Monday, August 22, 2011

How long it takes

Gamers are often surprised at how long it takes for games to be published. Mayfair recently published a game that one of the principles thought they had had for eight years. Once I decided to revise the Britannia took three years to revise it and get it published. The Dragon Rage reissue took a similar time, though much of that was because it was a startup publisher. I have a game with Mayfair now that they originally saw it PrezCon 2008, if I recall correctly.

The book publishing industry can be slow too. My contribution called "The Three Player Problem" leads off the ETC Press book Tabletop Analog Game Design. This book was released this month. Because of the way ETC Press does things, giving unformatted electronic copies of books away and selling formatted publish on-demand versions for those who want paper copies, you'd think their process would be faster than a typical publisher that needs to print several thousand copies of a book. But this book has many contributors, and most of them did not write that contribution as soon as they were asked, the way I did. So I wrote my 5,000 words and "finished" the submittal copy on 13 September 2009. This was posted on a wiki for comments. I made slight changes by March 2010. The book was published in August 2011, nearly two years after I wrote the article.

When you read Writer's Market you see that publishers often say they'll take 15 to 18 months or more to publish a book once they've received the manuscript. I suppose much of this time must be in editing, because there's no typesetting involved anymore. All I know for sure is that but publishing takes a long time just as game publishing takes a long time.

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