Pre-production. To me, this is a film term adopted by multiple industries. I knew the details of pre-production in certain circles but not in filming. Because I like to pretend I'm smart, I looked up the details. Gods bless Google, I now know more than I meant to. All of the pre-production checklists--all of the decent lists at least--had "Lock Your Script" as the starting point.
Okay, okay, okay, that's near the end of the process for us. But they did have line-items that meshed fairly well with the author-verse. Things like: Know Your Budget, Write the Production Schedule, Hire Your Crew, Cast the Show, Find and Secure Your Locations, and Complete Storyboards.
Strangely enough, that's pretty much what I do before I stare at the very blank page of Chapter One.
Budgeting: How much can I spend on cover art, editing, formatting, ISBNs, copyright filing, and marketing? The length of the book is often determined by the funds I have to pay the editors.
Production Schedule: When do I want to release the book? How many days before that do I need to lock-in the final file(s) with assorted distributors? How much lead time do I give ARC Reviewers & Street Teams? How many days does my formatter need? Proofreader? Copy-editor? Dev Editor? Artist?
Hire Your Crew: All those people from the production schedule need to be booked well in advance. I prefer a minimum 90-day lead; though, some artists and editors need to be contacted 6 months out.
Cast The Show: By the time I think "hey, this might make a good book" I've had many, many, many conversations with the protagonist about their plight, their scooby-crew, their most exhilarating/debilitating moments. I always cast more people than I really need, but, hey, that's what edits are for.
Find & Secure Your Locations: The couch hasn't gone anywhere in twelve years. However, before I start writing, I declutter and clean the house. Physical clutter is a distraction and I am too easily distracted when I write. Cleaning is necessary because once I start writing, the level of tidiness is on a constant decline.
Complete The Storyboards: Since I'm a plotter, this would be the outline phase for me. Outlining often explodes into full-on story writing, so...yeeeeah, this is the very, very last step of pre-production for me.
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