from manuscript to bookstore -- the publishing process

First mention
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At this point -- six months before a book comes out -- the trade publications begin to stir. You can't necessarily expect to be noticed yet. They won't have read a galley, so there are no early reviews THIS early; those come in about 3 months. But you can get lucky if one of them is running a piece in which your book fits.

I got lucky. The cover article of the April 1 issue of Library Journal is about trends in mysteries. It starts with a fairly general quote from my editor about mysteries becoming "novels" and thus escaping the "genre ghetto." It goes on to mention a number of standalones coming out in the fall -- this magazine is for librarians who want to know what they should be ordering for the following season -- and closes that paragraph with, "However, the most highly anticipated standalone debut this fall is SJ Rozan's ABSENT FRIENDS."

Folks, you can't buy this stuff. This is the kind of thing that gets to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Any librarian or publishing trend-watcher who HADN'T been highly anticipating AF will now wonder what everyone else knows that they don't. A line like that puts you on radar that had always missed you before. I can't help thinking that for this to be the first time the book gets mentioned in the trade publications can only be a good omen.

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