Posted by: nancyisanders | December 15, 2008

What’s Next?

Now that I’ve finished such a big book deadline, I’m ready to take a nice delightful break over the holidays. I always try to schedule deadlines before the holiday with enough time to enjoy family and friends. This week, since my big book deadline is finished and out of the way, I have two Christmas parties to attend with the local critique groups I belong to.

After the holidays are over, however, I’ve got lots of fun projects to jump into. You see, I’m a career writer. This means I write for my career. And since all my writing is accomplished on a freelance basis, I’ve learned to schedule deadlines out over the months ahead so that I’m constantly writing under a contract and constantly bringing in a steady income.

So even though I often felt like I was drowning in an ocean of research this past year as I was working on my gigantic book project, I managed to surface now and then. And when I did, I focused on lining up new contracts for the year ahead. So far, I have 3 new book deadlines due between now and the end of March, 2009, plus a magazine fiction story assignment.

In the meantime, there are several potential book prospects that I can have lined up as deadlines for the end of June, and then again by mid-December. I have a general idea for each of those prospects and am busy working to prepare materials such as queries and proposals to various editors in attempts to sign contracts before I get to work.

There isn’t really anything mysterious about having several contracts and book deadlines spread out throughout the year. Basically, it just means there’s a constant flow of studying publisher’s websites and sending queries out to new editors or ones I’ve worked with before. I simply state that I have an idea that I think would fit well into their project line and ask if they’d be interested in receiving a short proposal to consider it. If they respond and say they’re interested, I move forward on that particular idea. If I don’t hear back from them or they respond to say “No,” then I study more publishers and send out new queries with new ideas. Then, when a publisher says “Yes, we’re interested!” I ask for a deadline that suits my schedule for the year ahead.


  1. Nancy, you are a writing machine!!!

    I stand in awe of you and your persistence.


  2. You know, Gloria, sometimes I feel like the turtle in the fable about the Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady wins the race! -Nancy

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