until the end is definitively in sight, at which point I’ll start from the beginning again.

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