It’s a serious question. Will you have a book out for Christmas 2013?
If you’d like one for sale in the busy run up to Yuletide 2013 you need to begin planning now, and have some kind of deadline/timetable in place in the next few weeks. Really? Yep.
I’m a great believer in ‘Back Timing’. People laugh at me. They think I’m bonkers. ‘Bonkers Mental’ (apologies to Al Murray the Pub Landlord).
But back timing works a treat. Let’s give it a try.
Your book will need to be for sale the first week in November. That’s in the shops.
Incidentally, your online promotion will begin at least three months before this date, twelve weeks, so that takes us to the first week in August, that’s when the campaign will begin.
If it’s a self published print book then you will need four weeks from delivery to the printers to picking up your books, five weeks is safer. So five weeks back from the first of November works out at around the third week in September.
So your manuscript must be evaluated and appraised and final corrections and amendments and minor rewrites done by the second week in September. The kids are back at school and your book should be ready to go.
Evaluation takes time. Your ‘readers’ will need time to get through your book and consider what they are going to tell you about it. This is vital feedback. So you need to give them a month to read and get back to you. Tell them that. Insist that it goes no longer than one month. So you need to have the evaluation script in their hands by the beginning of August. Great, they can read it during the school holidays whilst relaxing in the sun in Corfu. Ooops, my guess is they won’t want to take it with them on holiday so build in an extra two weeks…..so we are now back to the middle of July for the finished manuscript to be with them.
So….we have a deadline. Book written and just about as good as it can get by mid July.
Now, we will obviously have re-writes before this, and thinking time, so take off four weeks, we’re now back to second week in June.
And there you have it…..if you begin writing your novel this weekend you will have until roughly the first week in June to get it written…..that’s sixteen weeks to write your major opus. That should be enough.
Okay, let’s all make a start this weekend. On your marks, get set………