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There's More to Writing a Book Than Writing a Book

By Rebecca Price Janney, Jun 13 2018 02:21PM

Writing a book is not just about writing a book. A good bit of being an author involves more than bringing a story to life.

People often ask, “How long does it take you to write one of your Easton novels?” My answer, “Between six to eight months.” That’s just the writing part. Then there’s another one to two months involving production. I’ve recently completed the third book in the series, Easton at the Crossroads, but the process didn’t end with the last sentence. No siree Bob, as my uncle used to say.

Once I completed the manuscript, I needed to:

• Provide an updated author bio and photo

• Work with the artist on a new cover

• Write back matter for the book

• Secure endorsements

• Begin putting together a press release

• Revisit my plan to let people know about the new book through blogs, social media, email, newspapers and broadcast media

• Arrange a book launch/tour

• Figure out whom to send “comp copies” to.

Oh, and did I mention edits? This is the process in which I finish and comb through the book for errors. Then I send the manuscript to my editor. She works through it and sends it back. I review her corrections, revise the manuscript and send it back to her; she goes through the book again, then throws it back to me for one last look before proofs come. When the proofs come, I records any mistakes or changes on an official sheet.

In addition to these steps, this time I worked with Elk Lake’s artist to create maps of Easton, then and now. Okay, don’t laugh. Anyone who knows me well understands I have a stunted sense of directions. Despite that infirmity, Jeff Gifford and I worked together for several weeks creating and revising (endlessly revising) maps that will help readers become more intimately acquainted with Easton. The end result is a lot of fun! I can’t wait to see the maps inside Crossroads.

How much of writing a book is actually writing a book, then? Hmmm, let’s say about 75%. It’s a good thing I enjoy the rest of the process!

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