Thursday, March 24, 2011

It’s Spring—Spring 2012, that is!

By Deb Werksman
Editorial Manager
Sourcebooks Casablanca
 
Believe it or not, I have already just about finalized my list for Spring 2012 and I’m preparing to launch!

What does ‘launch’ mean, you’d like to know? This is the exciting, all day meeting when the season’s books are introduced to the Sales, Marketing, PR, and Design departments for the first time. From that point forward, the wheels begin to roll—schedules are set, strategies designed, and a whole slew of people spring into action to work on your book.

There are 2 seasons—Spring and Fall, and in a move I thought was an ingenious manipulation of the space/time continuum, I made August and February scheduled months in both seasons—voila! A year with 14 months in it! (Now, if only I could get a day with 28 hours, or a clone of myself…) So the Spring season runs February to August, and the Fall season August to February. We’re working about 14 months ahead, so I’ve been planning for Spring 2012 since December.

The first thing we do is to map out the season, using a list of projects already acquired, a blank wall, and a stack of sticky notes. With manuscript due dates, a column for each month, and a sticky for each project, we stick stickies! We then rearrange them (this is almost like kindergarten—so happy!) watching for balancing each month vis a vis subgenre (for example, we wouldn’t want all light paranormals in one month, or too many Regencies, etc.), debut books, series continuations and new series launches, etc. We roughly think about spacing an author’s books 6 months apart, or releasing in the same month of the year if the author is doing only one book per year. Christmas books are scheduled accordingly, back-to-back series releases are thought through, and we can see what might be missing or needed on the list.

Once we’ve gotten this far, we then make space for projects by our existing authors that we may not have acquired yet, and we always leave space for any last-minute big projects.

We then take the Map, and start entering data, in anticipation of the series of meetings in which materials are approved for the official launch meeting. During this time, authors may hear from us asking for title ideas, delivery dates, new project pitches, synopses, character descriptions, bios, etc. During this time, planning/scheduling is still fluid, but after launch, there’s a domino effect on other authors when we have to reschedule. This is one reason it’s so important to be realistic in telling your editor when you’re going to turn in your manuscript.

So now, I’m looking forward to FALL  2012!!! Send me your projects:
*single title romance fiction in all subgenres
*90,000 words, please
*a heroine the reader can relate to
*a hero she can fall in love with
*a world gets created
*a hook I can sell with in 2-3 sentences
*a career arc for the author

Full guidelines on www.sourcebooks.com (if you follow the guidelines, you WILL stand out!)

15 comments:

  1. Thanks, Deb! I always love learning more about the process at Sourcebooks.

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  2. Always enjoy your informative blogs and knowing that I've got a sticky note with my title on it on the board for Spring 2012 is great!

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  3. It's mind-boggling, really, Deb! I don't know how you do it!! :)

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  4. Thanks for posting this. It's very exciting to know that Untamed is somewhere amid those Spring 2012 sticky notes!I'm passing this blog around cyberspace. I think it's so cool that you and Leah offer authors a chance to pitch to you this way. It's just one of the reasons I love SB.

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  5. Thanks so much for posting this. I'm so intrigued by all the behind-the-scenes.

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  6. Deb, I love sticky notes too - that's how I plot my books! My attic office's slanty ceiling is covered with them.
    But can you work your magic and give us a week with eight days in it, or maybe a day with 48 hours?!?!

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  7. What would we do without sticky notes? I'd be LOST.

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  8. Thanks for this Deb. I think you read my mind. I was just thinking how much I'd love to be inside a publishing office to see how the wheels turn. Wonderful post. Thanks so much.

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  9. I always wondered how you all decided which books came out when. Interesting post.

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  10. "Send me your projects"

    I just sent in my project on Sunday. Good timing I guess, eh?

    Excited, but moving forward with work on the next one.

    Thanks for the info!

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  11. Hi Deb - I'm a little late in the day, but I just got home from work.

    I loved your informative post, and the visual of all those sticky notes...it made me think of the Colorforms I had as a kid, I loved moving those little pictures all over the backgrounds. ;)

    I can feel your excitement as you're getting ready to gear up for Spring 2012!

    I'm so excited to be part of Sourcebooks, getting ready for edits on book 2 and contracting for book 3! I'm black and blue from pinching myself.

    Looking forward to working with you on the next two books. ;)

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  12. Great blog as always, Deb!! Thanks for sharing an inside peek into the life of an editor. :)

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  13. Really interesting! I like anything I can do with sticky notes! I have started plotting with sticky notes - it can really help to visualize the flow of a story.

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  14. Hello Deb,

    Sorry I'm a day late--wasn't on line much yesterday. Read your post and always love to hear what is going on with you and Sourcebooks.

    Looking forward to seeing some great books coming soon and hope to work with you someday in near future.

    Hugs!

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  15. As always, a wonderful article on the inner workings of publishing, Deb.

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