A few people have been asking when I’ll be releasing An Empire Forgotten, so I thought I’d lay out my current production schedule and plans.
Book #1, An Empire Forgotten
I began planning an initial scene and character writing in April 2010 and worked on it off and on throughout the remainder of the year. Of course, I started by writing the most exciting parts first, then moved on to other areas as the plot evolved and changed. The first few chapters were rewritten from scratch at least three times before I settled on what is currently in the story. Finally, I had enough material that it was time to start writing the story from chapter 1 until it was complete. That effort began March 2011 and five months later I was done with my initial draft. Learned a helluva lot in those few months, on finding my voice, on writing to a schedule of one chapter a week, on basically everything. Tremendously fun and exciting at the same time.
Since then it’s gone out to several alpha readers for their input and the results have been right about what I suspected. Story is exciting and readable, characters are interesting, the beginning needs some work, the ending chapters keeping people reading past their bedtimes, and lots of grammatical errors. All of these will be fixed in the coming months.
Starting in October it will go into revision stage while I’m also writing book #2. Around March 2012 I expect it to be in shape to go to a copy editor for final editing. I’m already talking to cover artists and getting prices as I would love to commission an original cover for the book. I expect that all of these activities will take until summer 2012 to complete. Then it’s time to create the ebook and post it for everyone to buy and enjoy.
Book #2, An Empire Embattled
Work on plotting book #2 began about midway through the writing of book #1. As plot lines developed that carried over I started adding them to my outline for book #2. A few weeks before I completed book #1, the basic high-level outline for book #2 was fairly complete, with all the major themes and plots in place. It’s loose enough that as new ideas emerge I can add them directly to the story.
In the last week of August 2011 I started writing what became the Prologue for book #2, and then as Labor Day weekend arrived I was so fired up with energy and ideas that I wrote almost 4 complete chapters that weekend. Three were completed and posted for comment at fantasy-writers.org, a site for getting feedback from other fantasy authors. The goal is to once again produce a chapter a week and to be done by March 2012. Somewhere along the way I will start plotting book #3.
Once complete, it’ll go through the same stages as book #1. An alpha read, a revision, a copy editing, then ebook and release, ideally within a month of releasing book #1. I may also hold up book #1 to be released with book #2. The thought being that people that read and like book #1 will immediately look for book #2, so having a simultaneous release or within a short time of each other will benefit both book sales. The good thing is, I have lots of time to make that decision.
Book #3, An Empire Regained
Begin plotting sometime during the writing of book #2, with completion next summer. Then follow the well trod path to cleaning it up and out the door. Target for release is February 2013 or earlier, but we’ll see how the next half year goes. If I can meet the goals set for books #1 and #2, then it looks very doable. If not, then we’ll adjust as necessary and continue to plug away at it.
By fall of 2012 I hope to be into some kind of standard process with my writing. The initial long-term goal is to be working on 3 books at different stages all the time, with a new one released every 6 months. One will be in the writing stage, one in the revision/editing stage, one in the plotting stage. Ideally, while I’m still working a full-time job I’d like to produce 2 complete books a year going forward after 2012.
The Forgotten Empires series on novels are planned for release (all dates are tentative at the time of this posting) as follows:
- An Empire Forgotten, est. Oct 2012
- An Empire Embattled, est. Nov 2012
- An Empire Regained, est. Feb 2013
The trouble with series is once a reader gets interested they want to read the next book, then the next, and so on. By releasing the first two within a month of each other, and the final one within 3 months I hope to build my audience with each release.
Anyway, that’s the plan as it exists right now. Lot’s of work ahead and a lot of things that can delay goals in my plan, but as they come up I’ll adapt and overcome them as necessary.
Do you think I missed anything?