Timeline for Writing a Booktimescale for writing a book
This is the process of writing a book: Start to finish timeline (part 1)
It is the first in a string of papers about how my man Andrew and I have written the Bike Touring Survival Guide. The book is focused on the entire time frame and the writing of the book. This article is intended to give other writers an impression of our writing processes and hopefully provide many useful hints for their own writing projects.
Founded on the wish to provide other cyclists with useful information in an organised and easy-to-understand way, our first brainchild for the Biking Survival Guide. In the last few month of our Weltradtour we thought about the book and started working on it at the end of 2009.
We' ve spend many evenings trying to put all our thoughts on board and then try to put them in a logic order. Then we sent a book summary and a table of contents to a small, old-fashioned publisher. What little an artist does with a book (in this case about 10% of the sales price).
Although we may have a publishers, we would all have to make charts available for the book; the part that we were most frightened by and hoped for help with (the publishers would help with layouts, editorial and marketing). We' ve chosen that we probably didn't like to publish traditionally because we thought it was important to have an eBook for it.
Also we thought we could sell our own book through our website and we were very interested in learning some of the other abilities, such as the book-layouting. We' ve produced a set of useful link and photo galleries and article guides for each section, both from ourselves and from other cyclists.
He also asked her employers if she could work 4 instead of 5 working 4 working hours a month, so that one free working hour per month was available for writing books. The writing begins seriously. Friederike worked through the table of contents individually. Besides working on the book every Friday (her writing day) she also spends many nights and weekend writing.
We asked other cyclists for approval when we discovered a lovely tale, a quotation or a photograph that we wanted to insert. The book was beginning to take form. First sketch we had! Simultaneously we made an advertisement about the book in our diary and asked everyone to give their tour-tipps.
We' d improved our first design and felt it approaching a definitive copy. After printing it out, we took it on a bicycle ride through Spain, which we edited every evening in our awning. First, we created the book in InDesign CS5 using a blurb pattern (so we could create a printer friendly copy easily).
We' re fortunate because we were able to buy a copy of InDesign at an educationally attractive price (an advantage of Friedel's job). The format of the book in a correct lay-out application was the keys to a neat, professionally designed format. Had we not done that, we would have used the free 30-day evaluation of InDesign, but then we would have had to be much more rigorous in our layouts to get it done within a whole week.
After we had a first copy of the book, we sent first sketches to help us edit it. Though we thought we had a definitive design in February, we actually did have about 10 more designs before we were completely satisfied with the book.
We also started to tell our readership in February that our book is almost finished. As a competition, we provided free hard copy books to anyone whose picture we could use. We' ve made a Facebook page and a Flickr group for the book, and Andrew started exploring the mechanism of the sale of a book, e.g. which eCommerce plug-in to use and how to incorporate Paypal.
The creation of a Kindle-edition of the book proved to be a great challange. We have begun to produce a Kindle-edition of the book with a definitive, definite, definitive (!) design of the book. It proved to be a rather laborious procedure (more on this in a later article), but we felt it was necessary to bring our book into the eReader work.
After discussing how we would rate the book, we finished the sale page for the book. Once we wanted to toss our book over the terrace of our flat and just drop it. By the end of the months we released the book and sighed with great emotion.
This book has now been released, but our work was not done. We' ve also begun work on an ePub-release of the book and the book is listing at Amazon. To get the book on Amazon was simple, but for the sale in the USA we also had to request a specific number.
We' ve concentrated on having the book checked by other blogs and (unfortunately) to correct a few little typing errors. There are always a few mistakes that go undetected, no matter how much you edit, and then about a months after you think you've completed a book.
We' ve also worked with volunteers to produce an ePub copy of the book. After we had eliminated the last typo, we sent the book to Bless. Before we could sell the book as a printed copy, we worked through a few editions of pictures that had to be clarified.