How to Write Books and Alienate People

 I decided to publish my own books—nothing new about that, I've been doing it for a while—but now I have a plan.You see, at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, I talked to a brilliant author and lovely human being who said, "NO WAY!" to the idea of publishing a new book every six months. She's probably right.But... But...I have a plan. Really, I do! 

  1. Write a book. That's a good place to start, doncha think? (With many, many NaNoWriMos under my belt, I got this part down). It's a month's worth of work (~3hrs each day) and results in 50,000 words, more or less.
  2. Put the book away for a month. Let it sit. Also, visualize the ideal novel you just wrote, the way it should have been written. And with that platonic ideal of a book in mind, research and write the outline for the next novel. Introduce new characters, new scenarios, elaborate on elements from the prior book you just think you wrote.
  3. Now, go back to the book. Revise the book you just wrote, get your beta readers and critique group to hang out with you (you did clean up after the first month of writing, I hope). This will also take a month. Probably longer, but get on it, as you only have another month before you...
  4. Send it to an editor. Real editors proof better and longer. But they should only need a month—during which time you will need to prepare for production. Buy ISBNs from Bowker, covers from an artist. Write promotional copy. Print ARCs so you can start formatting, etc.
  5. Did I mention formatting? It's gonna take a month, because you're going to have to approve changes suggested by the editor, and you will want to revise things. Many, many things. This is really a chance to polish up the text. If you're publishing your own work, you get first and final say.
  6. Promote. Promote. Promote. Then, launch! Keep ordering proofs or previewing the digital editions. Spend a month doing this, and rinse and repeat.

See? It's a plan. Really!