Authors are free spirits. That has been a long held belief. Meeting a deadline goes against everything we believe in. If the muse is calling us, we have to be involved in writing a new story while it’s fresh in our heads.
Yet, this can also hurt us as a professional. Many times, an author is writing a new book while they’re going through editing for their currently contracted book. This means they have to stop writing and go over edits in order to return them to their editor on time. They are also tasked with getting together the details and deciding on cover art. Adding a day job into the equation leaves very little time for the author to feed the muse.
This leaves the beleaguered author with a massive quandary. They really can’t give up sleep during these processes. That’s pretty vital for being able to function at the job that pays their bills, until they make it big. The pesky editor is continually emailing them, asking when they’ll have that round of edits back, so they can move forward. To top it off, their editor in chief wants to discuss all sorts of things, such as where is the necessary information to insert into the book once editing is complete, have they sent in their cover art form, and horror of horrors, have they begun to plan their release promotion yet.
All of this is enough to send the author into panic mode. They just can’t cope, so they dive into the one thing they know will give them a break from the reality of life—the new story.
Hang on there. Back up. Let’s look at your work schedule again. You have edits to complete. Spend a few hours, or a couple of days, looking them over. Make your comments and get the edits back to the editor.
Hey! Guess what? You’ve cleared one to do off your list.
Next up, learn how to compile that necessary information into a single file. Write up the blurb as a draft, to be gone over later. Add in your bio, social media links, and acknowledgements. If your publisher allows you to insert the books you already have published with them, set up that information too. Save all of this in a file with the rest of your book. Go back when you have a couple of free moments to proofread and edit that blurb.
Oops! It’s still early in the evening and you’ve completed the second job.
That leaves the cover art. Some publishers have you select a stock image from any of the websites offering them. Take some time to go through these. Learn how best to set your searches. Pick out a couple dozen to go back to later. Save those links to another file with your book’s information.
And it’s still early. Early enough that you can write another chapter in your new book. See? That was easy.
As an author, one of the biggest problems you will face is ensuring that you aren’t thought of as the person who can’t meet deadlines. Putting off editing to look over your already published books, because you’re sure there are errors in them, isn’t cool. It’s time wasting. Watching a movie you’ve been dying to see can be done on another day. Your responsibilities are with the contract you signed, which will always have a basic schedule of when things are to be done included.
Don’t be the troublesome author always ready with an excuse as to why you can’t meet the deadline. Be the author your publisher loves, by proving you want to work with them.
About the K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.
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