Step One: First draft - write as many words as I can every day so that it takes me about a month to get the first draft done.
Step Two: Set the first draft aside and work on something else for a week or two.
Step Three: Read the first draft all the way through on the Kindle, taking notes as I go in a big 5-subject notebook of anything I see that needs fixing. This can be as small as a comma or as big as noting that I need to rewrite an entire chapter.
Step Four: Second draft - Input notes all the way through.
Step Five: Read through the second draft, taking notes as I go and inputting them when I take breaks. If I did my job in step three, this should be small to medium things.
Step Six: Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until I know I can't make it any better on my own.
Step Seven: Send to my editor. Wait a month. Work on something else while I'm waiting.
Step Eight: Receive edit notes back from editor and input those. Takes a week or two depending on how bad it was and how driven I am.
Step Nine: Send the manuscript back to the editor. Wait 2-3 weeks. Finalize cover and blurb while I'm waiting and find something else to work on.
Step Ten: Receive final edit notes from the editor. Input those. Also takes a week or two depending.
Step Eleven: Read through the book on the Kindle again, checking for mistakes I made or missed.
Step Twelve: Format book for publication.
Step Thirteen: Publish
There are probably things I missed, but that's the gist. And it seems to be working for me.
I started this particular process back in November, I think, with Natural Causes. Step 1 was the month of November, then I jumped into Step 2 almost immediately. Went through Steps 2-6 from the end of November until February 1st, when it was due at the editor. Then I spent February doing Step 1 for Wish Hits the Fan. Step 8 for Natural Causes begins this week. After I send NC back to the editor again, I'll be hitting 2-6 for WHTF and hope to have it ready to send to the editor by May 1st, which will be after the launch of NC in April. :fingers crossed: While she has WHTF, I'll be working on finishing the first draft of Early Grave.
Good lord willin' and the creek don't rise.
Now, you may notice I don't have early readers anywhere in there. Yeah, I don't have any of those. I have a couple people I could send to if things got really bad and I needed an ear, but those people are also really busy themselves, so they're for emergencies only. Anyway, I'll talk more about that Friday, I think. (If I remember.)
Any questions? Thoughts? What's your process like?