So, I’ve Written A Book… Now What?

I am still adjusting to the fact that I do not have to be churning out sections and chapters every free moment that I have. My book is not ready for publication.

However, with the second draft complete and waiting to be edited by someone far more objective than me, I now have time to focus on all of the other aspects of publication.

This is incredibly intimidating. I must turn a story into a book. I feel like the writing was the easy part. Since this is my first published novel, I need everything to go well and look good.

But, here’s how I’m going to tackle the publication process… for now. Actual Published Authors, feel free to chime in. (Please chime in!)

The Writing is Done… Now What?

1. Find a cover designer.

I tried this once nearly a year ago, and it did not go well. Perhaps it was premature, but the fact remains that I must get my book cover set. Having the illustration complete will lead to all sorts of marketing/promotional fun. It also gives me the first real visual representation of my story.

Timeline: In process. I’m currently vetting potential artists, aiming for a finished cover by November sometime.

2. Read through Manuscript: Beta and begin making revisions.

My editor has already revised and sent back the first six chapters of Manuscript: Beta. Due to circumstances way out of our control, the process has been delayed, so we’re currently searching for a new deadline that works for both of us. In the meantime, I can read through the remaining chapters to polish the story, and begin going over the revisions she’s given me so far.

Timeline: TDB. Hopefully by the end of 2017?

3. Find a book designer.

Whether my future cover designer is also a book designer is yet to be seen. Either way, I’m pretty much certain that I will be paying a professional to format my book for both e-book and print formats.

With so much on my plate as it is, why not leave this to a professional? I can probably learn to do it later on once I go through this process at least once.

Timeline: Find a cover design service by October 31.

4. Make some headway on Book #2.

It has been quite a while since I have mentioned WoEL, but it has been very much on my mind this year. My plan was to use November to focus on churning out a big chunk of the first draft for National Novel Writing Month.

We’ll see how well I can balance writing a new novel with preparing a current one for publication. I may be revising WoEM in full by then. Either way, I’d like to make some real progress on the 5-8k words I have so far for my second novel.

Timeline: Write 30,000+ words for Manuscript: Alpha of WoEL through November.

5. Promotional Materials.

Once I have my cover design, I can use the illustration/cover to create flyers, bookmarks, webpages, newsletters, and online promotions. This is where my marketing plan really begins.

This also means I’ll need to nail down a general publication date. My original (hopeful) date of November-December 2017 is nigh impossible at this point.

Timeline: Begin promotional efforts in November.

6. Finalize Manuscript: Charlie.

Ideally, the third draft of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento will be the last. Nothing is guaranteed in life, but this is the goal. I trust my editor based on what she has done so far with my second draft.

As long as I don’t rush headlong into hitting Publish, I think we can have WoEM in three drafts, with perhaps a final round of polishing.

Timeline: Ongoing, as quickly as the revisions for Manuscript: Beta come back to me.

Actual Published Authors!!! What am I missing??? I know that this list is not exhaustive, but I’m just trying to wrap my head around all of this.

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