5 Books in 8 Months
5 Books in 8 Months
I have just finished writing 5 books in 8 months. Let me tell you how I did this.
In my career as an author, I explore themes to do with Australian history: Black/white relations, reconciliation, Eureka, the landscape, and gold. Not only have I written about these themes, but they have also been central to my art.
My plan was to write and publish a series. When I wrote for commercial publishers like Macmillan Education and Heinemann I created sets of books which were published as a series. I was used to creating series; they were in my psyche.
I brainstormed the possible content for a series with a friend who had been in the book industry for many years. We spent an afternoon nutting out ideas and then I had to decide if these ideas would be viable for a series of books.
The series Gold! Hidden Stories of Australia’s Past was the outcome.
The next thing I did was to come up with the titles and sub-titles for each of the 5 books.
- Gates of Gold: The Discovery of Gold, its Legacy and its Contribution to Australian Identity
- Shadows of Gold: Eureka and the Birth of Australian Democracy
- Gold and the Chinese: Racism, Riots and Protest on the Australian Goldfields
- Ghosts of Gold: The Life and Times of Jupiter Mosman
- Blood Gold: Native Police, Bushrangers, and Law and Order on the Goldfields
I then outlined the chapter headings and did a rough outline of the content for each book.
My goal was to have these books published by September 2022. Each book was to be 10,000-12,000 words and was to include some of my artwork and graphics which I would create myself.
Once the planning had been done I started to write. This first draft was very, very rough and the process involved doing the research as well (although a lot of research had already been done). I documented the sources and got a lot of raw content written.
When I got the content pretty much worked out I seriously got into the writing.
I did a number of drafts for each of the stand-alone books – usually four or five drafts during which I refined the writing.
My goal was to complete a book each month. Surprisingly, I stayed on track and produced a manuscript ready for publication each month.
I worked on the manuscripts every morning seven days a week. I only took an occasional break here and there. Each writing session was 3 hours and I did this each day before breakfast.
It is simply amazing how if you consistently do a quota of writing each day, how you can move forward exponentially. My daily word goal was approximately 1500 words.
That meant I was able to create a draft for a 10000-12000 word manuscript in approximately 7 to 10 days.
By maintaining a strict schedule I then had time each month for the rewriting and reworking of the manuscripts. By the time each manuscript was finalised and ready for publishing the manuscripts had undergone several drafts.
Not only did I refine the writing but I had to create the graphics and illustrate the books. The illustrations consisted either of my own paintings that I had made in the past or else I created new works of art specially designed for this series of books.
Yes. I did it. In a period of 8 months, I am happy to say that I created the manuscripts for a series of five books on the theme of Gold! Hidden Stories of Australia’s Past.
Author and Coach