The publishing year is not the same as everybody else’s. In July, it’s all about Christmas. In November, we think of nothing but Mother’s Day. And in April, it’s Father’s Day all the way. Why? Well, it’s usually around these months that editors, designers and publishers are madly sending books to print so they’ll be ready to hit the shelves in time for the various celebrations.
The big push, though, is undoubtedly for the end-of-year titles. For the production teams, the months from May to August pass in a flurry of checking proofs and signing-off on final print-ready files, as it’s the titles released from October onwards that are the ones most often selected for the Christmas catalogues. All our material needs to be ready months in advance so that retailers have cover images, sample pages and extracts available to consider before making their selection in time for their own catalogue print deadlines.
And just as the last book for the year goes to print, and publishing departments everywhere breathe a collective sigh of relief, the baton is passed to the sales and marketing teams, who now gear up for their busiest time of the year. As you can imagine, hundreds of titles are all vying for the same shelf space and media coverage, so publicists are run ragged as they try to find ways to give their books the edge.
Then, finally, a week or so before Christmas, it’s all over. The work is done. And each publisher hopes it’s their books that nestle under Christmas trees around the country.
So here’s wishing you all a very merry and bookish Christmas! May Santa be kind to you and may your bedside tables soon be groaning under a new pile of books!