It’s been several weeks since I learned that my agent had managed to land me a book contract for my book based on my blog, How to Blog a Book. The contract has been negotiated; I’m still waiting to receive the papers to sign and to get that not-as-large-as-I-envisioned advance. Want to know what happens when the glow of the long awaited book contract wears off–especially when you have a deadline that’s just seven weeks from the time you discover you have the deal? Let me tell you…
You get your fingers to the key board and fast. That glow is replaced with a definite sense of urgency and a schedule that to which you must adhere each day. Basically, I made a decision about how many chapters had to be finished each day and by what day I’d have my first draft complete. If I had to stay up until 3 a.m. to make that happen, so be it. I’m happy to report that I did not had to do that.
I had to contact 15 people for contributions to one chapter in the book; without at least five of them responding affirmatively and then meeting my deadline, I couldn’t meet the publisher’s deadline. This, therefore, become priority #1. I also had to get two chapters out to review for technical purposes. Finishing these became priority #2, but I wanted to work through the book in order; these were chapters 5 and 7.
I’m lucky, though. More than half of the book had been written prior to me landing the deal because I’d actually blogged the book. In other words, I composed it and published it in cyberspace. That means I only needed to edit and revise and add to the portion of the book that had previously been completed, which made up a huge portion. I had two chapters to add and a conclusion. That said, I began with just over 26,000 words and I will finish at approximately 45,000, adding 19,000 words to the original manuscript.
As of today, my first draft is complete and I have four and a half weeks to go. I will do one more round of editing before I turn my manuscript in–early. Then I’ll wait for my editor to tell me what still needs to be fixed (if anything). I’ll be waiting for a foreword to be written as well.
That’s what happens when the glow wears off. You get busy. Really busy.