60 “Things To Do” Before Publishing

Welcome to the 60-Day Prep on the 85K Writing Challenge.

The 60-Day Prep is the third work cycle in the four-part, year-long 85K Writing Challenge.

We’ve completed the 90-Day Write (Jan-Mar) and the 60-Day Edit (May-Jun). Our focus for the next sixty days is the 60-Day Prep (Aug-Sept). What follows the 60-Day Prep? The fourth and final work cycle, the 60-Day Publish (Oct-Nov).

Of course, we’ve taken a few breaks throughout the year during our 30-Day Finish cycles. Strategically placed during the months of April, July, and December, the 30-Day Finish cycle is dedicated to completing the previous timed task cycle; preparing for the next timed task cycle; or simply, taking a break to recharge.

Increase your productivity by following an organized, consistent, systematic “work flow” throughout the year.

We start each year writing a rough draft of a novel in 90 days. We take a break in April to either finish the rough draft, get ahead on the editing, or simply, take a much-needed break. In May and June, we edit and revise for sixty days. We take a break in July to either finish the editing, get ahead on prep work, or simply, take a much needed break.

In August and September, for sixty days, we prep to publish. In October and November, for sixty days, we explore options in publishing. We finish the year with December’s 30-Day Finish. Time to tie-up loose ends, plan for the coming year, or simply, take a much-needed break to enjoy the holidays.

IMAGE: Year At A Glance

About the 60-Day Prep:

During the August and September 60-Day Prep, writers work for sixty days to prep for publishing. Prepping to publish encompasses a variety of tasks, from marketing and branding, establishing an online presence, and connecting with others at industry events.

Inspired by traffic cones and construction sites, content for the 60-Day Prep is color-coded orange.

A word about prepping to publish . . .

You’ll notice in our logo, we group our efforts into four main categories: write, edit, prep, and publish.

IMAGE: 85K Corporate Logo

Because we address writing during the 90-Day Write, editing during the 60-Day Edit, and publishing during the 60-Day Publish, if it’s not writing, editing, or publishing, a topic is “fair game” for the 60-Day Prep. Therefore, topics discussed during the 60-Day Prep (August and September) will be as varied as establishing a marketing plan, attending writers conferences, writing your professional bio, designing a media kit, online networking, and more.

A word about publishing . . .

Whether traditional, hybrid, indie, or micro, the path toward publishing is unique to every writer and every piece of writing. The 85K Writing Challenge encourages writers to pursue the method of publishing that is right for them, when the time is right for them, which may or may not be during the months the topic of publishing is discussed on our website.

It’s time to prep for publishing. Ready to get started?

Every day for the next sixty days, a new “prep” item will post below to our 60-Day Prep “Things To Do” List. Complete one item per day throughout August and September, and enjoy the feeling of being sixty steps “more prepared” and therefore sixty steps closer to pursuing your unique path toward publishing.

In addition to our list of things to do, visit our website during the 60-Day Prep cycle to enjoy blog posts, checklists, tips, and custom worksheets to download.

Visit our members-only forum to discuss topics with other writers.

IMAGE: to do list on lined white note pad

60-Day Prep “Things To Do” List

(With additional daily topic discussions held in our 60-Day Prep Forum.)

Part 1: Essentials

Day 1: Organize your desk. #85K90 Click To Tweet Check out the “Day 1” resources in the 60-Day Prep Forum: Step-by-step guide to getting organized including infographics for organizing your workspace. Day 2: Write a 100-word professional bio. #85K90 Click To Tweet “Day 2” resources in the 60-Day Prep Forum include “Best Of” professional bio examples, how to write an author bio when you don’t feel like an author, and examples with fill-in-the-blank templates. Day 3: Open dedicated email account for your business. #85K90 Click To Tweet Day 4: Register your author domain name. #85K90 Click To Tweet Discussion in the 60-Day Prep Forum: Should you register your author name or book title? How and what you need to know before registering. Day 5: Order business cards. #85K90 Click To Tweet Day 6: Schedule professional press photos. #85K90 Click To Tweet In the 60-Day Prep Forum: Checklist of poses to use. Day 7: Optimize your email signature. #85K90 Click To Tweet Graphics, email signature templates, what to include, how to write, what to avoid: 60-Day Prep ForumDay 8: Write a six-word author tagline. #85K90 Click To TweetDay 9: Complete the Author Goals Worksheet. #85K90 Click To Tweet Download the Author Goals Worksheet found in this post by Kristi Tuck Austin: Prep for Publishing: Know Your Author Goals.Day 10: Save a copy of your novel on a USB Flash Drive. Place a printed hard copy in a safe. #85K90 Click To Tweet

Part 2: Author Website

Day 11: Self-host your website. Select a provider. Set up an account. #85K90 Click To Tweet In the 60-Day Prep Forum: Advantages and disadvantages of self-hosting your author website. Day 12: Write, edit, update the About page of your author website. #85K90 Click To TweetDay 13: Establish a system for building an email list. Research providers. Open an account. #85K90 Click To TweetDay 14: Install email sign up onto your website. #85K90 Click To TweetDay 15: Install a security/firewall plugin on your author website. #85K90 Click To TweetDay 16: Add a share buttons plugin to your website. #85K90 Click To TweetDay 17: Prep website Book page for covers, blurbs, reviews, metadata, buy links, excerpts. #85K90 Click To Tweet

Part 3

Day 18 (August 18):
Day 19 (August 19):
Day 20 (August 20):

Part 4

Day 21 (August 21):
Day 22 (August 22):
Day 23 (August 23):
Day 24 (August 24):
Day 25 (August 25):
Day 26 (August 26):
Day 27 (August 27):
Day 28 (August 28):

Part 5

Day 29 (August 29):
Day 30 (August 30):

1-Day Finish: Use August 31 to complete any unfinished items from August.

Part 6

Day 31 (September 1):
Day 32 (September 2):
Day 33 (September 3):

Part 7

Day 34 (September 4):
Day 35 (September 5):
Day 36 (September 6):
Day 37 (September 7):
Day 38 (September 8):
Day 39 (September 9):

Part 8

Day 40 (September 10):
Day 41 (September 11):
Day 42 (September 12):
Day 43 (September 13):
Day 44 (September 14):
Day 45 (September 15):

Part 9

Day 46 (September 16):
Day 47 (September 17):
Day 48 (September 18):

Part 10

Day 49 (September 19):
Day 50 (September 20):
Day 51 (September 21):
Day 52 (September 22):
Day 53 (September 23):
Day 54 (September 24):
Day 55 (September 25):

Part 11

Day 56 (September 26):
Day 57 (September 27):
Day 58 (September 28):

Part 12

Day 59 (September 29):
Day 60 (September 30):

You did it! You completed a 60-item “things to do” list. You rock. What’s next? The 60-Day Publish cycle – scheduled for October and November.

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Julie Valerie

Julie Valerie

85K Writing Challenge: Embracing the writing life by advancing the practice of productive writing from first word to first reader.

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