The Waiting Game

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I’m about to wrap up three book projects. One is the novel Upstart Mystique by Don Braden, which I’m editing and publishing. One is the anthology Exchange Students edited by Sheila Hartney that I’m publishing. The third is my novel, The Pirates of Sufiro, which I’ve revised for its twenty-fifth anniversary release. Over the last couple of months, each of these projects has involved a lot of time at the computer. I’ve been reading, revising, sending emails and making sure that everything is ready for typesetting and final cover creation. I have completed preliminary typeset copies of Upstart Mystique and Exchange Students and I’m just waiting for the covers to proceed. The Pirates of Sufiro is out with early readers. And so now I wait…

Okay, my cover artist, Laura Givens, works fast enough, I don’t imagine I’ll be waiting long, but finishing the typesetting does depend on having a finished cover. That might surprise some readers, but the reason for this is to assure the book has a cohesive look. I like to make sure the fonts used in the headers and on the chapter titles is a close, if not exact, match for the fonts used on the cover. This is certainly not an absolute requirement for publication, but I think it gives the book a much more polished and professional look.

For me, the transition from being very busy to waiting for stuff I need to complete projects is always a bit of a challenge. I wonder what my early readers are going to think about that stuff I’ve been slaving over for the past year. Are they going to like it or tell me I was wasting my time? I always look forward to seeing the covers Laura comes up with for work. Waiting for those is more akin to waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. I know good stuff is coming, I just don’t know exactly what it is. Of course, it’s not productive to sit around fidgeting about either of these. I think the very best things a writer can do while waiting to hear back from people is write something or read something. In that spirit, I’ve been catching up with some fun reading and will share some of that over the next couple of posts. I also started working on a model of the Enterprise from Star Trek: Discovery that I received as a Christmas present. You can see the work in progress in the photo.

I spent a day during my first break of the new year making sure I had everything I needed to complete the model. I planned to start it once these projects were all complete as a sort of reward to myself, but I decided to get an early start. It turns out this model is a very simple build, but it has a LOT of decal work. I decided that I really needed to invest in a product I’ve seen recommended to me on several modeling forums and by some friends called “Micro Sol” which really helps the decals settle onto the surface of the model. Of course, this is the one thing I needed I couldn’t find locally, so I had to order it. So, I’m waiting on that project as well! So, I’m back to reading and thinking about what writing projects are next for me. I do a lot of my thinking by walking, so I am getting some exercise in while I wait. If people keep me waiting long enough, who knows? I may just get that next writing project started.

5 comments on “The Waiting Game

  1. You have the Midas touch! I would probably focus on marketing rather than jumping back into writing another book.

    • You raise a good point. I guess I think of marketing as an ongoing process that never really stops. Still going the extra mile and getting some marketing materials ready while playing the waiting game would be a good use of time.

      • Sounds good David. I believe the golden rule is 2/3 writing and 1/3 marketing, time wise that is. Marketing could also include reaching out to others for their support and having others interview you about your product. As you can imagine, just these 2 things alone can eat up a lot of your time.

  2. Personally, I find the easiest part of writing to be the writing itself. For me, most of the hard work begins with the rewriting/polishing. Then, for a publisher, there’s writing and rewriting/polishing a cover letter, then often sending it to publisher after publisher hoping someone will take it (although I have gotten lucky there). Then when someone does, there’s contract negotiations, etc. etc. etc.

    And if you self-publish, you still of course have the writing and rewriting/polishing, and then add editing or getting an editor. And you have to lay out the book yourself, and create or choose someone to design your own cover, and decide about getting an isbn number and probably paying for that, and deciding on a book category, and doing a write up–and then hoping someone will see it and actually buy it which means marketing….

    I honestly believe the primary difference between the professional writer and the amateur is not talent, it’s being willing and able to do all the rest. I think that’s true in other fields as well.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head, Alden. I’ve known some writers with lots of raw talent but didn’t have patience for rewriting or any business acumen. That definitely was a problem for them. A professional writer needs to be able to do all the other work that goes along with writing.

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