Setting a Schedule

When you take the plunge and become an indie author there are lots of things to plan for but having a publishing schedule can sometimes slip down the list.

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Schedule by Tzuhsun Hsu courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

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If you were with an agent or a traditional publisher one of the first questions they will ask you once they have expressed an interest in your work is what you are currently working on and what other manuscripts you have. Some careers are built on one book alone but most are not. The professionals want to be assured that there is plenty more coming down the track from you which will make you a viable entity from their point of view.

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Bibliography by Alexandre Duret-Lutz courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

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For indies, there is no one to ask that question but us and so it can slip off the radar but it shouldn’t and here’s why. Caught up in the excitement and terror of indie publishing your first novel it can be difficult to look up from the myriad elements you are juggling to take a moment to look ahead but one of the most popular questions I was asked when I did my blog tour for The Flower Seller was ‘When is your next book coming out and what is it about?’. Trust me when I say you want to have the answers to those questions and the only way to do that is to plan ahead.

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What’s Next? By Crystal courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

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In an ideal world we would have all the time we needed to write, the stories would fly from our minds to our fingertips and out to the big wide world. We would be multi published authors in next to no time. Back in the real world not many of us have that luxury. Writing is something that has to be fitted around family and friends, hobbies and often a day job that pays the bills.

It’s good to have high standards and expect a lot from yourself but you also need a reality check. Consider how many books you can write, edit, polish, publish and market in a year. Don’t skimp on the estimates. In fact over estimate to allow yourself time for the emergencies that crop up in all our lives.

Hopefully before you indie publish your first novel you will have a pretty good idea of the genre you want to write in and that will also help determine the probable length of your books. This will also help you decide on a realistic writing schedule to produce new material and a realistic publishing schedule to turn the raw manuscripts into a lovely, shiny new books. I would recommend you set a publishing schedule across a period of two years at a time – any longer and it starts to lose its relevancy.

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Paperwork by Chris Belcher courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

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Conscious that the more books you have in the market place, the higher your visibility should become, I set a year one target of one full length novel (100,000 words) and a novella (50,000) which is the first in a three book set. I felt that was a doable target for year one. For year two I have my sights set on one full length novel and, if I can manage it, books two and three in the novella series. Thus reaching my two-year target of two full length novels and one set of novellas. Will I achieve it? I’m going to give it my best shot so watch this space!

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http://Author.to/EllieHolmes
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http://Author.to/EllieHolmes

 

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2 thoughts on “Setting a Schedule

  1. kjw616 06/10/2016 / 8:01 pm

    I know you are right, but the thought is overwhelming. My book was the topic today for my Bookclub. The question as to my next book was asked. Have thoughts, but I not saying until I am sure. How do you find the time to promote your book, write your blog, go to work, write another, and then perform basic life skills like eat and sleep?? I am impressed!

    Like

    • ellieholmesauthor 12/10/2016 / 8:44 pm

      I try to be super organised but I still get overwhelmed sometimes! Also, I had some books that are already written before I launched on to my self publishing journey so I am doing a mix of writing new stuff and editing and polishing old stuff. I wouldn’t have such an ambitious schedule if it was all new stuff.

      Like

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