Shop Talk: Publication Calendar for Hybrid Authors



welcome back I am Rekha writing science fiction and fantasy as RJ Theodore and you my audience are coming to me one of two ways you are either watching this video as my RJ Theodore YouTube monthly shoptalk or you are listening as a subscriber hopefully to hybrid author podcast the the podcast is audio only and of course you have audio and visual on YouTube consume how you like please interact though and share it with a friend and subscribe etc leave a review those would all be great wonderful things if you want to support this podcast or me you can do so at patreon.com forward slash RJ Theodore as a vote for me on YouTube and then you can support on patreon.com forward slash hybrid author podcast as a vote for the podcast content that's not that I want you to vote with your dollars or anything like that but I am I'm thinking about things so if you are willing to support the transcription the audio production stuff like that then um please do that would be wonderful ok so moving on from there those are the only commercials I ever have art for myself so the topic for this month May 29 is the orderly perhaps panicked definitely process of scheduling out a hybrid authors publication calendar so I myself am a hybrid author conveniently since that's the name of the podcast anyway I have a trilogy of books coming out through harvest press flotsam came out in March of 2018 salvage comes out this September of 2019 and cast off should be coming out in 2020 at some point I do not have a date yet and so those are my traditionally published books I am at the mercy of the publishers calendar of course that's part of the deal and as a result of that I don't know necessarily things are going to happen when they are scheduled to have copy edits etc and these things tend to pop up and so what I really need to get in the habit of doing I've realized is not be really crunched for time when I'm trying to meet my own publishing schedule I have several various streams of publishing I have my patreon at patreon.com forward slash RJ Theodore where I publish monthly episodes of phantom traveler and those episodes are paired sometimes I might be a little bit behind with an illustration and that content comes out monthly now I started off 2019 by writing a bunch of those episodes I wanted to do the drawings monthly just to keep up my illustration skills so when I fell behind I didn't have a backup because I didn't batch those but I did batch the writing now the end of this month is the last batched episode of Phantom traveler so I need to be moving ahead on writing the rest of those for this year that's June through November I do take December quote-unquote off from the patreon content but I will probably be using December to catch up on illustrations the way things are going so yes I have content going out through patreon from last year's patreon and I will hold this up for the viewers on YouTube I have a collected book of the 24 episodes that I did in 2018 and 2019 as I said I'm only doing the monthly I decided that 24 was a lot I'm writing the same amount of words but it's just am i writing the same amount of words no I don't think I am I use the illustration to take place of the other of the other episode each month so this book is now in some form of process to move toward publication I wanted to have it out this month I think that was my original plan it might have even been earlier originally originally I keep adjusting because salvage has been a bit of a process and I have made a lot of major revisions to the opening of salvage more than expected honestly and so that has caused me to fall behind on quite a few of my self-publishing goals and so what I decided to do was treat this like a publisher house publishing house and come up with a production schedule for when I want to release my books so then I can work backward from there so what I did is I started a timeline project in asana and I have tasks in there for each step of the publication process for each of the books that I'm planning to release going forward as far as I am aware of them so that it's not just oh I want to release this book in August it's oh I would like to release this book and therefore I need to have scheduled my copy editor by such and such a date so so what I want to do is get back to what I learned in my brief one year of interior design in college which I'm very grateful that that year was not wasted and that I learned a lot about process and it was the first time that I ever had an instructor who said this is do way out here but what I want to see from you is this step and then this step and then this step in the interim so picking out your fabric swatches picking out your paint chips things like that which I don't know when I might have started it you know well obviously hopefully I would have started it right away but you know as things start to fall behind how do you stay on task and the best way and the thing that I really learned in that class in that curriculum was to make sure that I had a plan for each week what was I going to be working on and I sort of do that I have a planner book and I write out at the beginning of each week what my tasks are that week what my goals are I have goals for each individual day like the top four things that I need to be working on I make the top thing a personal project I make the other three things things for work or you know other people trying to keep my focus on my own goals as primary and and so I do that every week but it doesn't let you look ahead months you know the super number of weeks ahead and so I am using a sauna a way to map out the production schedule for a book there was a service that seemed like it was going to be really handy and I cannot remember it might have been called huh no I don't know sorry and it was $10 a month which at the time seemed price to eat now if it did what I wanted it to it would been really handy but it didn't let me do things out of order like it wouldn't let me even consider that I had the cover done until I had you know earlier stages like the draft um it's like sometimes you know you have the cover done first and you're just sitting there and you can't check it off and it was just a little frustrating so that I couldn't look ahead and say okay well I can't be working on the giraffe right now because it's with a reader what else can I do and because I can't check