Project Book (s)
Wednesday 13th April 2022
For some lockdown was liberating. It gave people the opportunity to apply themselves to something they were interested in. A couple of my friends turned to art, initially to occupy their time, sharing their endeavours on social media. They are now full-time artists working on commissions. Me, I wrote four books, with a break to prepare a house for sale.
Many of the skills picked up during my career proved useful. Storytelling (obviously), Go-To-Market strategy, research (ensuring historical accuracy), copywriting. All familiar. And then there are the new skills picked up. Learning about the publishing market, recording key facts/details on characters for use throughout the story, aligning storyline with real events. And more.
There was no intention originally to commercialise the "Book Project" and the original scope crept, making a more engaging read and more research. The internet, telephone and location visits helped in gathering information needed to maintain realism. Friends and family reviewed initial drafts and made suggestions, with one, an author themselves, sharing how to best present the books to potential publishers.
I took a structured approach to the actual writing. Starting daily at 8am daily, finishing at 4pm - with an hour for lunch. I would allocate a day a week for research and planning out. It became a job but one in which I could immerse myself, escapism from the Covid dominated news and it became all absorbing just as full-time work did. Time flew when "working" on the books and often lunch was forgotten.
The books themselves took around 18 months to actually write. That's for a trilogy and a one off. I wasn't in a hurry. I recall reading that publishers were receiving manuscripts from amateur authors who had also decided to write their way through lockdown. That meant competition, not the best time to go to markets. I took time to complete.
Copywriting is perhaps the most challenging part; it gets more difficult on each pass. I'd never found it laborious before, but then again proof reading and corrected a 10-page white paper, or 2 page flyer, is different from doing it for a 400 page work of fiction. The problem is that I knew each word too well, I knew what came next and its incredible how the brain fills in automatically what it believes should come next, even if it doesn't!
Two years on and I am still at the review and editing stage. However, I have spent time looking for jobs or projects for the company, redecorated and prepared for sale an C18th home, moved from the South East to the West Midlands and slept!
There is a completion schedule and a Go-To-Market plan - the latter based on feedback from reviewers. Target audience identified. There is just one thing causing angst. The Title!