Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How hard can it be? Think I'll write a book too...

Seasons of a Story
(Better known as: Steps from Idea to Published Book. On your mark, get set, go!)
1. External Stimuli or Stimulus
2. Wow! That gives me an idea for a story.
3. Rough out storyline.
4. Research details pertinent to storyline
5. Is roughed out storyline good and does research validate and enhance the idea?
    a. Yes? – Then Story Board / Outline / Flesh-out with more detail.
    b. No? – It sucks. Throw notes to cat for shredding.
6. Write first round / rough draft of story.
7. Let story sit (ferment / age / ripen) for a few days / weeks.
8. Re-read story. Is story still good? (Listen to your gut / instincts.)
    a. Yes? – Get another set of eyes on story: agent, critique partner, brutally honest friends.
    b. No? – Story has succumbed to full blown suckitude. DO NOT THROW STORY AWAY. Quarantine in sucky story ward. Who knows? A cure for the suckitude could be found some day.
9. Review advice from agent, critique partners, brutally honest folks, etc. Apply/change/revise story if necessary. Again – Listen to your gut / instincts. This is your story.
10. Re-read and polish story.
11. Let story sit (ferment / age / ripen) for a few days / weeks.
12a. Decide to shop story to agents.
        aa. Research which agent would be interested in your story / genre.
        ba. Submit story to agents.
        ca. Receive rejections – repeat steps aa. & ba. (a lot)
        da. Receive offer – Review agent’s contract, sign if satisfactory.
        d1. Agent shops story to publishers
12b. Decide to give story to your agent.
        ab. Agent shops story to publishers
12C. Decide to shop story directly to publisher.
        ac. Research which publishers would be interested in your story / genre.
        bc. Submit story to publishers that accept unagented submissions.
        cc. Receive rejections – repeat steps ac. & bc. (a lot)
        dc. Receive offer – Review contract carefully, have contract reviewed by lawyer, ask questions, re-negotiate any unsatisfactory terms but also be willing to compromise if this is what you really want. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO as much as humanly possible.
        ec. If happy with terms– sign contract.
        fc. If not happy with terms– politely withdraw manuscript and repeat steps ac. & bc.

**If publishing with trad publisher or small press:
·         Work with editor to edit and mold story into an even better version.
·         Approve / reject blurb written by marketing (some publishers)
·         Write blurb for your own story (some publishers)
·         Decide on cover art
·         Decide on dedication and acknowledgements
·         Approve / reject line edits
·         Be prepared to re-read story so many times that you could recite it in your sleep.
·         Market your story (contests, giveaways, and blog tours, etc.)
·         Pray

**If self-publishing story:
·         HIRE AN EDITOR for both content and line edits (grammar, punctuation, minute details and mistakes that will bite you in the ass AFTER your book is in the hands of readers.)
·         Work with said editor(s) to “better versionize” the story.
·         If you’re a whiz at cover art: design and create an eye-catching cover for your book.
·         If you’re not a whiz: hire an excellent cover designer – the cover is the first thing that snags the reader.
·         Write a blurb
·         Decide where your book will be sold: all e-retailers, paperback copies, exclusive e-retailers (Kindle Unlimited)
·         If you’re a whiz at format programming: format your story (where your book will be sold could be pertinent to formatting)
·         If your mind gets numb at the thought of attempting it yourself: hire a formatter
·         Upload your book to sites or hire it done
·         Market your story (contests, giveaways, and blog tours, etc.)
·         Pray

As you can see, publishing a story is not for the faint of heart. Proceed with caution.

***Note: These are steps that I’ve done. None are written in stone. Publishing rules are kind of like the “Pirate’s Code” in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, they’re more like “guidelines” than hard and fast rules. 😉 What steps do you use?
Maeve’s Bio:

No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them. That’s Maeve Greyson’s mantra. She and her hubby of nearly thirty-eight years were stationed all over the place with the U.S. Air Force before returning to their five-acre wood in rural Kentucky where she writes about her beloved Highlanders and the sassy women who tame them.

Find out more about Maeve at these places on the web:


Sarah Raplee said...

This is a lot like MY list, Maeve. Finding a cure for Suckitude in the future can be difficult, but not impossible. I agree with you that the story should be filed for review at later dates. I have a Valentine's story I am SURE will one day come to fruition, but for now it's on the shelf. Each year I pull it out in January for a look-see. I think it's just too far in the future of my series at this point.

I pinned this to my Pinterest Board "Help for Writers." Many of us love checklists!

Maeve Greyson said...

I was a little surprised at all the steps when I started writing them down! ��

Barb said...

This was so humourous. It was informative but the tongue in cheek was delightful.

Diana McCollum said...

Really enjoyed your post!

Diana McCollum said...

Writing and publishing and marketing a story/book is not an endeavor to take lightly!