I had such a lovely ten days on the west coast! It was beyond wonderful to visit my brother and his family on their home turf for the first time in nearly two decades (!) and to meet my beautiful granddaughter and spend time with her and her parents. CC is one gorgeous, good-natured baby! Having had no little ones of my own, I feel particularly blessed to experience the joy of getting to know my stepdaughters’ children. Here’s CC getting her first
taste of “solid” food, which she was not crazy about.
I got absolutely no work done on this trip! Well, four pages of revisions on After the Storm, with many, many more pages to go. And actually, I did work on some blog fixes and other non-writing tasks. That’s where the need for an assistant comes in.
I’ve mentioned before how much book promotion has come to rest on the writers’ shoulders. It’s become quite a conundrum for many authors, in part because there are so many opportunities that it’s difficult to sort out where to put ones energy. It’s also a matter of “keeping up with the Jones’s”: if other authors are promoting their books, will mine lose out if I don’t get the word out?
Here is what I’ve opted to do in conjunction with the release of Before the Storm:
Revamp my website (I don’t even want to think about the hours and hours this took, but I love the result)
Hire a promotion company to help field media requests, set up radio interviews, etc.
Design these postcards to send to readers in the geographical areas where I’m doing signings. (I actually got a kick out of doing this, but what a time sink!)
Work with a designer on an e-newsletter to announce the release of Before the Storm (if you signed up here or on my previous website, you’ll be receiving the newsletter shortly).
Package and mail copies of Before the Storm to all the people who helped me with my research (this was a definite labor of love).
Write the discussion questions for Before the Storm.
Create ads for blogs that relate to the topics in my story (blogs on parenting teens, for example).
Write the extra material for the special Target release of The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. (I would do anything to make the Target release a success!)
Package information about Before the Storm for booksellers and librarians at Shelf-Awareness.com, for readers at DearReader.com and for bookclubs at BookMovement.com. (If people don’t know the book exists, they’ll never get to read it).
I’d also love to increase my web presence through sites such as Facebook, RedRoom, and Amazon Connect, but doubt I’ll have the time.
See why I need an assistant? I’m a writer, not a marketer, but it’s a circular process: without marketing, books don’t sell. Without sales, there won’t be another contract. Without another contract, it’s time to look for a different line of work.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining. Much of the above is fun and a different way to use my creativity. I wish, though, that it didn’t come at the cost of writing time. I need to find a balance, as we all do in our professions and our lives. Toward that end, I think I’ll work on my revisions this afternoon. . . right after I draft an ad for an assistant.