Authors often think of--and refer to--their books as babies.
The "in the oven" image is appropriate for publication as well as procreation.
But unlike a human womb or a home oven that finishes everything at around the same time, the publishing process is more like the oven in a pizzeria. It may contain a dozen pies that will be ready to pop out within anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
While it's great to concentrate on and finish a book, there are also advantages to having several books in the oven at the same time.
- If you get bored or encounter a writer's block on one book, you can switch to another and be productive--especially if the other book is in a different genre.
- Sometimes when you don't feel like writing, you can be productive by editing, fact-checking, finding artwork, doing interviews, planning publicity, or proofreading.
- One book may suggest another book.
- One book may influence another book.
- Something you write for one book may be used in another book.
- You can write multiple versions of the same book for different markets.
- A book that's far from completion can become an inexpensive or free preview edition.
- There is always downtime during book production, such as when you are waiting for blurbs or a cover design or a proof. Use that time to work on another book--a new one or an update of an existing book.
- The things you learn about the writing and publishing process on one book can improve your other books.
- It gets you in the mood to think as the operator of a publishing business--not just a writer.
- One book that will be published about 9/1/10
- One book that will be published about 11/1/10
- One book update that will be published about 11/1/10
- One book that will be published about 1/1/11
- One book update that will be published about 3/1/11
- One book that will be published about 5/1/11
- Six books that exist as tentative titles and concepts with no tentative dates.