I’ve written here before about the curious phenomenon I call “author lag”. It’s like jet lag, but with books.
Given the length of the publishing cycle, I’m always at least a full book ahead of what you see on shelves. By the time a book comes out, the next one is usually complete, copyedited, and all lined up to go (and if it’s not, I get very twitchy). Usually, by the time I go on tour for a book, I’ve finished the next one and am already working on the one after that, which means I have to think long and hard to remember which books and characters I’m meant to be discussing at any given time.
That, at least, was the norm back when I was writing one book a year. Recently, with the advent of e-books and the resulting pressures on authors to produce more books more quickly, the phenomenon of author lag has been exacerbated. Right now, I’m not one, not two, but four books ahead. There are three complete manuscripts in various stages in the publication process: The Ashford Affair (due out 4/9/13), The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (8/6/13), and the Victorian Book (slated for spring 2014), with a fourth in process (Pink XI, due to be released in summer 2014).
If all goes to plan, by September, Pink XI will be safely in my editor’s hands and I’ll be working on a book due out in 2015. (More on that one later; there’s author lag and there’s author lag. Talking four books ahead is bad enough. Talking five books ahead makes even my head spin.)
Once upon a time, before the internet, author lag was only an issue during author tour. Now, with my posting daily in real time about what I’m working on, you get the full disconnect between publication time and author time.
Do you find it interesting or irritating when I post about books that won’t be out for another year and a half?