When you first signed your contract, your acquisitions editor included placeholder dates—estimates for when you would turn in your table of contents, sample chapter, the first 50% of your manuscript, and the final 100%. To help keep things on track, your project editor will schedule interim dates for submitting material. In addition to keeping the project on track, these interim dates prevent the problems that often occur if an author has several months before a submission is required—and waits until the last few weeks to do all the writing.
In working with your editorial team to develop your content, it is natural for these dates to shift somewhat. These shifts are based on your projected date of classroom use, production schedules, the amount of licensing work that will need to be done, and many other factors that impact the amount of time required to develop and produce your specific book.
The most important date for you to focus on is the final deadline for submitting 100% of your manuscript. This deadline is usually based on the estimated date of classroom use. Every single project requires production time. From submission to publication takes several months and includes time for copyediting, licensing review, layout, design, cover design, copyediting approval, proof preparation, and final proof approval. Postponing the final deadline for manuscript submission pushes back every other aspect of the project. It can result in delaying the publication date of your book.
What can you submit, when, and how should you plan for this?
The following steps will help you determine a writing and submission schedule that you’re comfortable with and that will keep you on track.