Wednesday, 5 December 2007


People commonly compare writing a book to giving birth. I never really understood the parallel, until now... After complications with my first pregnancy, I was told my second wouldn't be allowed to go beyond term. On my due date, I packed my overnight bag and dutifully went into hospital where the consultant decided everything was fine and we should let nature take its course. I picked up my bag and went home to wait.



Over the next two weeks, I received phone calls from almost everyone I knew:

"Hello, you're home!"
"Yes."
"What did you have?" and "How's the baby?"
"Er... I haven't had it yet... I'm still waiting."



Now that I've told everyone I know that my first book will be published in April, (as it appears on Amazon), my publisher has postponed publication until the summer. Apparently this happens all the time: delays with the designer, the editor, clashes with other publications, and goodness knows what else besides.



Coincidentally, the current publication date is... my second child's birthday!

25 comments:

Mima said...

Sorry to hear that you have been delayed, must be so disappointing, a double celebration though when it comes out!

Leigh Russell said...

It is disappointing and I have been feeling down about it, although it doesn't really make any difference to anything. I'm just impatient!!! I wish I could be calm and patient about life, and still passionate and driven about writing. Another work in progress... (The little voice of panic is also back - why the delay? Has the publisher changed her mind?...)

I'm throwing myself into thinking about Book 2. At least I know that won't be published until 2009...

Good to hear from you, Mima.

Sleepy said...

Your 'Book' baby has left home!

You have got to let it make it's own way with the new people it's met!
You may not approve of them but that's the way it is.

In a little while you will be doing what every parent secretly wants........

Earning from their children!

Kara Dunn said...

Leigh, that is such a bummer. I'm sorry to hear that. Waiting is such a bother. (And I think the paranoia about something going wrong is normal *g*) I'm not very patient either. I haven't heard anything, but I hope my publisher is still aiming for early 2008 for my release... I try not to dwell on it.

Hopefully working on that second book will keep your mind occupied.

The World According to Me said...

I'm sorry to hear about the delays.
Maybe it will be published on your child's birthday?!

moonrat said...

pluuuusss i REALLY believe authors can have post-partum depression when they're done writing! it's really hard to part with something that's been locked inside of you for so long, and to watch it stick in someone else's hands.

but yeah, delays are totally normal. this makes it a nice celebratable date.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Yes Leigh it's unfortunate that this had to happen to you, but it does happen all the time.

It has happened to my husband quite a few times, so nowadays he adds on 6 months to any publication date he receives. With one of his ms's, he had a delay of 9 months after the day his book was supposed to have been on the shelves.

It's never anything to do with the writer,it's usually about the publisher's dates and times that they get hopelessly wrong. It could also be about a clash with another similar book etc etc.

At least you'll be able to hand them the second one while they still feel bad about this first one. Maybe this time they won't make you do so much editing as they'll feel they owe you one.

Charles Gramlich said...

That can really be frustrating. I've experienced the feeling myself. It'll happen. I can't wait to see it when it hits world for real. Gonna spank the first copy you get?

Alis said...

Leigh, how annoying! All that explaining to people who don't understand publishing when they say 'but I thought you said...'. But just think - better out later than scheduled than out too soon with lots of typos, a cover that doesn't look right and none of the right marketing/publicity in place. On the new date you can really hit the ground running and talk more on the blog about the work in progress and create a buzz around that one too!

Leigh Russell said...

I'm so glad I started this blog. It's been so reassuring to learn that other people understand so exactly. I really thought I was the only person this had happened to!

Yes, Moonrat, it was actually very weird having to step out of my imaginary world and back into this one, (where I discovered a heap of work and bills I hadn't paid while I was 'away'!)

BernardL said...

By what I've read on other author's websites, the infamous delay is all too common. Bringing a book through the publishing gauntlet to the book seller's shelves is like having daily root canal work. I hope this will be your only delay.

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks Bernardl - yes, it does make the dentist seem less terrifying!

Church Lady said...

"Gonna spank the first copy you get?" LOL!! Hahaha!!! :-)

People have more reading time in the summer. It'll be a bigger debut.

DMM said...

Sorry to hear about the delay...I have your book on my list of things to get so I'll just circle it and save it.

Middle Ditch said...

Oh, I know all about that little voice. I could not believe that the series was going to be on the radio until I heard it. And when I did, I went... huh.

Middle Ditch said...

I have only just seen your question on the previous page and I really don't know. There are episodes when I know exactly what I want and episodes that take ages to progress. But that's what one calls writing.

Middle Ditch said...

I have only just seen your question on the previous page and I really don't know. There are episodes when I know exactly what I want and episodes that take ages to progress. But that's what one calls writing.

Middle Ditch said...

Sorry, something went wrong. This also happened on Julie's blog.I don't know what I do.

Bill Clark said...

I'll weigh in with the fact that a recent book of mine was scheduled by my (English) publisher for May, and then June, and finally made it onto the July list. I think it's just part of the game. Probably happens all over the world.

Umm...about my blog title...there actually is a lot of gossip in some of the earlier posts, but recently it's become sort of a watering hole for some of my favo/urite people to meet and play together. Kinda like a certain blog I know that hasn't had much to do with crime or fiction recently.... ;-) Just kidding!! But wouldn't you agree that creating a virtual playpen for all our friends to come and make mud pies together is SO much fun?

Leigh Russell said...

CHURCH LADY - Thanks. I hope so!

DMM - Thank you!

MIDDLE DITCH - I know what you mean. I think the chapters that write themselves have usually been lurking around in my head for a while though.

BILL - Fun's good. I'm all for mud pies. Bring it on! As for the crime fiction... you'll just have to wait for my book... and wait... and... what happened to those mud pies???

Pauline Rowson said...

Sorry to read about the delay to your book, so disappointing.Have they given you a month in the 'summer' in which they intend to publish? I see on their web site they have some titles scheduled for May 2008 and nothing beyond that so they're probably putting together their publishing timetable. If they publish in summer you really want it before the summer reads - in May or June otherwise the good periods for crime fiction are autumn and spring. If they hold you back until September that's not a bad thing. What does your contract say? They probably have to publish within six months, or a year or eighteen months of receiving the MS, if they don't, the contract becomes void. I like the cover of the book by the way and they have invested time and money on you so they are probably going to slot you in somewhere. They might just be giving priority to their known authors at present. Whatever you do and whenever they publish keep writing because, by now, you've realised that it not only becomes an obsession but you do get better and better. Now I've got to approve the copy edits on my new crime novel due out in March 2008 (hopefully).

Leigh Russell said...

Hi PAULINE, and thank you for your advice. Yes, the contract does specify time limits for 3 books but for now, it's gone off to the editor again and it's out of my head. I've returned to my 'other' life again! Good luck for March. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

Bill Clark said...

and... what happened to those mud pies???

*Bill guiltily wipes his mouth and tried to look innocent*

Bill Clark said...

er, "tries"

Dang-nabbed fingers didn't hit the key I told them to. You just can't get good help anymore.

Clare said...

Hello! My name's Clare Sudbery, and I got your details from Zinnia Cyclamen (her blog is realefun.blogspot.com). She suggested you might like to join an online support group I run for published writers. Our outward-facing website is here: www.bookarazzi.com, but we also have a private forum. I would have emailed you, but can't find an email address... so if you want to know more, please email me on Clare AT ClareSudbery DOT co DOT uk.