explanation of my publishing schedule

April 6, 2011

A lot of people have been asking about having two books coming out a month apart, plus two more later in the year, and did I really write them at the same time, etc.  In fact, they were written at widely different times, and the vagaries of publishing schedules means them coming out together is coincidental.

I wrote After the Golden Age around 2004-2005, in the gaps between Kitty contracts, waiting to see if the first Kitty book would sell, then waiting to see if I’d get to write more after I finished #2.  I wrote Steel in 2009, between writing Kitty’s House of Horrors and Kitty Goes to War.  HarperTeen works with almost two years of lead time, in order to get review copies out early.  As for why it took so long for Golden Age to see the light of day…that’s a much longer story.  Kitty’s original publisher (Warner/Grand Central) rejected it (and Discord’s Apple) outright, and it took awhile to find a publisher who wanted them as-is, rather than as first books in a new urban fantasy-style series.  It also took awhile, because Grand Central didn’t really want me publishing anything but Kitty books, and tried to put that in the contract.  So I left and signed with Tor, who seems perfectly fine with me writing Kitty books and other books.

Because of all that, my publishing schedule has been really wonky the last couple of years.  And I’ve been very busy.  I wrote the books at different times, but the post-production — revision, copy-edits, galleys — all happened at the same time, which was a bit harrowing.

For those of you who’ve loved me putting out four books a year — the backlog is over, I’m afraid.  I’ve got exactly one book scheduled for 2012:  Kitty #10:  Kitty Steals the Show. I’ll probably be back to a one or two-book a year schedule from here out.

A quick rundown of what I wrote, when, just ’cause I think it’s interesting.  I really do write about 2 books a year, and that seems to be my natural schedule.

2002-2003:  Kitty and The Midnight Hour

2003-2004:  Discord’s Apple

2004-2005:  Kitty Goes to Washington, After the Golden Age

2006:   Kitty Takes a Holiday, Kitty and the Silver Bullet

2007:  Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, Kitty Raises Hell

2008:  Voices of Dragons, Kitty’s House of Horrors

2009:  Steel, Kitty Goes to War (This is also when the change in publishers happened, and my schedule kinda blew up)

2010:  Kitty’s Big Trouble, Kitty Steals the Show

2011:  A YA I haven’t actually sold yet, and Kitty #11 (at least, that’s the plan)

12 Responses to “explanation of my publishing schedule”

  1. Dustin Says:

    *tongue-in-cheek* And here I thought you were just a huge follower of the Nanowrimo scheduling methodology!

    Still 2 novels a year is a rather good rate if you ask me. A lot slower than I can read’em, but then again if I ever find an author who pops out novels faster than I can read. . . well I will be looking for their time machine/controller. Has got to be handy!

  2. Miss Bliss Says:

    WOW…and thanks. So glad you found a publisher that didn’t feel the need to limit what you could publish. It’s really just more books for your fans to buy so more money to make for everyone.

  3. Anju Says:

    Thank you for posting this. It was really interesting to read.

    Two books a year seems really fast to me.

  4. sef Says:

    Thank you for the very complete answer🙂.

    As much as I might want more, one book a year seems to be the best thing for most authors. (Barring megaprolifics like Asimov and King.)

  5. Todd Says:

    I much prefer one, maybe two well-written books a year by my favorite authors rather than three or four that are total go se. (That’s crap, in Browncoat speak, for those of you not familiar with “Firefly”.) Although I think with your writing abilities you could put out four or five excellent books a year if you would just stop sleeping, eating, and going to SCA events. Some sacrifices must be made! hehehehe!

  6. Jakk Says:

    I would also agree that i rather have quality over quantity. Thanks for posting this, Carrie!

  7. carriev Says:

    You’re welcome, all!

    Yes, I write pretty fast compared to a lot of writers. I think there are a few reasons for this — my books are shorter than average, and tend to be more simply plotted. Fewer p.o.v. characters, etc.

    What this really points out, though, as that I’m a really steady 2 book a year writer, even if four of them happen to be released in the same year.

    I think my ideal would be a book and a half a year — two books every three years. That would give me time to stretch a bit.

  8. Jaws Says:

    Just remember about that plan for 2011:

    No plan survives contact with the enemy… specifically, the new baggage system at the Denver airport. Remember, it was so bad when it was first opened that even the airlines demanded that it get “fixed”! Ah, for the long-ago days of layovers at Stapleton on Frontier, back when Frontier served little bottles of really bad wine with meals in coash…

  9. Thomas Says:

    It does seem to be fairly fast, but as you said I’m sure the less p.o.v.s and simpler plots helps. I find the whole post very interesting and I’m glad you found a company that is perfectly happy to let you do your own thing instead of turning you into a cash cow by only allowing you to write what has been selling well.

    I’d much rather one or two really good books a year as well, instead of fifteen books that are half written. Unless the publishing schedules just happen to work out for three or four books to come out one year.

  10. carriev Says:

    No plan survives contact with the enemy, but I still need to have *some* kind of plan, or I’d get nothing done at all!

    Yeah, I posted just to show that I’m not really writing four books a year…in this case it really was the publishing schedules that got compressed.


  11. Oh if only novels could be like Athena, and spring fully formed from a novelist’s head the moment they’re conceived.

    ….That’d be a nifty party trick.

  12. Robert Says:

    Most streams of consciousness don’t work out as well as Athena did. =)


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