off the draft I can't move on to the next thing so I have always kind of wanted to create like a web app that does what I wanted it to do but you know that's one more thing that I don't have time to do with someone out there please create a web app that lets me manage my production calendar and lets me be a little bit more flexible with it and you know look ahead rather than doing things in the prescribed order of actions I don't remember what that it was called like book calendar or something I don't remember but it didn't work out so don't go use it maybe it's better now but I have a feeling it probably evaporated rather than expanded so I'm using asana as my task manager I'm using asana because I use a sauna for work and other things as well so it seems like the less places I'm splitting my focus the better unfortunately what it means is that I have like a litany of tasks that I get emailed about every morning from asana and I tend to just delete the email without reading it and going yeah well when I log in I'll look at my task list depending on which area of my life I want to work on I have things that are just like house chores and feeding pets who don't get fed every day because we have lizards in their metabolism you know things like that and so it can be a little bit of a heavy load to look at but I think it's offset by the fact that I only have to look at one place so I have a publication timeline and when I add tasks and due dates they appear on a calendar and so at the beginning of every month I can see and look ahead say oh I really need to be working on that draft or I really need to schedule that copy editor or oh I haven't reached out to beta readers yet I better get on that so for each of the seven I think current projects that I'm working on I am creating this calendar and what it's showing me is I'm going to be half I'm going to have to be working on more than one thing at a time I can't just focus on this draft and then get to the other stuff after because it's just not going to happen that way so I'm going to have to say like okay my morning writing time will go to this that gets an hour and then my lunch time I might be able to work on this aspect which doesn't really need me to be in that creative flow state so much as just like focused or the evenings I'm on the couch I can be working on this and so that's that's something that I'm just working into my current process and the the thing that occurs to me if I'm being completely honest is that when I wrote flotsam I was not doing anything else except for my day job and I wrote flotsam and I wrote it in a month of hours in the morning and maybe a couple hours on the weekends and so I said hey cool I can write a novel in a month so later that year I did the same thing with salvage I wrote a novel in a month 25 days 88,000 words that was NaNoWriMo that was my first NaNoWriMo as municipal liaison for my region so I was attending all the right ends I thought that I would lose writing time to all the driving but frankly the writing time at the right ends was far more focused than that supposed extra time that I would have been writing at home which of course the truth is if I had been at home and not at the write in on a Saturday afternoon I was very unlikely that I'd be writing at all because Saturday afternoons tend to be like other times grocery shopping or other chores or going out for a bit and so by going to a write in it guaranteed that I wrote I would also write in the mornings and then really be on a roll so I got it in my head that I could write a novel in a month so you look at the year and well have 12 novels well obviously I do not even come close to that and then the challenge that came after that year is that now I am traditionally published for that series and and so I am beholden to a contract into a publisher and when they send me something I drop everything to work on whatever they've assigned me even though they don't expect it like the next day but I want to get it back as soon as possible and it disrupts my calendar so now I have a calendar and I'm treating myself as a publisher and I have my multiple projects and the multiple steps and this has been transferred into asana but I can't hold up a sonnet to show you that so so I sat down and I figured out when these release dates are I included the traditionally published things on there because you know they will they need to be on my horizon if not like you know I can't schedule them in specifically because I don't know what the schedule is until something comes back from the publisher so so I'm trying to treat myself like I am a publisher of multiple books I just also happen to be the author of all these books as well so so trying to balance how I work through this process what I'll have to be working on at the same time I have fringe that again I'm holding up for those of you watching the video I have beta reader comments and I'm going to read through that and my deadlines for rereading that is June 8th that gives me about a week and almost two weeks and so that's just for reading it and at the same time I want to be drafting the novella that I'm going to release in October and that is going to be drafted concurrently with the reread of Fringe I'm not going to use my hour in the morning to read fringe I will be reading fringe on the couch in evenings because we always say we're gonna put on a movie and then we don't and then I fall asleep so instead of sleeping I should just read and then I have an outline that I will be doing concurrently with the reread and the draft and I will just have to figure out at what point in the day I work on the outline maybe I do that on the couch because it's not something where it's like drafting or I have to really be in a stay time problem-solving so I could potentially you know work on it when I'm just sitting on the couch as opposed to I need to be out here by myself with no interruptions it takes a lot of thought it takes a lot of work but it's more piecemeal than just trying to like unhinge my logical brain from my creative brain and let the fingers do all the work so these are three things that I will have to be working on at the same time and there are probably even more steps that I just can't see because I'm not looking at my calendar for you but it's going to help me say like okay you have to find a balance if you're going to hit all these things and I'm not saying that you know seven projects in one year is something that I want to make a habit but I'm gonna try it and some of these dates it really only makes sense to release them at certain times for instance this novella that I want to release in October is a spooky story so I want to release it on a Halloween but it also comes immediately following the events of salvage which comes out in September and if cast off book three comes out the following September I don't know that for sure but it's a you know there's a good chance that if it comes out the following September then it will be if I waited for the next October to release the spooky novella then it would come out at the wrong time so really that novella needs in my opinion to come out this October so that's why is coming out this October fringe is a is the 2018 collection does it need to come out this year no but I would very much like to finish it up because like it's got cover art if you're watching the video you can see it has cover art I already have a beta readers feedback I just need to revise it copy edit and release it and that way anyone who's bought the bantam on line will be able to purchase a copy of Fringe and then I'm you know moving on from there I have more ideas and more stories in this universe and I don't want to keep putting them off so I might go back to this model for 2020 them and when I say this model I'm referring to writing basically the chap ders of the episodes of an of a season I may not continue the illustration thing that I started to do in 2019 because I'm falling behind on it already and I need to put those in my calendar I haven't put this in my calendar yet so you know this year and how this goes will help me shape future years but if I'm going to attempt it my point is that I need to attempt it and and I need to be organized about it and I am very typically an organized person but I really like okay when I get a plate of food I eat my way around the plate I don't get a little of this and a little of this and a little of this I will eat all the cauliflower and then all the steak and then all the green beans whatever is on the plate and and I have been training myself to take a little of each bite when I eat and I need to be training myself to work a little bit on each project if I'm going to you know meet these goals that I've set for this year and then I will learn from that and say are those the goals that I want to set for 2020 and beyond I don't know we'll see possibly not possibly not seven things I have already considered that I need to rethink about the way I want to do patreon as I mentioned I might go back to just writing you know enough to make a novella for the year or I may make that a different project and release them as short stories to my patrons and then release it as a collected anthology I have a you know paradigm shift anthology that I've been planning to release I thought I would do it this year but because that novella is coming out by itself now that was originally going to be part of the anthology I think I will wait and hold off until next year because those stories are going to be all over the place in the chronology of the book so that one's not as critical because it's going to confuse somebody anyway so yes I need as I said to try this out and I would suggest this if you have multiple books and multiple storylines and multiple threads and multiple projects and you know market releases that you were planning patreon versus Amazon in wide and all that so that is my suggestion and that's what I'm enacting and we will see how this goes I may not talk about this again next month unless it really proves to be effective or or not I think I'd rather play the long game and see at the end of the year how this worked out and then um and so next time it will be a different topic and then maybe in December I will I will use my shop talk to review the entire year or recorded as a separate thing but anyway um thank you to you who listened or watched on YouTube or through the hybrid author podcast this is the May 20 19 statement of intent for this hybrid author slash hybrid publisher and yes so I'm really curious to see how this goes I have a lot of projects I have bitten off a lot but I have a very strong jaw and I will chew through it and we'll see how I decide to move on from there so if you have similar goals or have experienced similar attempts please let me know how they went you can reply at hybrid author on the Twitter V Twitter you can tell me directly at biddy biddy zap on instagram or twitter you can if you are a patreon supporter you can leave a comment on patreon and if you are a shy type of person you can just send me a note through the website and I will read it that way but yeah I'm really curious to know if you've attempted something like this I'm talking seven projects at once which are publishable length books you know some shorter is I'm longer and also you know working your schedule around a publishers schedule so yes this is a grand experiment and if you have made similar attempts I want to hear about it and if you are just like you know at this point gawking and you want to help a friend gawk you can send them a link this episode and share it or subscribe and leave a rating and review on YouTube I'd appreciate it also iTunes again depending on how you are consuming this content all right thank you so much for listening and or watching I will talk to you in a month please remember that if you want more advice and tips and such you can listen to the we make ebooks podcast which recently launched on May 14th and I am talking in those episodes to Kalyn Considine who is the acquiring editor at parvis press and we answer lots of writing and publishing questions from the nitty gritty like how do I get my advance to broader topics like all sorts of stuff going to conventions for example the episode that will be up this week May 28th is an episode recorded at the SIF when nebulas so do check that out alright and of course if you just want to hear more of my voice but not anything useful you can go listen to nice articulation which is the podcast that my husband and I now run and that is us opening toys and just having a nice chat for about half an hour and there yes these are also going on my schedule alright I'll talk to you all next month take care everyone have a great month of writing and publishing

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