The Process of Writing and Producing a Book

I have to start with a very important caveat. I'm an indy writer. What I'm about to describe is the process that I go through in that world. And, as always, this is my particular method of madness. Feel free to tweak, change, or reject completely.

Somehow, some way, I'm always working on my writing, but that can take on very different forms, depending on where I am in the timeline. In a nutshell, I would say that you can divide the process of creating and producing a book into the following phases: brainstorming, writing, revising, receiving feedback, revising, proofing, and producing.

Even though brainstorming is first on the list, I'm going to start with writing. Bear with me. Hopefully, it will all make sense in the end. As stated in previous posts, I write in my bedroom for an hour a day. I first write scenes in my notebook, using mind mapping, then I write it linearly by hand, then I type it, revising as I go. If I feel good about what I've done, I move on. If I don't, I figure out what I don't like. I often ask the question, “What does my protagonist want?” If the scene doesn't address that question, I either discard it or reposition it so that it relates to that question in some way.

Once a first draft is completed, I set it aside for at least a week, and I will read books in that genre to inspire/educate me. Then I will revise the entire draft at least once. At that point it goes to beta readers. I use only one or two people who I really trust. I make sure that they can read it and send their impressions back to me within a certain time. Once I hear their feedback, I revise again.

The draft then goes to the developmental editor. This is a very important gateway. The developmental editor will let me know if there is anything that is fundamentally wrong with the story. Once I get her feedback, I revise again, and I send it to the copy editor who corrects grammatical errors. I approve those corrections and send it to the proofreader who checks for mistakes in the text. I make those changes and contact my book designer.

First I pay my book designer to read my book. I want her to know as much as she can about the story before I hear any of her book design ideas. Then I approve her cover design, and she produces the book, which then goes into the Kindle Unlimited program on Amazon. I request a proof copy from CreateSpace, Amazon's current paperbook publishing outlet, and I read the book again to look for errors. I let my book designer know if there are any more corrections that need to be made, and that's it. The book is released out into the world.

During this time, I'm also brainstorming. When the beta readers, developmental editor, copy editor, proofreader, and book designer are working on my book, I am thinking about my next project. I'm writing down ideas that pop up in my head. I'm researching through reading books and watching movies. I'm actively daydreaming. By the time the book is released, I have a project set to go, and I'm generally ready to start outlining the story or I might even be on track to write scenes.

So that's my timeline. I hope there are ways that this will help you on your journey. It's a reminder to me that writing is a seasonal process. There are distinct phases where you do different things. Happy trails!