Release: (1) The act of setting someone or something free, as from a prison or a state of anticipation. (2) The act of setting dogs or new books loose upon hapless victims. (3) In publishing, the act of putting a book into distribution.
Today is 07/07/07, a lucky configuration of digits that only comes about once in a hundred years. It's also the official release date of The Penguins of Doom, my magic-number-filled debut novel. It's not, unfortunately, quite the day that the books will magically appear on bookstore shelves.
For huge releases like the upcoming seventh Harry Potter, the publisher maintains scrupulous control over the manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution processes to ensure that books aren't available too early (to spoil the surprise ending that Voldemort is really Mr. Weasley in a rubber mask), too late (to ruin all those midnight release parties), or on different days in different parts of the country (to enrich the coffers of Ebay).
For the vast majority of other books, however, you might first see them weeks before or after the announced "due date"--which should really be called a "best guess date" instead. Even the large publishing houses are printing books in Asia these days, where they save on production costs but lose control over the exact timing. My book, I'm told, is being printed in Singapore and being shipped on a container vessel by way of Greenland. Or something.
So...yeah. Through no fault of any of the awesome folks at Blooming Tree Press, I'll be throwing a book release party without the books. But it will be the kickin'est bookless release party ever, don't you worry about that!
I'm lucky enough to have two release dates: Triple-Seven Day, today, when I'll be partying it up with family and friends; and Future Release Day when readers are able to get their hands on actual copies. If you have a guess about when Future Release Day will be, leave it in a comment or send me an email. Closest guess gets a manuscript page!
Helping me celebrate Triple-Seven Day are Kevin Wall and Al Gore, who are throwing a worldwide series of
[Side story... You know how sometimes you'll be looking at greeting cards for someone and you'll find one that's just perfect for another person you weren't even thinking of? Well, I was in a Hallmark store back in the 90's, flipping through Halloween cards, when I found one that seemed to be custom-made for then-Vice President Al Gore. So I sent it to him--and he wrote back to thank me for the card! I've never had anyone send a thank-you note for a greeting card before, so I guess it really was the most absolutely perfect card ever. Either that or Mr. Gore is the most ultra-super-polite person I've ever met. Or maybe he just doesn't get a whole lot of mail--which is kind of sad. We've since fallen out of touch, but I really should send him an advance reader copy. I think he'd like that.]
Also Tracy Grand of the book resource website, JacketFlap, has made The Penguins of Doom a Featured Book of the Day! Thanks, Tracy!
Future Release Date Guesses: