Good news, Snow Queen 2 has finished is first round of edits with Editor #2, and it has already been sent back to her! I didn’t have to add/correct as much as usual, so I am hoping the rest of the edits won’t take long and we’ll be able to stick to a late February release. But on to today’s topic!
Occasionally when I talk to my friends about my job, I’ll bewilder them because I’ll mention releasing/editing one book, and starting another. Most people assume authors start with one book and stick with it from its conception to its launch day, but I’ve found that is an inefficient way for me to work. Today I thought I would shed some light on my work cycle so you can get a fell for my scheduling.
Before I get started writing, I’ve usually been chewing on the story idea for anywhere between a few months to a few years. Right now, in 2016, I’m already starting to think of characterization for books I won’t write until 2017. I try to play around with the stories and have fun long before I’m serious about them because it helps me work through a lot of character and plot ideas.
When I’m ready to commit myself to the story, I usually take a week to plot and plan out the book, and do any last-minute research. In example, for Heart of Ice I researched icebergs and unusual snow phenomena. For The Little Selkie I read up about marine life–particularly seals and sea lions.
The following week I begin writing. This usually takes two to three intense weeks. This is usually when I drop off the face of the planet online, and in real life. (After a full day of writing, I have the tendency to wander around, scruffy and half asleep.) I then usually need to take a few days off of the book to decompress–this is usually when I get caught up on my social media accounts and emails.
The following week I work on editing–a process that can take a week to two weeks. The story will then get passed off to Editor #1, who will go over it for one to three weeks. In the meantime I’m usually editing an old piece of work, or getting another story ready to shine. For example, when Editor #1 was going over Heart of Ice, I was polishing Endeavor for its release. I will occasionally begin writing another book, but usually it’s a King Arthur book instead of a full length novel like a Timeless Fairy Tale. (Note: At this time Myrrhlynn usually gets to see a rough draft so she can begin brainstorming cover images.)
Editor #1 will send the book back to me, and I’ll take at least a week to go over her corrections, and then post it on to Editor #2. Editor #2 usually gets the novel for a month and a half. During that time we’ll pass the manuscript back and forth. The first edit is always the most intense, and usually any following edits are fine-tuning new or problematic scenes. While Editor #2 has the book I am either getting posts and contests lined up for its release, or I’m starting another project.
When Editor #2 is finished, I send it to Editor #1 for a final read-through. Genius Editor #1 usually finishes the final read-through in about a week. It takes me a day or two to make corrections, and then I send it to my final end-all reader: My mother. My mom reads through it in a weekend and lets me know about any typos or errors, then the book is ready to go!
When the book launches I spend the first week observing its reviews and notifying readers that it is available. If I didn’t have time to prepare blog posts about it, now is when I’ll write them, and prep for the following month’s newsletter. If I have everything prepped, then this is when I’m writing my next book.
I almost always balance between two books in the weeks leading up to a new book’s release. When Heart of Ice made its debut I was going over corrections Editor #1 suggested for Snow Queen 2. Now, as Snow Queen 2 is being combed over by Editor #2, I’m plotting and planning my next fairy tale, Swan Lake.
All in all, it usually takes about three to four months for a book to go from plotting to after-launch activities. My turn-around time used to be much shorter, but Editor #1 and #2 are worth their weight in gold, and the time it takes for them to correct my books are crucial. I get around the added time by beginning the writing process much sooner, so there won’t be a big gap between book releases.
And that is the life cycle of a book! Thank you for reading, Champions, I hope you have a lovely week!