Today I finished the first draft of the final book in the Jeremy Shuttle Adventures trilogy, What Now? So, the question is, what now? Or perhaps, what next?
The first thing I plan on doing is nothing. Step away from the book and writing (blogs excluded) for a week or so and let the “dust” settle (or in my case, sand). This works out well for me, since it gives me the time I need to set up for Halloween.
Then, back to work. In order to give you a comparison, since many of you may not be writers, let me use a relatively familiar analogy: computer software.
Like an initial piece of software, my draft is rough. It could not even be called a beta version, so let’s call it an alpha version. Raw, with many typos (bugs) and story continuity fixes (broken code). It’s a workable story (it is 148 pages already, after all), but it has some major holes that need to be filled in.
Once that first pass is complete, we’re at second draft or the beta version. This is now tested (read) for any more bugs as well as additional features or fixes that need to be added (re-writing, editing and/or adding and pruning). Once this beta version is fully vetted, I send out the newest revision (third draft) to some select readers for their feedback (known as beta testing in the software world). Changes may be made based on that feedback and then a final draft is completed.
Upon completion of the final draft, I get in touch with the publisher, who asks for an electronic copy to properly format and also contacts the cover artist to get with me for cover approval. A pre-production copy of the book is sent to me for final review and once I sign off on that and the cover concept, both are put into finished form for release, with a last check available for any remaining errors (which are costly if they’ve slipped through this far).
After that, the book is released to the distributor and converted into the applicable e-formats for the major e-book sellers.
And then you can buy it and read it and marvel at how all the three books came together (you may need to reread them, the clues are there).
Some of you have been with me for the entire ride and some of you have joined up recently. I thank all of you for your interest and support. Your enthusiasm truly helped carry me through some tough times and I hope I have rewarded you with a great ending!