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Licensing Timelines

You're ready to license rights to your titles. But how do licensing activities fit into your publishing timeline?


As your spring and summer titles release to consumers, licensing professionals like us continue to push for additional placements for your list.


But it's also time for us to start tending to your 2021 releases.




Yes, 2021.


Although it might *feel* premature to be thinking about licensing opportunities for books that are publishing post-holiday rush and up to almost a year from now, your potential licensees are starting to make their inquiries, and will close their first selections within a few short months. As a reminder, generally, the spans and selection times for licensees like book clubs, audio publishers, and even foreign rights follow this pattern: Titles publishing July through December ("fall"): Pitches begin in January, and selections first selections are complete by early March. A few licensees may select for late in the season through April or May. Titles publishing January through June ("spring"): Pitches begin in May, and first selections generally are complete by the end of July, though some will continue to select for late in the season through October. This means that the window is starting to close for spring 2021 titles (although there's still plenty of time for serial, foreign, and other rights). From this timeline, you can see that we are beginning to enter prime time for spring 2021 selections. What does this mean for your list? Ideally, we like to have preliminary materials for spring 2021 (i.e., bibliographic information, initial sell sheets and sample chapters) in hand for our first inquiries starting in May or June, with early manuscripts and other marketing material following in June and July. This does not mean that we can't pitch outside of these seasons*, but the chances for more positive inquiries go up if we start pitches earlier. To that end, we would like your preliminary list of titles for 2021 as soon as possible! *The timeline for international inquiries is a bit different. These tend to run year-round, and they are driven by buzz and good reviews and advanced materials as well as strong marketing plans. We'll write more on international licensing in a future post.


It's important to keep your licensing professional updated on any new reviews, big marketing opportunities, and other materials available as you have them. For example, here at GPC, we are updating our international partners constantly.


Have questions, or have a title you want us to pitch for licensing? Get in touch!

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