I’m hitting my writing stride and I know more about what I can expect from myself. In writing this last book I tracked my writing speed and process. With that knowledge I feel confident that I can complete a well-written book in about 4 months.
A Study in Spirits, book #2 in the College Fae series, is about to launch this Sunday. This is my third book published under my Byrd Nash pen name and I’ve worked out many of the kinks that I had with Wicked Wolves of Windsor.
A Study in Spirits timeline:
November 2019 – wrote 35,000 words in NaNoWriMo. This is my hell-bent-for-the-horizon all out blast which builds the basic book. I started this NaNoWriMo with an outline that sped up the writing.
December 2019 – I continued writing but at a slower pace. I usually take about 2 weeks off after NaNo but this time I continued onward but slower. This kept the book building in word count and chapters.
January 14th to February 7th – the book was being read by Beta Readers. Beta Readers have helped me so much! Their feedback helps me see plot holes or things I could add or where I need more explanation. My Beta Readers are gold!
February 7th to 14th – it went to my editor and I addressed her changes. In the future I really need to allow 2 weeks.
While the book was at my editors, I started working on the ebook version (mobi for Kindle) and the print pdf for Amazon. This went far quicker then previous times because I already knew the style I would go with since it is similar to Never Date a Siren being a series. I had my ARC print proof by Sunday, Feb. 23rd.
Most of the issues with the print book are minor. Such as a few changes to colors on the cover, and the spacing around the drop capitols I use at the beginning of the chapters. There were also some tweaks with chapter headings and spacing in the back where my book notes appear.
This means when the digital ebook goes live Sunday, March 1st, the print book will also be ready for ordering! I wasn’t able to achieve that with Wicked Wolves or Never Date a Siren!
To make this even smoother some things I need to keep in mind:
Get the book cover done as early as possible. In a future series, I will do my book covers beforehand so they are all done before I start writing. It just simplifies my life.
Buy the social media graphics with the book cover. This simplifies my life and lets me design images for promotion faster.
Be careful of when I take time off. In the past I would take several weeks off after a big writing surge (like NaNo) but this last book shows that slow and steady wins the race. This got me 10,000 more words to Spirits over Siren.
Plot and outline ahead of time. I’m more of a pantser because I like to see where the story naturally flows BUT, by having a bare minimum of an outline, I was able to stay far more consistent with my writing schedule for Spirits vs. Siren.
My 4 month book process sequence is now:
- Raw book – Zero draft or rough draft.
- Final Rough draft – this takes about 3 re-writes to get to.
- Start using Grammarly to check the drafts.
- Suggestions by spouse, edited changes made, Grammarly checks made. The above writing process takes about 2.5 months.
- Loaded up for Beta Readers (this process takes about 30 days)
- Revisions are ongoing during this time.
- Checked again by Grammarly.
- Sent to Editor (need to allow for 2 weeks).
- Editor revisions done.
- Checked again by Grammarly.
- I upload a digital mobi file uploaded to my Kindle/Tablet to start checking for errors. There is another final read through here for errors and the revisions that need to happen here. Takes about 4 days to complete.
- ARC (advanced reader copy) print book ordered. Allow at least 1 week (and longer if this is your first book with Amazon or Ingram Spark).
- Check print copy for errors and revise. Upload revised PDF to Amazon and await approval. My experience is this varies with Amazon but generally happens quickly now that I have several books on their platform. If new to Amazon or Ingram Spark allow at least 2 weeks to a month.
- Ready to release. Approval from Amazon or Ingram Spark may take up to 5 days, though usually I get approval within 48 hours, baring holidays and weekends.
Learning what writing process works for you is something that will happen over time – and also change. I wrote Spirits faster but also had 10,000 more words over Siren!
I never see myself producing a book in less than 4 months. There is too much I want to do to make it the best book possible!