Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Letting my RWA membership lapse

I've decided to let my RWA (Romance Writers of America) membership lapse.

Many authors advise new writers to join RWA for the information, the industry connections and the support from other writers. I get better information from industry and author blogs/websites and I've made more connections and gotten more support from writers I've met through social media.

It's not to say that RWA doesn't provide benefits to its members. But I don't have time to engage with the organization or participate in a meaningful way. I skim the RWR (Romance Writer's Report, a monthly publication from RWA), I don't have time to read the online classes (free to members) and I don't have the resources to attend the yearly conference.

I'm juggling two young children, another job, my writing, and life. It doesn't leave much room for other things. My writing time goes directly into writing new books. If I get an extra ten minutes here or there, I do promotional work.

I hope to rejoin at some point in the future when I have more time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

How long does it take to write a book?

I've been asked how long it takes me to write a book. It's hard to answer in an hour amount. I've never tracked the total time. Below are my best guesses. I haven't included plotting time, but before I start typing a book, I have usually done a fair amount of thinking about it and have discussed it several times with my husband. I also don't know how much time I spend on research. I read a lot about the Middle East before writing Protecting His Princess, but Hiding His Witness didn't require as much research.

Draft: I can write a rough draft in a month (70,000 words). I write 6 days a week for 1-4 hours each day. That means it takes me between 24 and 96 hours for a first draft.

1st revisions: The number of pages I revise in a day varies depending on how much work the pages need. I'm thinking in the range of 10 pages an hour. My manuscripts are around 250 pages, so I can estimate another 25 hours to revise.

Additional revisions: My critique partner and my husband read my work at this point. Depending on their feedback, I can add another 25-30 hours for these revisions.

Final read through: I read the entire manuscript before sending it to my editor. 6 hours if it reads smoothly, but 24 hours if it's a mess.

Query letter and synopsis: I need to submit this to my editor so she get the idea of what the book is about. 6 - 10 hours.

Editorial content edits (feedback from my editor): This can take me as long as writing the draft, so somewhere between 24 and 96 hours.

Editorial line edits: I've never timed this, but I think it takes about 2 weeks of my writing time, so 12-48 hours.

Author alterations: After the copy editor at my publisher takes a pass at the book, I review the book again. This takes about a week of writing time, 6-24 hours.

Art Fact sheet: inputting some information about the book into my publisher's computer system so that a good cover can be created takes me 4-8 hours.

Dedication: 1-3 hours.

Summary: The short answer is that is takes me between 133-364 hours to write a book. I recently discovered that Microsoft Word has a feature that tracks the total editing time on a document. I don't know if the timer is running the entire time the document is open or only if it's the active application. For the proposal I turned in yesterday to my editor, for the first 100 pages of a new book, I spent 9776 minutes working on it, or about 163 hours. Those pages were revised several times and I am not always working on a document when it is open on my laptop.

Authors: how long does it take you to write a novel? How long do you spend each week writing versus promoting a book (book tours, social media)? Any other big time expenditures I've forgotten in regards to writing?