What happens when you sign a book contract with a major publisher?
That question has tantalized me for most of my life. I used to daydream about it — vivid fantasies that have mostly turned out to be wildly unrealistic (no free cases of expensive champagne — YET). I worked for a bookseller for many years, so I was familiar with the promotional aspect of the book industry. I also wrote a blog about book news, so I was aware of the long gap between the announcement of a book sale and the actual arrival of the finished book in stores.
My family, however, was not aware of all that. In the more than two years since Kyle and I signed our book contracts to publish Smash with Candlewick Press, I was often met with concerned looks and questions along the lines of, “Is the book still happening?”
I thought it might be useful — dare I suggest even interesting? — to write about our experience while it’s happening, in case others are curious or deluded or just daydreaming.
We signed our book contract in August 2010. A lot of people expected to see the book hit stores in fall 2010. I would chuckle and tell them publishing doesn’t move that quickly.
“Well,” the response went, “the comic is already done… right?” Not exactly.