As authors these days, whether we self-publish or trad publish (or both), we are expected to do and be All The Things. And lawdy, can it get overwhelming!
Marketing and Promo. Research. Newsletter admin. Not to mention Social-Media-what-now? Am I supposed to be Tumblr-ing down the rabbit hole, or Snapping my Chats? *falls over*
Some of us even do our own cover art. So that’s a whole ‘nother hat to contend with. I’m beginning to feel like a hydra with all the mad hatting I seem to be doing.
And then there’s the whole Juggling-All-The-Projects thing, because today’s industry expects us to publish faster, stronger, better than before.
Jane! STOP THIS CRAZY THING!!
So how to keep it all straight? How do know when to do what, not to mention how? Especially when you’re spinning multiple projects in midair?
I’ve found it helps to put tasks into categories or buckets. Once all tasks within a bucket are complete, I dump the project into the next bucket and refill the previous one with next project in the queue.
Did I mention insane? Yeah, lil’ bit. But there is such a thing as organized sanity. Or so I tell myself.
I like to take my task categories from the film industry, because it helps rewire my brain out of book world and into business world, for some reason.
World building and related research
Character Profiles and Arcs
Save The Cat! outline and related notes
Book Budget and Marketing Plan
Cover Art proof
Cover (jacket) copy
Update website with book info.
Scene work—notes on setting, action, and dialogue
Words, words, words. In other words (ahem), drafting! I usually go for about 10k in a week, because that means I can finish a rough draft of a novella or 1/3-1/2 a novel in a month.
Blog/Social Media—if there’s any particular snippet or milestone I’m particularly proud of, I’ll add it to my blog, which cross posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
Revisions and Rewrites (Fixing the Big Problems I noted for each chapter in Scrivener notes)
Edits (at least three passes).
If you can’t afford an editor (and believe me, there are some very affordable editors out there—I recommend the Book Forge and Evil Eye Editing), I recommend using Hemingway Editor and ProWrite Aid. I’d recommend using these last two even before sending a manuscript to a professional editor to get it as polished as possible.
One Final Read Through for anything I might have missed.
Distribute final draft to BETA readers.
Complete cover and add to website.
If First in Series, send to Newsletter as an ARC. If not First In Series, send exclusive Excerpt instead.
Add to Amazon KDP for first ninety days on scheduled release date.
Website announcement via Blog (Cross post to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr).
Schedule bargain ads and release book at 99c for the first week.
You’ll notice I put cover art and copy under Pre-Production. This is because it helps me stay in the head space of the book if I have the cover art staring at me while I’m drafting. It keeps me excited about the story while I’m drafting.
I think that’s everything, but if you have questions or want a point clarified, feel free to let me know in the comments!