Friday, June 20, 2008

Visiting BEA - What We Learned

We went to BEA and spent Saturday there walking the aisles. Ernest Borgnine (es Effron Borgnino) and Jamie Lee Curtis were signing books while we were there -- we didn't wait in line! Nice to see Mr. Borgnine looking so chipper at 90. Ms. Curtis apparently doesn't age and could have walked right out of one of her Halloween movies, except for her hair color. :-)

Attendance was done at this show and that was apparent. Some said it was because the show was in LA and the book world revolves around NYC. Maybe. Our opinion is that BEA's relevance is waning. With the electronic/Internet dimension to book publishing and book sales, the trade show format and role was the subject of lots of discussion during, and after, the show. We'll be curious to see what happens next year.

We do plan to have our own booth next year, as a sub-booth of PMA (now re-labeld IBPA). Please stop by -- BEA might be doomed thereafter. For those of you familiar with exhibiting at trade shows, do stop by the PMA area next year and introduce yourself to Lisa Krebs. In our book, she's the goliath of trade show organization -- she manages multple AISLES of booths.

2008 Writing Contest Winner

The 2008 Writing Contest was over for the authors at the end of April. It took us another month to get through the backlog of submitted manuscripts. Finally, we reached a decision as to the three finalists, and we now have selected a winner who will be announced on June 21st on our website.

Last year, many of the submitted manuscripts were not well written, had numerous grammatical and punctuation errors in the first few pages, and were generally not ready for prime time. (Hint: don't send us a note asking that we ignore spelling errors because you are a poor speller!) As a result, we could weed out many manuscripts by reading only a few pages.

This year, the number of submitted manuscripts doubled and the quality was markedly higher. We estimate that only 25% were rejected in the first few pages. Ten or so manuscripts were read completely by more than one reader. In the end, the final decision wasn't clear, either. We had some really good submission and we certainly thank all of you for submitting.

We also apprciate your patience if your submitted a non-contest manuscript during this time. We sure got bogged down, but we are now back on track and trying to catch up. We are only about five weeks behind at this point!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar comments on Anatomy Lesson

One of our debut authors, Raymond Obstfeld, continues to work with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the basketball legend. They co-wrote the NYT Best Seller On The Shoulders of Giants and have additional on-going projects including books and films. Mr. Abdul-Jabbar recently posted some comments on his blog about Raymond's book, Anatomy Lesson. Please check it out. He also referenced the review by Shirley Johnson of the Midwest Book Review. Thanks to both for such kind words.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What is the Pub Date?

Note to self: if a bookseller can get a book in hand, they will sell it. Publication date is an artificial date that is completely controlled by the publisher. If you let books get into the sales distribution channels, then they will quickly find their way to booksellers.

As soon as we ship our books to our distributor, the backorders from booksellers were immediately filled and shipped. The booksellers had them in a few days and, guess what--they were available for sale! J.K. Rowling had her hands full!

Debut Books and First Printing Questions

Some folks, particularly book collectors, have inquired about the 'printing' numbers on the copyright pages of our debut books. These numbers in our books are: "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2." What happened to the '1'? The way the copyright page is printed indicates that these books are the second printing. In fact, they are not. These are all first printing books. We are still looking into why and how we lost our '1' but there are no other printings prior to this one. You got the first printing!

Hope this helps clarify the snafu. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Behind The Scenes

Some of our writer frieds have peeked under the covers of Iota, wondering if this mysterious world was really the realm of dark magic. One unveiled illusion caused lots of discussion and they suggested we post some details here about publishing timeline -- what goes on that takes a year (or more) to get a book published? So, here we go. This will probably be in multiple parts as we get time to discuss. Real timeline for one of our books that has a pub date of October, 2008.

Picking up at the beginning of 2008 (this book was contracted in June, 2007)
1-18 Submit database load information and cover (jpeg) to distribution
1-20 Initiate copyedit
3-1 Receive copyedit ms from copyeditor
3-1 – 3-10 Author & editor review copyedit
3-1 Send copyedit info to Author
4-15 Receive final edits from Author
4-16 Send ms to typesetter
5-1 Receive ms from typesetter (get page count)
5-1 Send order to printer
5-15 Pre-order appears (perhaps) on Amazon, B&N, etc.
5-15 Receive blurbs from author’s readers; Iota blurbers
5-15 Receive jacket graphic spec from printer to cover artist
6-15 Receive final jacket art, send to printer
6-15 Initiate local print of galleys
6-15 Update typeset manuscript with title graphics (to printer)
6-30 Receive galleys
6-30 Update website with book cover
6-30 Printer returns proof
7-1 Send 1st set of Galleys
7-1 Begin schedule of book tour, interview, and other PR plans
7-1 Contract placement of ads
7-15 Return corrections/proof to printer
7-15 Print run begins
8-1 Send second set of galleys to reviewers
8-30 Books off press
9-1 Launch final publicity campaign
9-1 Setup Amazon Look Inside
9-1 Setup eBook files
9-1 Ship books to distribution
9-1 Kickoff local publicity
10-1 Initiate book tour and other final publicity
10-1 Publication Date

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2008 Writing Contest Announced

Our website was updated today (Feb 23) to announce our 2008 Novel Writing Contest. A $1000 cash award and a publishing contract will be awarded to the winner of the contest. Accepted genres are mystery, suspense, thriller, and sci-fi. The geographic focus from last year has been removed. The contest ends on April 30th, 2008.