Greetings from Effin' Birds

By Aaron Reynolds

A Tear-Out Postcard Book featuring 100 all-new and as rude as ever Effin' Birds!

Thursday, 1 October 2020

First Draft

The first draft of Greetings From Effin' Birds (minus the Request A Bird pages -- expect an email soon if you pledged at that level) is now in the hands of DeAndra, the same editor who shepherded the orignal Field Guide and had all those arguments with me about punctuation. With that, we can start looking at the schedule for the rest of the process.

There are a lot of parts involved, but the TLDR is that September 2021 is the date that the book will likely be in your hands. With no chance of getting it out there for holiday 2020, holiday 2021 looks to be the best chance this book has for a big audience.

There have been some "should I wait for a domestic edition" questions from people in the US keen to save on shipping. Nothing is set in stone right now, but what has been discussed is a considerably different version for holiday 2022.

Thanks for your support so far! I can't wait to get this book into your hands.

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Jon Butler
 Jon Butler says:

A whole another YEAR? Can you help us understand why it will be that long away ... sounds rather arbitrary and exceedingly long?

posted 2nd October 2020

Aaron Reynolds
 Aaron Reynolds says:

Hi Jon! First of all, you don’t want us sending my first draft to the printer — it’s a Word draft with rough bird layouts for the fronts and just text for the backs.

On the Field Guide we had a really hard deadline to make a Christmas 2019 release and I had to push like hell to make it — that deadline was September 2018. I made everyone’s lives difficult by not delivering a complete draft until mid-October, but we worked our asses off on editorial, layout and production and made the deadline. This time around I delivered on time, so in theory we have a couple of extra weeks of leeway, but frankly I would have liked to have those back on the first book.

Next steps are editorial, where we focus on the writing. Not just the spelling and punctuation, but the flow of the book. Is everything in the right order? Are any jokes repetitive? Am I punching down? Why do I hate social media so much?

Then we move on to layout, which is a bigger challenge on this book because it’s more out of the ordinary, format-wise. We have to work on making pages that look good in and out of the book while respecting tear margins and print limitations, and that meet postcard technical requirements in the UK, US and Canada. There’s gonna be a lot of print testing as we go through this.

Then the last stage before fulfilment is printing — including the time to get all the printed books to the warehouse. Yes, you can overnight FedEx a single book almost anywhere, but that speed and pricing does not scale for a 5000 book print run. So in addition to the time on the printing presses, which has to be scheduled far in advance, good printing companies aren’t just sitting idle, waiting for people to call, there’s the time to get all of these books to the distribution centres.

I’m not going to try to say that this isn’t a LONG time, but it is the amount of time it will take. The first Effin’ Birds book was 18 months from campaign start to book delivery. This one will be 14, a big speed improvement. And like I said in the update, the US publisher looking to license a version is looking for holiday 2022 — because they don’t feel there’s enough time to make it for holiday 2021.

TLDR books take a long time.

posted 2nd October 2020

James Moakes
 James Moakes says:

That’s a great and detailed answer, I can wait until winter 2021.

posted 2nd October 2020

Steph Sanderson
 Steph Sanderson says:

Great detailed answer to Jon's question, thanks Aaron! Gives me a chance to use up my other postcards first...!

posted 24th October 2020

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