If you’ve read Part I, Part II, and Part III of this series, you know I decided to crowdfund my next picture book through Kickstarter with a HYBRID (not self, not traditional) publishing model. I’m running a five-day series on my blog discussing some of the potential benefits of crowdfunding. Today’s topic is timing.
In traditional publishing, it often takes 2-3 years (sometimes more) to publish a picture book after it is acquired. This is because:
- The contract must be negotiated and signed by the author.
- The book must be edited, revised by the author, etc.
- If the book needs an illustrator, the publisher’s art director must not only find an illustrator, but that illustrator has to put the project in line with the other projects he or she might be working on.
- The illustrations can take up to one year or more, depending on how busy the illustrator is.
- The book must then be designed, sent to printers, actually printed and then shipped.
P.S. I am not a professional publisher, and I’m sure I’m missing some steps traditional publishers take — this is just the basic timeline.
By contrast, with crowdfunding, once you have your team together for your picture book (see Part II), it is possible to publish the book in less than one year from the time of the campaign.
However, once again I have to stress that you must NOT skip the quality control (editing, designing, etc.) steps that traditional publishers take (such as editing) when crowdfunding. Your book should still be the best it can be!
So let’s take a look at my timeline for MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN. Keep in mind that by the time this process “officially” began, the manuscript had been through two years of revisions and many critique group rounds. I also had the manuscript critiqued by several well-published authors with expertise in rhyming and poetry (Linda Ashman, Eileen Spinelli and Rebecca Kai Dotlich). Crowdfunding should not reduce the amount of time it takes to WRITE a good book, only the amount of time to publish one.
- Feb 2013: Stacey Williams-Ng at Little Bahalia Publishing agreed verbally to publish the book. Susan Eaddy agreed verbally to illustrate the book. NYT Bestselling author and freelance editor Emma Walton Hamilton completed a final, professional edit on the manuscript.
- March 2013: Erzsi Deak of Hen & Ink becomes my agent and agrees to help create and negotiate the contracts.
- April – June 2013: Absolutely nothing happens because we are all so busy with other projects (so right here would be an opportunity to cut three months off your own crowdfunding timeline).
- July 2013: Erzsi and I begin discussing contractual issues, looking over boilerplates, etc.
- August – September 2013: Erzsi, Stacey and I discuss (via email and phone calls) the contractual terms at length. Finally come up with a structure we all agree to. I begin discussions with Susan about the contracts. Contracts all signed at the end of the month and Susan begins work on the book sketches and the detailed sketch for the first illustration to be used in the campaign (See Part II if you want a peek at the sketches).
- October 2013: Susan is working on completing the first illustration. I am frantically setting up and planning for our Kickstarter campaign (including running this series). Stacey is kicking up her heels with wine and chocolate – KIDDING! She’s actually in the middle of the launch of both A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS (yes, that is my book too) and TEENY TINY TRUCKS.
- November 2013: The Kickstarter fundraising campaign will begin!!
- December 2013: IF we get funding for the book we will celebrate like mad and then… (following schedule is tentative but we’re confident)
- April 2014: Artwork completed and approved
- June 2014: Book designed, finalized and sent to printer.
- July 2014: Books are on a boat en route to us.
- August 2014: Books reach the warehouse
- September 9, 2014: Tentative release date!
So this is 18 months from “acquisition” to publication. And had we kept our momentum in April – June, it could have been a 15-month turnaround time.
Of course, each project will be different – some might take more time and some less. But I think this shows that a serious potential benefit of crowdfunding is time to market. By this time next year, I’ll have another published picture book in my portfolio, and I think that’s pretty amazing!
Don’t forget to follow along with the rest of the posts in this series!
Wednesday, Why Crowdfunding Part III: Experiment with New Publishing Models, Teach and Share with Fellow Writers
Thursday, Why Crowdfunding Part IV: Timing (This Post!)
Friday, Why Crowdfunding Part V: Demonstrating Demand PRIOR TO PublicationCategories: A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, Agents, Authors, Books, Children's Books, Crowdfunding, Picture Books, Publishing, Rhyming, Writing · Tags: Agents, Author, Children's Books, Crowdfunding, Erzsi Deak, Julie Hedlund, Kickstarter, Little Bahalia Publishing, Picture Books, Publishing, Rhyming, Susan Eaddy, Writing