When the Pub Date Changes: A Project Manager’s Experience

We Had to Change our Pub Date

Short, Vigorous Roots: A Contemporary Flash Fiction Collection of Migrant Voices by editors Mark Budman and Susan O’Neill is launching soon! But not as soon as we had planned—the February release date had to be postponed until March 1.

In late December, our publisher was informed that a major portion of the shipment that was en route to our distributor was lost. She acted fast, looping in the Design Manager, Operations Manager, and me, the Project Manager, and we did some major troubleshooting. FedEx was attempting to locate the shipment, hopeful that it would be found after the holiday backlog cleared. The publisher reached out to Ingram, our distributor, to see if it was feasible to use their print-on-demand service to ensure we would have books in time to meet the industry deadline for new titles. Because of many factors (timing, holiday closures, and staffing numbers), the success of this option was not guaranteed. Ultimately, moving the publishing date forward a month was the best solution.

Now What?

We Informed the Stakeholders

Before any announcement of the change came out, I wanted to make sure that the editors, Mark and Susan, and the contributing authors were aware of our decision. I emailed the editors first, explaining the situation. They both replied promptly with understanding, grace, and optimism. We informed them that FedEx was going to fund the reprint and that the metadata would be updated to reflect the new date across our online platforms.

Next, I let the contributing authors know. A week before all of this happened, I had asked the contributors to save the date for our February launch event, so I wanted to be clear in my update; again, the responses were supportive and gracious.

Thankfully our plans for the launch event were still in the early stages, and I had procured a location for the virtual celebration. I reached out to my contact, a local bookshop manager, and was fortunate that they could accommodate the new date.

We Updated our Promotions

Since we had already begun announcing the February release in our marketing and social media campaigns, we had some work to do. Our Publicity Manager and I prepared an updated press release, which I sent to media outlets who had been interested in promoting the book.

With the help of the project team and the Social Media Manager, we revised the designs and copy for our posts. Because of the postponement, we had another month to campaign. Once the publisher gave us the thumbs up, we officially announced the new pub date, made changes to our Facebook, Twitter, and ooliganpress.com banners, designed new graphics, and scheduled posts for our longer pre-launch phase. An Instagram giveaway for an advanced copy of Short, Vigorous Roots was done shortly after our date change announcement, which, per the post insights, resulted in new traffic gained on the platform and a boost in audience engagement.

We Proceeded with Production

As I’m writing this, it’s mid-February. Our replacement shipment is on track to arrive in time, and we are optimistically proceeding with our production of this important title. Our social media strategy is reaching a wide audience, building anticipation, and growing our readership. We continue to collect book reviews, and Short, Vigorous Roots has had some great publicity. The book launch event planning proceeds as well. Keep an eye out for an announcement with the event details!

Update

The launch is on! The books are compact and gorgeous—which we knew they would be! That striking yellow yarrow shines, and the stories are evocative!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.