As of yesterday, Lost Dogs, my work-in-progress young adult science-fiction novel, was at 94,000 words, or about 220 single-spaced pages, and I’m rapidly finishing the initial draft. Lost Dogs depicts life for a group of dogs—led by Buddy (a German Shepherd) and Sally (a Beagle-Basset mix)—on Kent Island, MD after aliens (or are they?) wipe out humanity in a single hot summer day.
I had hoped to be done with the draft on the first of July, but Real Life intrudes. I have four short chapters to go, and I’m determined to wrap it up by the end of this month.
After that, I’ll need a week to go through the entire document and make (hopefully) minor revisions. In particular, there is one scene at the end of the first act that I need to re-do, as I came up with something better after I had moved on. I also need to nail down some of the “canine vocabulary” and make it consistent across the text.
After that, I’ll send copies of the manuscript to the beta readers I have lined up, and give them a few weeks to go through it and make suggestions. While they’re doing that, I’ll be working on the cover with my artist friend James Arnold.
I’ll incorporate beta reader corrections, comments, and suggestions as appropriate, and then it’s time for uploading to Amazon CreateSpace and final proofing, a fairly arduous process that I went through for Dragontamer’s Daughters, and am not looking forward to doing again. Concurrent with that, I might do a pre-release promotion that I’ve never seen done before.
Such was my inexperience when I was writing and publishing DTD that I thought of it almost exclusively as a printed book, and the e-version was an afterthought on my part. Not so with Lost Dogs: from the outset, I’ve envisioned it as a Kindle book and the printed version is secondary. Nevertheless, I plan to have both available when I publish.
And when will that be? I had hoped that would be August, but realistically, I think it will be the beginning of September. My self-imposed hard deadline is that the book must be out by September 27, when I will be at the Baltimore Book Festival with my ESWA fellows.
Once it’s out, I intend to do some promotions in my community, which I’ll discuss when and if they materialize. I’ve learned a lot from marketing DTD, and at the very least, I should spend less time on fruitless pursuits.
I currently have four beta readers lined up, but I would certainly welcome more. If you’d like to be one, please e-mail me (kentonkilgoreATkentonkilgoreDOTcom).
Kenton Kilgore is the author of DRAGONTAMER’S DAUGHTERS, a two-part young adult fantasy novel based on Navajo culture and belief. Look for his next work, LOST DOGS, a young adult sci-fi novel, coming this summer.