AKA: Time Management Sucks
Ever feel like a High Fantasy blacksmith with so many weapons in the forge you are ruining them all? If so, you might be a writer trying to get a career up and running.
I’m a chapter and a half into Leigh Howard and the Warlocks of Hightower Academy. (Did you catch that? The title has already changed – small and subtle change but that’s how authors roll.) The main new development is, I’ve dedicated my Leigh-time to plotting. Last post I explained that if I am excited about what I’ve started, I stop writing and switch to outlining and plotting. So that’s where I currently am with Leigh. It‘s looking like another book that is going to be great fun to write, if I can get around to writing it!
What’s stopping me?
Part of the author game is spending TIME marketing. It doesn’t matter if you are traditionally published, an Indie author, or self-published, unless you are one of the heavy hitters in the writing world, you will spend loads of TIME marketing you work. The absolute best way to market your work is to put out more work. New projects don’t write themselves (AI writing is cheating – that’s my opinion and it’s not changing) and getting everything ready for release takes soooo much TIME.
To that end, I’m working with an artist to do a book cover for a strictly e-book, Sci-Fi release. The novella is done and I hope it will be out there soon. If you caught my interview on The Author’s Show (theauthorsshow.com), you know I am not the biggest fan of comp titles but, for those who like comps, I say it is like a futuristic Father Brown Mystery.
BTW: That interview as great fun and a good use of my TIME.
As many of you know I have spent considerable TIME on a Young Adult spy thriller. It is out to an editor at the moment and I am targeting release for July 2023. That project has required editing, beta-reading, and, well, you authors know the drill: TIME!
A few hours each week are spent querying and tracking queries sent on a new and different project. Even with the automated QueryManager format most agents seem to be using, it takes a lot of TIME to research an agent, determine if they are accepting new material, if your work is a fit for their list, and to suss out the details of how and what to submit.
Then, there is book signing events. Or should I say non-events. I have requests to visit book stores that have been out since November 2022. Despite repeated e-mails and phone calls, I have received no response. Anyone who has worked in any business knows playing phone-tag is time consuming, frustrating, and distracting. When I finally had enough, I took the TIME to physically stand on their doorsteps only to be told, “Yeah. Send us an e-mail.”
Others have been great at responding, fantastic to work with, and easy to get along with. For example, I will soon be selling at Kroger Grocery Stores. Did you know that they have their own process for setting that up? Yes, there are fees involved, but the process was really straight forward and simple. Still, fees, paperwork, applications, and so forth all take TIME. If all goes well, I will start showing my face in Kroger stores in April.
All in all, sure, I’d rather be writing. But, if I can’t do that, I don’t think I’d want to spend my TIME in any other way besides promoting Leigh Howard and the Ghosts of Simmons-Pierce Manor and getting the thrill of working new projects through the system. Besides, as an engineer I spent more time in meetings that at designing. As a therapist, a lot of time was spent placating insurance companies with paperwork instead of working with clients. I think that may be the difference between writing as a hobby and writing as a career. Career writers do so much more than write.
Hope you enjoyed this latest update on where I am in my writing life. Did anything resonate with you? Drop a note and let me know!