Monday, March 13, 2023

Between Writing The End and Those Reviews

The writing has kept you actively engaged for weeks, months, years. You've created a great manuscript.

Now, you get to wait to hear from those beta readers, to hear from your editor, and if you're going traditional, you have the added joy of perhaps waiting to hear from your agent, then the publisher, then the public who will weigh in on your book with reviews. 

If you're an Indie, then you have a very full plate, and you have to shift gears from creating a story you love to selling it.

In my case, no matter if I'm going traditional or doing it myself, this period also involves a touch of angst. My coping strategy involves two things: lots more exercise, like upping my walking and yoga and anything that keeps me moving. Then I plunge into another writing project, or I double down on my promo strategy, which, of course, I've forgotten from the last time, but that's another post.

Shattered was my last book, and I've done exactly what I've described. I'm now at the part of this process where I'm knuckling down and starting another project, so the cycle is complete...until the next time.  


Shattered by C. Lee McKenzie

I thought that I'd find out how other authors managed this time between finishing a story and reading the reviews, so I asked a few. Here's what they said in order of their responses.

L. Diane Wolfe

Since I’m also the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, that between time is spent focusing on our other book projects. (And sometimes my own.) I’ll focus on ads-badges-covers, promo, getting reviews or reviewers, setting up book tours, etc.—I cope by keeping very busy.

In Darkness the Vampire by L. Diane Wolfe

Alex J. Cavanaugh

I’m not one of those authors with multiple manuscripts in the works, so I rarely write anything in between. Instead I focus on my music (I play guitar in a Christian band). Once the manuscript hits my publisher and starts going through the steps, I start looking at ways to promote it.

Cassa Dark by Alex Cavanaugh

Yvonne Ventresca

After each major writing project, I take time to reorganize before beginning a new one. This means clearing out files I no longer need, categorizing the info I’ll keep (character notes, setting research, etc.), cleaning my desk, and reviewing next goals. Resetting this way between books provides a mental break and helps me to stay productive and organized.

Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca

Having a book at the publisher usually means having unstructured time while I wait for edits or formatting, and have nothing essential to do, except plan my marketing activities, and begin to work on the next project. Thankfully, my critique group demands some writing every week, which makes me produce new words.
Planning marketing means looking at what I did to promote an earlier book and adapting it for the current one. Doing that brings me peace of mind, as does keeping extensive to-do lists. I add every little thing, just for the joy of crossing them off! 

A Beginner's Guide to Starting Over by Gabi Coatsworth

In my case, there’s hardly been any downtime between books these days because I tend to work on multiple projects at once, at different stages of their life cycle.  
I’m forever dreaming up new characters, so by the time a novel reaches the copyedit stage, I’m beginning the threads of another, working on outlines and pre-writing. I’m also working on the marketing of the one that went before---trying my best not to let my platform go to sleep. By the time reviews trickle in, I can look at them from deep within the creative cocoon of another project.

The Blue Bar by Damyanti Biswas

If you're a writer who has finished a book or two, do you have a "ritual" for this stage in the writing process? If so, please share. 


Nathan Lowell said...

When I hit publish, I usually let myself have a couple of days off to play (and refresh the sales reports) but then it's on to the next.

I don't get paid unless somebody buys a book. Nobody can buy a book that isn't published. I can't publish a book I haven't written yet

The dopamine from fresh sales always feels sweeter and - for me - nothing sells better than a new book.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like a lot of us focus on marketing. Although more exercise is always good.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like the idea of reorganizing.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I doubt I'd have any down time. I'd be working on my blog or getting ready to promote my book. I'd exercise a lot too like you.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I usually clean my house because by the time a book is done, it needs it!

Jen said...

I'm constantly reorganizing, cleaning up and cleaning out old ideas, seeing if I can use them in another essay. The work is constant but when I get that email saying another essay has been picked up, I sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, do a little happy dance, then get back to work!

cleemckenzie said...

We're as varied in our down time as we are in our approach to writing. Interesting group!