Explaining Busy

Four weeks after the first day of the second new year

Author keeps telling you she and Sister are busy. It occurred to her that maybe she should tell you what they’re doing these days. After all, it’s been a while since Author updated you on their work. And a month after the new year began, it’s also a good time to dive back into work in this blog.

So, let’s see. Author’s next book for you is looking more like, well, a book nowadays, with the formatting Author has already done on it (to all of you who are new here: this means that the title pages and a couple of content-related pages have been added, and that for the paperback the main text has been typeset and for the ebook the flow text has been prepared to where it can be uploaded when the time for publication comes). It will be ready soon enough, but Author is not ready to let go of it yet, to release it for publication. As you know from this blog, letting go of a new work isn’t easy for Author, and she wanted to keep this one just a little longer, until she feels it’s ready for its readers. The past months have been busy on many levels—you know some of it, Author and Sister have been sharing it with you, the writing and some of the non-writing related stuff, too—and that exactly is what ultimately bothers Author: every book she publishes needs to be given its due attention, and this one deserves a bit more. It has everything she has to give it in it, but what it hasn’t had yet is its own time, time when it receives its own focus, when all attention is on it. As such, Author still hasn’t gotten to the ‘okay, it’s ready’ place for this book, and so she is not ready to close the manuscript files and initiate the publication process, not ready to bring the story she has written as a finished book to you, her readers. She will, soon.

Even now, as she is writing this post, Author’s mind is on what she will do afterward, which is go back to the print layout of the paperback version of the book in Indesign. She has some things she needs to look at, those very last details that a book should not come out without them being checked. Author has checklists for that, you know, that detail every last small thing that need to be checked in each of the publication formats before they are finished, both content-related, such as the possible misspelling of certain words, and formatting-related, such as indents and title spacing. What Author has previously called the endlessly important tasks that characterize the final preparations of a book, that make up the transition from laptop screen and haphazardly scattered papers a tangible print book that will stand on a bookshelf or an ebook that will be viewed on the reader’s screen of choice. And what Author will be looking at now is specifically the checklist for the content-related details, which is relevant to both the ebook and the print format.

As for Sister, she is busy doing her stuff. Right now she is giving as much attention as she can to Author & Sister’s previous book, Oracle’s Hunt. In fact, she has just finished an Amazon promo for it. It was important to her to do this now, since with the next book in the series coming out soon this was her last chance to run the publicity and marketing for the first one in the series by itself. Publicizing and marketing a second book in a series is different than doing so for the first one, just like writing the second book wasn’t the same as writing the first one. A book that is linked to another is not the same as a standalone book, and just like Author had to take that into consideration when she wrote it, Sister will need to do the same when marketing it, and in fact when publicizing the entire series, building its brand. A different thinking, different strategy is required here, and Sister is planning it, too. Anyway, you should see Sister’s workspace, it looks like a war room these days. With a laptop and a tablet and a phone and sticky notes stuck all over (yes, the ones Author has recently mentioned in her Author Terminology on twitter) and notebooks and social media and . . . well, you get it. Sister is swamped.

Right then. Do you mind if we continue this in next week’s post? Author is a bit distracted. Okay, a lot distracted. Her next book for you is calling for her attention, and while it’s important for her to talk to you, in fact she enjoys it, she is eager to get the book out there. And that’s part of explaining busy, after all, showing you what’s pulling at her in her (restless, and right now with a bit of a headache and seriously requiring some coffee) mind.

Author and Sister’s tip for you on this (explaining) busy week:  As you approach the end of your work on your book, it’s so much more difficult to continue working on yet another detail, so much more difficult to keep working on anything when all you want is to let go, release your book to your readers, see it out there, all done, finally published. Especially if around you people are asking where your book is, how come it hasn’t been published yet. The pressure comes from inside—your need to see your book published, alongside, perhaps, your criticism of yourself that it’s taking so long, and from outside—from those who are wondering where that book is that you said you’re writing. Well, Sister says that while we do all we can, and while we do our thing the way only we can, things happen when it’s time for them to. And Sister has an author, so she probably knows what she’s talking about when it comes to writers and their books. So breathe, do your thing. Publication day will come.

Author and Sister blog

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