Writing IS work!

Normally I don’t like to complain, mainly because when i get aggravated or angry, I don’t hold on to those emotions very long.

However, on this occasion, I happened to run into a real arrogant, ignorant, self-righteous idiot. And, well, I just couldn’t let it go.

The conversation was centered around going out of town to work, and how difficult it was for afore mentioned idiot, because of his anxiety. The conversation went as follows.

Idiot: complaining about last minute preparations and how he hoped to make money

Me: I understand, I get the same anxiety when I go out of town to sell books…

Idiot: That isn’t the same. That isn’t work….

How the idiot managed to sound so condescending and so stupid at the same time, I will never know, but he did. He really did.

To be fair the idiot probably didnt know how stupid he sounded. I’m not sure the idiot is that self aware. So, I thought ‘Hm. Maybe I should post a blog about what I put into the books I publish’

Keep in mind, I do all of the following whilst working a full time day job. I imagine if I didn’t, maybe it wouldn’t take so long from start to finish.

First, writing the book. It starts as a concept. For me its usually characters. I then create extensive character profiles for my primary characters. Then comes world building. Magic and paranormal structure needs to be created. All of my paranormal rules have some basis in theoretical sciences, and requires extensive research. If I have a setting that is in a different country or culture, that too requires extensive research. Or, I write out detailed descriptions of culture, political systems, and settings, if the story takes place on an alien planet. I create detailed maps. I even have mapped layouts of the living and work quarters of my main charecter. Next comes secondary characters. They too get complete profiles and history. Then there is tertiary characters, and their profiles.

After I do all of that, I start writing the book. However, I do have to continually research during the writing process. There have been times that I have spent two days researching something for it to be a mere paragraph in the book.

So on with the writing process. My last book, this took two years.

Next comes editing.

I start by going through my work first, correcting any continuity or charecter errors. Keep in mind, if I change it add something at the end of the book, I then have to go and thread that through the rest of the book.

Next, editor number 1. The first editor is for content and continuity. It’s this editors job to pull out slow, or confusing aspects of the book. It’s often a painful process because a good editor will very likely tear the book apart.

I input the changes.

Then editor number 2. Grammar and punctuation. It is exactly that simple and complicated all at once.

I input the changes.

On to beta readers. Ideally, it’s best to have more than 20, but it doesn’t always work out that way. So off goes the book to the people I’ve literally begged to read it in a very short amount of time.

Time to start the publishing process.

While the book is being reviewed by the beta readers, this is when I start working on my cover. First finding an artist. This is never easy. Finding an artist that mashes, and is available is difficult at best. After I sign a contract, its time to look for stock art for the artist. Other authors skip this step. Me, I want to make sure I help my artist get as close to my vision for my cover as possible. It saves a lot of frustration. Also, I’d recommend working with an experienced cover artist that knows the market. Their feedback is invaluable.

At this point I’m getting feedback from my beta readers. Again, this can be a painful process because sometimes I’ve made obvious errors in continuity and context. Some beta readers just dont like my work, and that’s okay. Even though I’d prefer it didnt happen, I generally get at least 1 beta reader that is not into the whole paranormal romance genre.

I input the changes.

Next, I send my manuscript to the final editor. It’s their job to polish my work.

While my manuscript is at the last editor, I’ve usually gotten the preliminary art from my artist. Time to enter into negotiations for changes. Sometimes I do get stonewalled because ‘artistic license.’ And then have to find a second cover artist, it has happened. To be clear, I dont get upset when this happens. It just means me and the artist didnt mesh. But, getting cover art is an extensive process. So on to changes… and or a new cover artist. Eventually I get the cover I both want and need to get my manuscript the attention I feel it deserves.

At this point I’m getting ready to market. I write a short, medium, and long synopsis. As well as updating my author bios. 

I also start marketing the book. Keep in mind, I already keep an active presence on social media. So, the marketing is extra to that.

By this time, I’ve gotten edits back from the last editor. I input those changes.

Simultaneously, I send my cover art to a graphic designer. Sometimes the cover artist will do the graphic art on the cover. I like to consult with an actual graphic designer. Or, have the lettering and graphic design done completely separate from the cover.

At this point I go in and assign the book ISBNs. I need one for both the electronic and paper copy of the book. And, the application is detailed.

Now it’s time to review the lettering, and book spine graphics. This takes a back and forth because not all graphics look good in small print. Not all graphics look good in large print. And, yes all printing styles should he checked. It’s very important for marketing.

Now that everything has been approved and ISBNs assigned I upload the book into amazon. This is also time consuming because it takes 12 to 24 hours for Amazon to approve the formatting. Sometimes getting the bleed and headers just right is very difficult

After Amazon approves the book it is time to order proofs and check my work.

I input any changes and re-upload the book. Finally…

It’s time for the book release. Which means back to marketing, lots and lots of marketing.

This is the point where I have to go relearn HTML coding because my website needs to be updated, and I’ve completely forgotten how. Hours of work is spent for the most minor changes on my website. Major changes take days.

Now that that is all done, it’s back to marketing. Blogs, contests, online interviews, applying to reader groups and websites for the opportunity to have my book included for their readers/newsletters.

Also, I put in applications at multiple venues, so that I can go sell my books.

Also, also, I send out inquiries to several bookstores to see if they will stock my books.

Remember I work a fulltime day job.

And, I’m still keeping up with my social media relationships.

So now that the book has been released, its time to prepare for face to face sales and encounters. Time to order, approve, and print posters. Order, approve and print bookmarks, bags, and any other giveaways.

I’d like to point out here, whilst marketing is necessary, it is not writing. And, most definitely not nearly as fun.

From start to finish, it took me 3 years to release my last book.

3 years.

I will confess writing is truly a labor of love. There is nothing more wonderful to me, than getting lost in my works as I write them. But make no mistake, it is laborious. It is work!

So, when you see an author dont be like the idiot. Please respect them and the work they do.

Who am I? I’m Tiffany Easterling, and I have 2 jobs, one of which is writing cheesy scifi romance.