On Step 4 of a Stairway to Heaven… Or Space…

What step am I on in the book writing/editing/publishing process?  Well, very close to the beginning as it turns out.

For those that are interested, my plan is listed below. (Red checkmarks indicate those items that are complete).  For those that are not, skip to the end of this page or look at the pretty picture above.

  1. Finish book
  2. Friends, who read fantasy, read book
  3. Revise book per comments of friends who read fantasy
  4. Find people who don’t know me – who hopefully read YA fantasy – to read book (aka Beta Reader and others)
  5. Revise book per comments of Beta Reader and others
  6. Read book aloud to hapless husband without either filing for divorce
  7. Revise book as per comments of hapless husband (maybe) and any errors that become obvious during reading aloud exercise
  8. Hire proofreader
  9. Create painful query letter and/or synopsis of book (For clarification: the query letters are not to be painful, just creation of query letters happen to be painful)
  10. Identify agents accepting YA fantasy novels
  11. Email painful query letter and/or synopsis to prospective agents as per their specific submission requirements
  12. Wait for rejections, and hopefully at least one request for further pages
  13. Wait some more
  14. Receive responses from agents

Please note the minimal amount of red checkmarks above.  This is a long and arduous process – maybe even more so for my husband during the ‘reading aloud’ part.

I currently have one foot on step 4 and the other on step 5.  My beta reader is reading Chapters 16 to 18 of a total of 39.  I also have others that are critiquing individual chapters for readability, sentence structure, show versus tell, and scene transitions among other issues.  (For more on ‘Show, Not Tell’ click here.)

As of now, I have Chapter 1 and 2 ready for the next step:  step 6 – reading aloud to hapless husband.  Yes, this is a long and arduous process.  Have I mentioned that?

Keeping with the staircase analogy, this is where my plan encounters a landing with two staircases going off in two different directions.  Right now, one set of stairs is blocked off to me and can only be opened by an agent.

  • If I do obtain an agent, I pretty much follow their plan, but will educate myself so that I do not go down a rabbit hole without a carrot (I don’t know what that means either).
  • If I do not obtain an agent, I will go the indie (self-publishing) route.  I have done plenty of research on indie publishing and have contacts who have taken this route.  I find ‘goin’ indie’ perfectly acceptable.  It might even suit my control freak personality better.

Either way, I will blog about it.





44 thoughts on “On Step 4 of a Stairway to Heaven… Or Space…

  1. Don Massenzio says:

    Don’t be afraid to go Indie. If you gain a following as an indie author, agents may be easier to come by and more accepting. You can then go the traditional route. The most important things are to keep writing and then keep writing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. JoAnna says:

    Book writing sure takes a lot longer than I ever thought. Your order is wise – with all the friend readers and beta readers before the queries. I sent out about 20 queries, which were not painful but time consuming, then all that waiting! I got a couple of nibbles, but then I decided to hire a professional editor, so now I’m revising. I like the control aspect of indie publishing and will likely go that route. Best wishes on your journey to publishing! Making a list helps you see the end result.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sherrie Miranda says:

    Steps 9-14 can easily be skipped. Self-publish! Your book will be out 1 1/2 years OR MORE sooner & you can make the edits YOU want!
    Just don’t do it too soon.
    Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
    Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Steven Capps says:

    I love this post! I love seeing the process that other writers use and I enjoy how you are also keeping track of where you at. I am definitely going to create a list like this! Great job, and if you ever are interested in doing a critique swap just let me know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tadeu Aratel says:

    Uhu, I’m part of step 4 /o/. I’m kind of delaying your schedule, ain’t I? Sorry about that :p

    This is a nice list. I have something similar, though mine continues a bit further. It goes all the way to learning Japanese and conquering the world (Well, not really, but my version of it).

    Anyway, I don’t think that step 8 is necessary. Through all those reads you’ll get the ugliest typos, and agents can survive minor errors. After that, the publisher will have an in-house proofreader.
    Of course, while it isn’t necessary, it also won’t hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

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