About the release date for SCOTTISH PRISONER

Many of you are probably wondering why the US and Canadian publication dates for LORD JOHN AND THE SCOTTISH PRISONER have not yet been announced.  We were hoping to see the book in September or October of this year, but I'm afraid that looks unlikely at this point.

Diana commented on Twitter this morning that "The UK and US publishers are locked in mortal combat over pub date for PRISONER. UK wants November, US, spring 2012."

What exactly does that mean?

Many of you will recall that we went through the reverse scenario when AN ECHO IN THE BONE came out, with a four-month delay before it was published in the UK.  I thought that was grossly unfair to UK readers at the time, and I would really hate to see a similar situation occur with SCOTTISH PRISONER.  There would no doubt be a lot of upset, frustrated, and angry fans in the US if that happened, and I'm sure that many of the die-hard fans would simply order the book from the UK.

Now, keep in mind that nothing has been decided yet!  The publishers are still debating the issue.  Before you panic, or start screaming about how unfair it would be for US readers if the book came out first in the UK, please take a look at this post by Diana on Compuserve, from May 3, 2011:
The two editors (and I) are discussing the matter, though.  It's not actually all a matter of the fans' desire for immediate gratification, oddly enough. <g>  The two main complicating factors here are a) promotional travel and activities for SCOTTISH PRISONER, and b) delay of Book Eight.   As in--I'm going to be traveling much of the summer, as it is (promotion for the 20th-anniversary OUTLANDER, plus personal stuff (which always has a promotional component to it, like the Fergus Highland Games; I do that because I like the people, but it's four days of heavy-duty work--plus two of travel--equalling a week without significant work)).  I'd really rather not then immediately spend the whole fall on the road doing book-tours--aside from the physical wear and tear, it _would_ take about three months out of my writing schedule, thus pushing Book Eight back.
You can see that from Diana's point of view, there are advantages to a bit of a delay in the US publication date.
Another factor is that only the US (and, I suppose, Canada) are doing the fancy 20th-anniversary edition of OUTLANDER.  They'd rather have that be the focus in 2011, and spread out the release of books by having PRISONER in 2012, while the UK publisher rather obviously would like it sooner, since they don't have a Gabaldon book this year, otherwise.
So, there are a lot of issues yet to be worked out.  I'm confident that Diana will let us know as soon as a definite publication date (or dates) is announced, and I'll post here as soon as I hear anything further.

UPDATE 7/16/2011 12:23 PM:  The various publishers have resolved their differences, and the official release date for THE SCOTTISH PRISONER in the US, Canada, and the UK will be November 29, 2011.


Anonymous said...

While I'm disappointed at the probability of not getting a new book this year, the thought of a significant delay in Book 8 is down right horrifying! I am really looking forward to Scottish Prisoner and I'm sure we'll get it in good time. Having said that, how does one go about getting a UK version when it's released? :) - Lara

Karen Henry said...


As for your last question, I'm really not sure, but if this does actually happen, and the UK edition is released before the US one, I think there will be all sorts of suggestions offered on Compuserve and the various fan sites (including this one) regarding ways to get the book from the UK.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear... I'm trying to arrange for my local bookstore to bring Diana in for an appearance after the book is released, so of course I'm hopeful it will come out this fall. However, if getting the book in the fall means a huge delay in book 8, I'd almost rather just wait until the spring

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