Some basic stages in the writing process include:
1. Establishing your vision for the book. The client and I become acquainted, a stage I always enjoy. We can talk by phone or in person, but the key is for us to log enough time so I know the foundational goals of a client's book.
2. Creating a working outline. At the proper time, I will draft a proposal for the book's structure and contents. We will develop a working outline for the client's book. This will give us more tangible concepts to discuss, and our process will be well on its way!
3. Conducting interviews and doing in-depth research.
I thoroughly interview the client, and this usually requires hours of phone or in-person time. Eventually, I will begin to interview others, only with the client's consent. I'll conduct a professional search, inventory, and assessment of personal documents, scrapbooks, and other sources of information including valuable research from libraries, archives, and other sources. I enjoy this and often find nuggets to enhance the book.
4. Writing an initial draft. I consult with the client carefully and consistently to ensure the right tone and approach is achieved. Then I write a manuscript draft, a stage that can take anywhere from one to three months.
5. Structural editing of draft. I incorporate the client's comments and observations, and we tighten the book while enhancing accuracy and readability.
6. Copy edit and proofread. I engage a professional copy editor to read my client's product to ensure grammatical and structural soundness.
7. Final read. The client and some select constituents read and vet the manuscript, checking facts, adding or massaging anecdotes, and insuring the book's proper tone and overall feel.
8. Design. LifeStory Publishing works with a number of top, affordable designers who deliver great quality. Together, we ensure that the client's book has a professional, elegant look.
9. Printing and Publishing. LifeStory Publishing has fantastic printer contacts nationally and worldwide. I gather competitive prices from only the best printers. LifeStory Publishing will secure the client's ISBN number and Library of Congress registration and will assist with shipping issues.
10. Book Sales and Placement. I help a client place his or her book in stores and on Internet sites. Electronic versions of the book may be created and sold. A marketing plan is designed to fit the client's needs. Ultimately, the decision to sell or not to sell a book—and at what price—is the client's call.