Nine to six months before publication date, a book is presented for the first time to the sales team who will be selling it into bookshops. This involves showing them a cover design, explaining the plot of the book, describing where it fits in the bookshop market and outlining any plans you have for marketing and publicity which might give them ammo to really get booksellers excited enough to commit to purchasing copies to stock their shelves. After this initial presentation, a book will continue to be discussed right up until two months before the publication date, when shops will settle on a final commitment for their orders. These orders are what inform how many copies of the book will be printed initially. Because of the agility of modern digital printing and sophistication of stocking systems, these days initial print runs tend to be quite low – but it’s because if book sales start to take off, reprints are generally very quick to manage.

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