How do published authors deal with deadlines?

I’ll be honest–I don’t totally understand where these deadlines come from. If you go the traditional publishing route and you submit a book and then they say, “You’re edits are due by X date” – that makes sense. But I don’t know where the rest of the deadlines come from. Is it common to contract a book before you even write it? In this genre, I mean.

But that’s neither here nor there. All I have right now are arbitrary deadlines I have made up in my head and I’m struggling with them.

As I mentioned in my first blog post, I have two main priorities right now:
1. Finish editing my full length m/m/m novel and get it out to betas so I can publish.
2. Finish writing my YA m/m novella

The m/m/m book is 49 chapters plus an epilogue. The YA novella is going to be between 30,000 and 35,000 words when done. So for the month of August, I committed to writing 3-4,000 words a week on the novella, and editing 10 chapters of the m/m/m. This goal meant that I would be done with both by the end of August. I could spend September sending the m/m/m to betas and editing the novella.

But I did nothing last week.

I made an aggressive goal for myself that’s going to be pretty much impossible to meet now. I can’t see myself doing double the work this week to catch up, so now I’m a week behind.

How do published authors meet deadlines?

I also had a goal of publishing my m/m/m on October 27. This means I need to get my cover request to the cover artist soon. Like by the end of this month. But I have a problem:

The title of the book is based on the use of song lyrics in the story. I have submitted a request to Alfred publishing for permission to use the lyrics, but it could be several more weeks before I hear back from them. If they come back with a price that’s too high, I’m going to have to change the title of my book. And all of my ideas on cover art were kind of specific to the title, so basically…I can’t submit my cover request until I have an answer from the publisher on whether or not I can use those lyrics. I have put myself in a jam.

How does ANYONE meet deadlines???

I guess I’m glad I don’t have any real deadlines. If everything gets pushed back a week, or a month, it’s not that big of a deal. I just change my timeline. I haven’t committed to anything. But I’ll be disappointed. I’m impatient to get my book out there! I’ve already wasted so much time, I don’t want to push everything back another week or more.

Patience sucks.

Deadlines suck.

Mondays suck.

So…have a great week, everyone!

3 thoughts on “Deadlines

Add yours

  1. I’ve heard some deal with deadlines…maybe it’s especially with a series. Not something I’ve had to deal with other than edit deadlines. I suppose I did have one that wasn’t officially contracted until I turned it in, but I had a deadline to meet if I wanted to keep a certain release date (I made it).

    My self-imposed NaNoWriMo deadlines usually motivate me. Not this most recent one, though. Real life kept getting in the way. 🙂


  2. I don’t want to whine and complain about the day job because I know there are lots of successful authors in this genre who manage to do it with a day job. And some of them even work full time AND raise kids. So I can’t really blame it on that, but…damn day job. 😉


  3. I actually thrive on deadlines and a self imposed one doesn’t work as well as one that someone else sets for me. I work really well under pressure, but I’m sensitive to stress so it’s a fine line to walk 🙂


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