Hello everyone. J here. No, no. You haven’t missed half the week. Vivienne is on hiatus, so I’m filling in. Everybody knows that I just got my second novel (The Peacock Tale) out the door, right? Well, the process didn’t go as smoothly as I wanted it to. That got me to thinking about the future. I’ve got a lot of things in the hopper, but the next thing I plan to publish is a novella called The Fearsome Dane. It’s a companion piece to The Peacock Tale. Click here to see a sneak peek.
The Fearsome Dane is pretty much written at this point. But I learned some important things about publishing this past fall. I’m an Indie Published author with limited financial resources. That means I am chief, cook and bottle washer in my little business. What I can’t do myself, I need to find inexpensive ways to accomplish.
I don’t know what title is between Novice and Journeyman, but that’s where I am in my writing career. I’ve done a lot of critiquing in the past, and unless/until Lynn Kurland or Julia Quinn offers to be my critique partner, I don’t really need advice from other novice writers when I’m creating a story. But I certainly need more eyes on it than just my own. Beta Readers fill this important role. My beta readers for The Peacock Tale gave me a lot of incredibly valuable feedback that ended up making the story much better than it was when I thought it was finished.
But beta readers are not editors. They offer big picture feedback. What aspects of the story/writing are working and what are those that are not. After my first book, The Cordovan Vault, I knew that I needed an editor – someone to find those word-choice type mistakes that I didn’t see. I hired someone to edit The Peacock Tale for me. This was an added financial and time expense. I didn’t plan the timing well enough, and the weather situation here in Connecticut slowed the editorial process down, too. All of this meant that I was down to the wire in meeting my publication date. But I have to tell you, the editor did a FABULOUS job! She pulled more “that”s out of my manuscript than I even realized were there. That alone (ha ha) was worth her very reasonable fee.
I’ve learned this year, that I like to have time to review three proof copies before I decide the book is really finished. As chief, cook and bottle washer, I’m also the layout girl. I’ve learned to wait to do the e-book layout until the print book is finished. Finished, finished. Not mostly done…but really and truly complete.
It also takes time for the digital stuff to trickle through the internet. I publish my e-books on Smashwords, and they forward the files on to a bunch of additional sales venues. Like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and the Apple iStore. That takes time. Like a few weeks. I’m not at a point in my career where all types of the book need to be on sale at the same moment, ala JK Rowling. Loading the books up to Amazon and B&N myself (instead of waiting for the Smashwords-trickle) takes time for them to show up. Even now, The Peacock Tale’s cover art isn’t showing on B&N. I haven’t had time to figure out why and fix it. I’ll get there.
But all of this means I need a realistic production schedule. I’m going to start with a proposed date for my next release, then work backward, hitting all the milestones and deliverables, just like I did when I worked for somebody else. Just because I’m the boss in this little enterprise, doesn’t mean I can fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. I’m not a pantser. That doesn’t work for me in any other aspect of my life…what would make me think it would here?
Today’s Secret: Check back next week when I’ll reveal my production schedule. Maybe it will be helpful to you.
Today’s Question: What’s holding you back from meeting your goals?