In November I blogged about planning ahead and admitted to having committed myself to finishing the first draft of my novel by 7 May. So I've been working fairly steadily since then – and here we are near the end of February and it's done!
So I guess that means I need to update my plans. I'm intending to have the final manuscript complete by late summer. That means a first edit where one or two holes in the story are filled – episodes that appear in this draft as notes in italics so as not to impede the flow of writing. And then the second edit which is the polishing, proof-reading and so forth.
Between now and then I also plan to work out a few good approaches to publicity because it's essential to have a clear strategy in place well before launch and preferably when approaching publishers or agents. Can't assume that publishers and agents will take care of all that. It's very much down to the author to be the lead in publicity, unless you're a big name already.
So what will some of my tags be? Cults/fringe religion for a starter because it's the story of a couple of young women breaking free of the abusive religion in which they were brought up. And that's an area where it's relative;y easy to target a potential readership, especially as my first book was a study of such a movement.
Then there's the regional angle. The story is set in Cheshire and although the central location is fictionalised, it is fairly easily identifiable for anyone who knows the area or can read a map. And a third tag, I suppose, is what you might call bloke romance. Cos, really, that's what it is.
And here, as a visual stimulus which I'm giving myself, is a mock up of a possible cover idea which will probably be the first of several over the next few months.