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ExposingCorruption
01-31-2008, 06:15 AM
The # 3 book on the New York Times Best Sellers List for Hardcover Nonfiction is LIBERAL FASCISM, by Jonah Goldberg. It was published by Doubleday on January 8, 2008. I looked on Publishers Marketplace to see who the agent was and I found that it had been sold to Doubleday and Broadway on May 9, 2003 "for publication in fall 2005."

I've gathered that nonfiction books are sold on the basis of the proposal and that the book may actually be not written when sold (or am I wrong about that?), and I suppose that they could have purposely delayed publication to capitalize on the 2008 political season? But if the book is already written and the contract signed, is there ever a major delay in publishing?

Will Lavender
01-31-2008, 06:39 AM
Happens all the time. I heard of a situation where it took 10 years for a book to be published after the MS sold.

twnkltoz
01-31-2008, 06:40 AM
My husband's still waiting for the one he sold to Penguin 15 years ago.

ORION
01-31-2008, 07:03 AM
Mine was blazingly fast for any kind of book: Bought by Putnam in Dec 2006 and on the shelf by August 2007

IceCreamEmpress
01-31-2008, 07:23 AM
But if the book is already written and the contract signed, is there ever a major delay in publishing?

The reason for the delay with this particular book was that there were serious problems with the MS and it had to be re-edited a number of times. Mr. Goldberg is also the editor of the very active National Review Online website, so it wasn't like he was in a position to work full-time on the book. Once they'd missed the 2006 election cycle, they chose to wait until a judicious moment in the 2008 election cycle.

The usual turnaround time for a New York publishing house is a year to eighteen months from acquisition to publication. But if a book's subject is tied to a particular time of year (Christmas, the start of a sports season, the beginning of an election cycle, etc.) it might be held onto until the cycle comes around again.

As Patricia says, her book hit the shelves very, very quickly. :) Don't expect that kind of turnaround, because it rarely happens!

dantem42
01-31-2008, 09:25 AM
Mine was blazingly fast for any kind of book: Bought by Putnam in Dec 2006 and on the shelf by August 2007

Eleven months for mine (assuming the publisher makes the May release target). But mine is an indie, and they tend to be faster to the shelf than the biggies. Anything less than a year from contract to release is warp factor nine in the publishing world. I'm tickled pink.

twnkltoz
01-31-2008, 10:25 AM
I signed my contract at the end of November and it's coming out in May. Again, lightning fast...they actually pushed it through faster than normal.

Will Lavender
01-31-2008, 07:10 PM
Mine'll be almost exactly one year. Sold it in February '07, published in February '08.

Publisher is Crown.

Susan Breen
01-31-2008, 07:18 PM
Mine sold in June 2006 and is coming out Feb. 2008. I think I heard, though it's quite possible I'm wrong, that the winter is generally a better time for debut authors because the big names tend to publish in the fall for the holiday season.

Irysangel
01-31-2008, 09:18 PM
The offer was made on mine in April 2007, and it should hit shelves sometime in Spring 2009. Stuff pushes all the time. My original schedule was Fall 2008, but I got bumped pretty quickly.

victoriastrauss
01-31-2008, 10:14 PM
Since this thread does not involve a question about agents, I'm moving it from Ask the Agent to the Roundtable.

- Victoria

johnrobison
02-02-2008, 06:02 PM
My first book was sold in February 1 and on sale Sept 25 of the same year. Right now, we are looking at completing a manuscript in September for late spring publication the following year.

That's about as fast as most books will move because the sales catalogs are printed six months early, and your book has to be 99% complete for them to allot catalog space and marketing resources.

Birol
02-03-2008, 12:02 AM
But if the book is already written and the contract signed, is there ever a major delay in publishing?

All the time. This is a combination of marketing and time management. It's possible that, for marketing reasons, they'll delay the release to coincide with something that will help them better sell the book. It's also possible that the editor assigned to your book will suddenly find themselves with a more pressing project on their desk, so your book will be moved further down the queue.

bethany
02-03-2008, 12:25 AM
Mine was Oct 2006 and the release is Dec 2008.