Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Post: Writing a Series, by Summer Lane, Author of State of Hope

24 June 2017

Special Guest Post: Writing a Series, by Summer Lane, Author of State of Hope

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK
The highly anticipated final instalment of the Collapse Series 

Cassidy Hart and her comrades have returned to their home: California, the final battlefield in the fight against the global terror, Omega. Commander Chris Young is in critical condition, the United States Navy has acquired new weapons, and the militias have just made a discovery that could change everything. 

It has taken me five years to create and conclude the Collapse Series. For five years and 17 books, I have been consumed with post-apocalyptic landscapes and stories. For five years, I have researched and worked and written and created and edited. And for five years, I have been enormously blessed in the encouraging response from the reading community. I have so many new readers every day, and for some reason or another, people seem to enjoy the storylines of the Collapse universe.

Writing a series is a lot different than writing a standalone novel. With a series, there is a lot of pressure to produce each instalment in a timely manner, because throngs of dedicated readers are anxiously awaiting to see what happens in the next book. The Collapse Series itself consists of ten books. I have released two books a year, traditionally, in this series, which gives me just six months to write, edit and publish each installment. It’s quite a schedule, and it doesn’t count the other novels I have published during this time. I typically release between 4-6 publications annually, which means I’m writing and working all the time. I’m convinced that the only thing that keeps my brain from turning into scrambled eggs is the fact that I don’t work on Saturdays or Sundays.

People constantly ask me what a typical day is like for me. I always answer, “Just like any other work day. Nothing terribly special, just a lot of writing.” My work day begins between 7-7:30 a.m. every morning, Mondays through Fridays. I drink anywhere from 4-6 cups of coffee to keep me awake. When I’m between releases, I spend the first half of my day working on a manuscript. I like to write at least 2,000 words per day in any manuscript I’m working on. If, for example, I am working on three manuscripts at once, I must produce a total of 6,000 words per day. At the moment I am working on four different projects, so my word count is more than it usually is.

After I am done writing, I typically move on to correspondence and event coordination. I work on marketing, I work on editing the upcoming release. I have editors, artists and illustrators. I am always collaborating with someone. If I play my cards right, and everything goes according to plan, I have already completed a full workday before 4 p.m.

The cool thing about what I do is that I never waste time. I’m never twiddling my thumbs, waiting to find something to do. There is always something to do. To put this in perspective, I have always surmised that I can get 10 hours-worth of work done in 4-5 hours, because I am working quickly and efficiently. Even if my workday turns out shorter than an average 9-5, it doesn’t matter. I’m not being paid by the hour – I’m being paid by the book, and it comes out the same. It’s up to me to make everything move, sell and produce. It’s up to me to make my books and my business breathe every day. It’s a lot of responsibility! Ask anyone who has ever owned their own business, and they will wholeheartedly agree.

Writing a series, however, was not something I expected to get caught up in so early in life. I didn’t think I would have a following until I was in my thirties, maybe. I was wrong! The madness of catching deadlines every day, every week, and every month has taught me the value of being professional and dependable. Writing a series has made me work faster. It’s helped me to learn how to structure and organize my novels better. It’s helped me to refine my business to a point where it is so cost-effective and efficient that it runs like a well-oiled machine.

Want to learn how to sell a book and run a publishing company? Write a series and promise your readers a release every six months. Ready? Go! I promise you: you will learn more in one year than you would by obtaining a master’s degree in marketing at any ivy-league college. In the world of writing, experience is the ultimate education. It’s something you simply have to tough out, because publishing is constantly evolving and changing. You can’t track it, you have to roll with it, breathe with it, grow with it.

Collapse has been good to be. It has given me so much experience and it’s been a blast creating the stories. I’ve met so many wonderful people because of it, and as I enter this new phase of authorship – traveling, holding book signings and meet and greets –I go into it with the feeling of accomplishment and happiness. I’m proud of what I’ve done with Collapse, but mostly: I am thankful for where it has brought me. I have the best readers in the world, and as a writer, I could never ask for more than that.

Summer Lane
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About the Author

Summer Lane is the #1 Bestselling Author of the COLLAPSE SERIES and the bestselling ZERO TRILOGY, a novella adventure series. Summer owns Writing Belle Publishing, a digital publishing company devoted to releasing exciting and engaging adventure and survival stories. Summer is also the creator of the online magazine Writing Belle, in addition to being an accomplished creative writing teacher and extensively experienced journalist. She is an entrepreneur at heart, and proud of it! Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd companion dog, Kona. Summer loves to travel, read and cook. Find out more at and find Summer on Facebook and Twitter @SummerEllenLane

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