Visit the Library Series page for the links to the Kindle and NOOK editions as well as a preview of the book’s first section
It is now complete! I can finally say that now concerning the first book, but now all my efforts must go to Book Two. I should probably celebrate or something, but what better way is there to celebrate than to work on the future of the series? The process from conception to release is fun at all stages, so I’d like to describe those stages now as they apply to The Library Complex.
Conception: Anything can happen in this stage. After all, you haven’t written anything yet. There’s just an idea and that idea leads to many more and there’s a lot of planning and excitement, but most of those plans go nowhere. I have at least three different concepts for the Library Complex (the building within the story, not the first book) that have been completely discarded. They were fun at the time, but they would have led to completely different series or perhaps standalone books.
Initial Writing: The fun concepts and idea begin to take shape as the book is written. For The Library Complex, you might be able to say that the creation of the First Section decided almost everything. Everything else in the book became inevitable after I wrote this section. While the very last part was added a few days later, that was the final piece that launched the book’s writing forward.
Finishing the Writing: This stage involves the completion of what many would call the first draft. The entire story can now be read from beginning to end and it makes sense. Not everything about the story has been decided, but it begins and ends and you can look upon that proudly.
Editing: This is where, for me, everything about the story is decided. I read over the book, make improvements, and add in any necessary story elements. Then once those are in, I read it again to end up with the version that’s ready for Quality Assurance. But before that, it’s important to note all the awesome stuff that happens in this stage. You get to appreciate each individual chapter and moment as well as the story itself. You get to enjoy it as a reader would because this is, essentially, the first time you’re reading it.
Quality Assurance: It can be a bit frightening to let other people read and respond to your book, but it’s necessary. I take into account what my goal is when reading feedback so that nothing that one person says will drastically change anything. Sometimes a reader has a problem with something that I won’t change. Sometimes the feedback can’t be applied to this book, but to future books. And sometimes many errors and strange sections get cleared up. It’s quite fun as you can shift your focus away from the actual writing of the book and you get to listen to reactions. For me, I always enter this stage after being confident with the results of the Editing phase. The important thing is that you use this feedback to improve your book, not to change it.
Formatting, Final Check, and Release: These stages all have their unique qualities, but they are difficult to describe if you haven’t experienced them. This is the point where you look at the book objectively because you have already experienced it multiple times. This is good as it leads to a quality release. You’re already confident about the book so you can be assured of that. Now all you have to do is make sure that it looks the way it should and that everything is as you intended.
There’s so much that can be said in addition to this, but I’d like to talk about something important to many readers.
Doubt: “No one will like this.” “I don’t want to read this.” “Will this end satisfyingly?” “Is there any point?” These are all questions I asked as I wrote Book One over a period of 1 year and then worked on it for many more months before its release. For The Academy, I worked using a 4 month schedule which gave me less time to doubt myself and more time to actually work on the book. While it’s impossible to avoid doubt, I think if you progress as I’ve outlined above then you’ll do just fine. Write the book you want, read it and improve it, and if you can enjoy it and are confident in it then begin the QA phase. Take feedback into consideration, but stand by what you have written and then you’re on to the release. It takes more willpower than that, but I’m very confident in myself now that Book One has been released.
As a final note, never stop improving (and for your first bo0k, see the project through to the end). If I had to give advice to any author, it would be that. It’s vague, but that’s only because it can apply to anything. No matter what you improve (many times it is subjective so don’t let others hold you back), that’s good! Small improvements will add up over time and you’ll be happy with where you are in the future if you stay true to yourself as an author.
(Actually, before I hit publish, I’d also like to add another piece of advice: always be skeptical of writing advice. Decide for yourself whether you want to take it or not.)