Thursday, August 4, 2011
Timeline: From Idea to Publication
Timeline: From Idea to Publication
How long does it take to get from idea to publication when we’re talking Indie? You might as
well ask how long is a piece of string.
I won’t swear on a stack of bibles because honestly, I didn’t time myself. But I have a fair idea of
how many months, weeks, days, hours it took me to get from idea to publication for a novella.
I’ll have to take a gimme on this one. The Devil To Pay was already a done deal. I had even
written a draft, and then rewrote it so I could submit it to an anthology. First draft: 3 weeks
Note: At the time I wrote this, I had no intention of self-publishing.
Once I decided it was going to be self-published I had to give it a hard look and determine if it
was any good. Usually, the editor or agent tells you this. But since I didn’t turn it in anywhere,
the ultimate decision was mine. Was it crap or could it do a little devil dance for me?
I polished it again after my critique partners returned it to me. Then I sent it to an editor. All in
all it took about 10 days before I got back all my feedback.
After that it was time to polish. Again. Add another ten days.
Total: 20 days to write and rewrite a novella that had grown from 23K to 29.5K.
While I was waiting for feedback, I started searching for cover art. I was an artist in my last life
and I pulled out all the stops. This was no longer about my story, but my cover as well. I didn’t
want my fellow artists to point and laugh at me.
The cover art
Since I started searching for art simultaneously while waiting for feedback, I’ll deduct the
overlap. For those of you keeping score at home though, I spent approximately twelve days to
find and finesse the final art you see.
Six days to pull all the art cuts I liked. Two days to try out various layouts and models. One day to find fonts.
Three days to ‘fix’ the model I eventually chose. The poor girl needed hair, cropping, scars
removed, hair accessories removed, skin smoothed, the background removed, and shadows
created. She had a real makeover. :sigh: If only I could do that for myself.
Note: Except for searching for art, most of those days were 2-4 hours per day. Only the initial
art search took 6-8 hours per day. I looked through three databases, finally choosing one and
began the arduous task of seeing what they had to offer.
Total time not counting the days I used while waiting for feedback: Two days
Total time overlapped with editing: 12 days
Let me state right now. I hate formatting. It’s tedious, mind numbing work. It felt like it took
months. In truth, it only took a couple of hours from start to finish.
Total Time for each format, Smashwords and Kindle: Four hours
Total (perceived) Time it sucked the life out of Maria: at least three years.
Add everything up all together and from idea to published novella it comes to 43 Days and 4
I am hoping now that I have a better grasp of what kind of stock art is available, the cover will
go faster next time. But there’s nothing I can do about the life-sucking hours of formatting. If
you’re going to do it yourself, you’re going to have to donate your brain cells to the underverse.
So what do you think? Did my timeline give you any surprises? How long do you think it would
I hope you’ll follow along with the rest of the Indie Roadshow as I share the things I learned on
my road to self-publishing.
The Devil To Pay is available at Amazon and Smashwords for only $2.99. It is the first book of
the series, Second Chances.
Synopsis: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and bad tequila. Shannon McKee finds
herself at the end of her rope, and she bargains her soul in a fit of despair.
Shannon’s plea is answered immediately by two men who couldn’t be more different from one
another. Yet they share a bond and an affection for the stubborn Miss McKee that even they
When Heaven and Hell demand their payment, Shannon has no choice but to submit. No
matter who gets her soul, she’s not getting out of this alive.
Bio: Maria Zannini used to save the world from bad advertising, but now she spends her
time wrangling chickens, and fighting for a piece of the bed against dogs of epic proportions.
Occasionally, she writes novels.
Follow me on Facebook or my blog.
Thank you for visiting Maria. Good luck with your release.