Monday, December 07, 2009

Really cutting it close on launch date

We only now have the punk anthology cover mostly done? Are you kidding me? We launch in four weeks! How am I going to make our deadline with only a mock up of a cover, no back copy, and an uncorrected galley? Shyte!

This is what's going through my head right now as the Medusa's Muse deadlines crash into the end of the semester finals time and the holidays. No matter how organized I appear to be at the beginning (believe me, it's an appearance), everything becomes chaotic and disorganized by the end. This is my third publishing project and I still can't seem to get the final weeks before launch sorted out.

Luckily with Lightning Source I can cut it this close. It takes about two weeks to upload the files, get a galley copy, make any adjustments and then send in the corrections before three boxes of books will appear on my front porch. This gives us some flexibility when life gets too hectic, but it's still a lot closer than I would like.

I was hoping THIS project would be different. I imagined the book being finished and printed and those boxes arriving four weeks before launch date. I wanted to enjoy the actual launch, maybe do a little marketing before launch (what an odd idea!) and get copies of the book in the author's hands so they could brag BEFORE launch.

What do they say about best laid plans?

Oh well... the good thing about being a micro press is that you get to make up your own rules as you navigate the demands of a press and your personal life. We don't have to sell 1000 copies in the first three months to pay the print bill. We print what we need and build momentum. The marketing plan is word of mouth, which is how this particular reading culture functions anyway, so I don't have to worry about anyone else's deadline. I'll keep pushing to meet our New Year's launch, and if it's off by a day or so, no problem.

But no longer than that! The danger of not having the pressure of meeting other people's requirements for sales is you can get too flexible with your deadlines until nothing gets done. Pick a date and hold to it, doing your best to meet that date, then adjust if you have to, but only if you HAVE to.

I'm sticking to Jan 3rd.

No comments: