I wish I could say that writing novels means sitting around the pool all day, sipping margaritas, and writing whenever I feel like it. Maybe that’s true for some writers. I envision Jackie Collins living that way. But for me, it is a never-ending process, and writing is only one part of it.
Since I primarily write historical fiction, I do a lot of research before I ever start writing. On average, I spend about six months researching and six months writing. Once the research has been completed, I begin the writing process. For me, I find it best to work from an outline, so I start by plotting out each book, chapter by chapter. And then I start the book, and try to write one chapter every two days. Once the book is completed, I read through it once or twice, and then set it aside to ripen. After a few months, I read through it again. After that, I have it professionally edited and proofread. And then, I find beta readers to look for flaws. The manuscript is finally completed! But that’s only the first phase.
The next step is finding an agent or a publisher. This takes a lot of work and can be quite tedious. The hardest part is accepting rejection. I’m very fortunate to have excellent publishers. After sending them the manuscript, the whole process of editing and proofreading starts again. Once the manuscript is completed, it goes to the typesetters. A cover artist comes up with a design for the book, which can sometimes be stressful as well. Next comes a cover reveal and pre-sales. And after that, the book is finally published! Thus ends phase two.
To me, the next step is the most difficult. This is finding reviewers, promoting, marketing, and doing anything and everything possible to get my titles out there. I typically spend two to four hours a day on marketing. This includes sending the book to reviewers, entering contests, participating in blog tours, doing author interviews and book signing events, etc. This process never really ends, but it is especially crucial during the first year in the life of the book. And so ends phase three. And then it’s time to write a new book and start the process all over again. But I love it!
Now you know all the work that’s involved with publishing a book. I wish I could say it’s all pools and parties, but it’s more like fear, frustration, fantasy, and for me, fun!
If you would like to help me with my book writing process, I would be more than grateful. Here is the link to become one of my cavaliers on Patreon. I hope you will consider supporting me!