Folks, I’m spread thinner than government-issue peanut butter these days with all the FREE Houston Writing Events that I’ve been working on, and I haven’t had much time to actually be a writer. Which is a shame, because my next book, The Black Cats, is actually beckoning me. I hear it calling whenever I open my web development program or Powerpoint or Photoshop to complete a different project. As for my career as “author,” it’s really taking a new and wonderful direction.
Event #1: This coming week, I’ll be hosting (alongside my board members) the inaugural American Root Reading Series at Houston Community College West Loop Campus. It’s on Thursday, October 9th, 9 a.m. It’s FREE and open to the public. If you’re a fan of poetry, consider going. We’re featuring Amaud Jamaul Johnson as our headliner, and he’s fabulous!
Event #2: On the following Saturday, October 11th, 10 a.m., I’ll be presenting (along with my fellow authors) the second in a series of writing workshops at the Maud Marks Library in Katy, TX. We’ll be discussing the ins and outs of traditional publishing, including how to polish your manuscript and how to write a query letter. These have been great for beginning writers and for writers who’ve been at it a little while, but who want to learn a thing or two.
Event #3: We’ve got another workshop coming on November 8th (on indie publishing) and an author celebration on December 6th at the same library. While these dates haven’t arrived yet, I’m still planning and working and doing all the behind the scenes stuff.
Event #4: The Space City Scribes will be celebrating the launch of their new anthology, Space City 6: Houston Stories from the Weird to the Wonderful, at Katy Budget Books on November 8th, 2 p.m.
Events #5 to 105: book signings, festivals, etc., etc.
When you release your work to the public and begin to market it, writing a book seems easy by comparison. I’ve told my husband before that I could work 24/7/365 and STILL not get everything done. If I had a team of assistants (and money to pay them), I would have an empire by now – I have that many ideas. But alas, it’s all on my shoulders and I can’t work fast enough, not when I’m balancing a home life with all of this.
I’ve been trying to reserve my days for writing and my nights and weekends for marketing activities. But in reality, emails arrive, meetings are scheduled, things catch on fire and demand attention RIGHT THIS MINUTE. So for now, The Black Cats is only partially complete. For those of you who’ve been waiting for its release, my plan is to put it up for pre-sale on Amazon in November. Doesn’t give me a lot of time, but I thrive on deadlines. And competition. Friend and fellow author, Mandy Broughton, and I have a bet going to see who can finish their work on time.
All of this has been great for my career. But sometimes, I need to remind myself that I wouldn’t have a career if I didn’t have books to sell. And I only have books to sell because I wrote them. It’s easy to lose sight of this sometimes.
The maxim is 80% of your time on writing, 20% on marketing.
For indie authors, it’s more like 80% of your time on writing, 80% on marketing, 80% on behind the scenes stuff, 1% on your personal life. Okay, the math is pretty wonky. But some days, my crazy life is, too.
How about you, dear authors? How do you balance writing with marketing? Being an author with being a writer? Being an indie author with ANYTHING ELSE in your life? I’d love to hear from you.