And speaking of things that only get more and more complex, today I'd like to talk about the pipeline. What is the writer's pipeline? I'm glad you asked. The pipeline is your personal line-up of writing projects in various states. As writers, we may want things to be simple and to concentrate all of our creative, business, and marketing energies on one book at a time. Unfortunately, that's not how the world works.
If I learned anything from the year-long gap between my second and third books in my first trilogy, it's that readers lose interest over time. If you don't have at least a few short stories out for them to read between novels, they may move on to more prolific authors and forget all about you.
At first, before you've even published your first book, your pipeline is pretty empty. You have one completed book near the end of it, looking for a publisher or maybe getting a bit of polish. Maybe you also have some projects at the very beginning of the pipeline too that are still in the idea stage. The goal is to eventually have a pipeline more like (I'm proud to report) mine is right now.
At the moment I have 1 published short story, 1 self-published novellette, and 2 published books out at the end of the pipeline with one book that needs final edits and a short story about to be published just behind them. Next, I have a completed novel that I've been trying to find a publisher for that has finally gotten a bit of interest. I'm working on the lengthy submission process for that one. Then, I have a previously published trilogy getting edited so I can either self-publish it or find a new publisher. After that, I have a mostly written book that needs editing. Then, I have a 75% written book that needs finishing. Finally, I have half a dozen book ideas and around two dozen short story ideas floating around in my brain waiting to be written.
This is a full pipeline: books or short stories already published, books or short stories that are going to be published soon, completed books or short stories looking for a publisher, completed books or short stories needing editing, current writing projects, and future writing projects.
Once you have the pipeline up and running, you owe it to yourself and your readers to keep it going. This is one of the most important things that separates novice writers from professional writers (a.k.a writers who have occasional sales from writers who get paid consistently for their efforts).
Happy 2020 Everyone!
Next Post: Revisiting marketing your work.
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