Okay, please note this is very much personal. Everyone has a different workflow for this, but this is how I do things mostly.

Start: Begin Writing.
Most novels take 2-3 months to finish for me, including first and second draft. So this timeline is based off that.

If this is an existing series, at this point I’d already be contacting the narrators (if I’m not already in contact with them) to verify their timelines.

1 Month In

– Develop Cover Concept & Contact Cover Designers

Depending on the book involved, I often decide on all this early on. This often includes the book name. If it’s an old series, I contact the old cover designer and get them working on it. If it’s a new series, I start contacting cover designers now, because many cover designers are booked multiple months ahead.

I have been known to make covers 6+ months ahead of writing the book just to handle other  designers issues.

I’m not slotting when the cover design is going to be done, since that varies on when they get done, but within the next 3 months or so, I’ll be bouncing concepts, designs and changes I want. 

I also, once the main ebook cover is done, have paperback, hardcover and audiobook covers completed (blurbs get added at the last minute).


If this is a new series with an audiobook, I often start poking around for narrators now. Since I’m committed to having all my books in audio, I want to get scheduled. In many cases, the good narrators are booked 6-12 months in advance. But I do PFH entirely. Those without the funds and/or are uncertain of the launch might wait till after launch to look into this (for publishers to make offers, etc.)

– Contact Editors (if not contacted already)

Good editors are much the same as good cover designers. They are often booked multiple months ahead, so booking a slot with them well ahead of time. 

I only do copy & line editing (at the same time, so it’s mostly copy) and no dev editing. This happens the moment the second draft is done, so I plan accordingly and try to schedule an editor around that time.

2 – 2 1/2 months into writing: 1st Draft Complete

Generally, my first draft is complete in the first 2 months to 2 1/2 months. Depending on how much time I have before my editing deadline, I take a week or two break if possible before diving into the 2nd draft.

2 1/2 – 3 months into writing: 2nd Draft Complete

Book is now ‘done’ on my end. I send it off to the editors for fixing. The editor I most commonly use takes about 3 weeks to finish their work (1 week reading, 2 weeks on-book editing).

3 3/4 months after start of writing: Copy Edits Return

At this point, the copy edits return and I spend the next few days going through copy edits, editor notes and everything else to finish editing the work.

After which, it goes to the proofers.

4 1/4 – 4 1/2 months after start of writing: Proofread copy returns

Back to editing, here I go. Proofreading edits are scanned, approved or disproved and then final edits are complete. This normally takes a day or two at most.

(Switching Calendar timeline now around to time before release. At this point, it’s roughly 4-4.5 months after I started writing.)

3 weeks or so before release. 

– Cover reveal on Facebook groups (if they allow more than one posting and cover reveals) / on my own website & fan page

– begin keyword research if it’s a new series and ebook

2 weeks before release

ebook pre-order goes up

– pre-order information goes up on website, social media (twitter, FB author page, instagram, etc.) & Facebook groups that allow pre-orders to go up.

– finish formatting for ebook, paperback and hardcover

– write blurb and provide to cover designer

set-up AMS auto ads to run

12- 10 days before release

update ebook categories with full 10 choices

– verify series is linked. If not, update series again and/or contact customer service for help 

– get paperback & hardcover with blurb on back

– upload paperback to KDP and Ingram Sparks and hardcover to Ingram Sparks

– add book to Author Central on Amazon

8 days before release

ensure paperback & hardcover are linked on Amazon product page

– Register copyright (this can be done ANYTIME before release and should be done before release).

7 days before release

– set-up Facebook ads to run (either day before launch or on launch day itself generally)

– increase on-going FB ad for book 1 of series (if existing series with existing run).

– set-up new release e-mail newsletter

– Talk to various FB admins that don’t allow more than one release, etc to book slot for new release

– verify Goodreads listing is correct

Day of Release

– Update Facebook banner

– Update website with release

– Update other social media sites with release

– Post on various Facebook Groups

Other Optional Launch Things

– set-up newsletter swaps with other authors

– send new release announcement to newsletters & blogs (not a huge gain)

– pay for new release announcements

– celebrate and/or commiserate with other authors

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