Some authors, old and new, don’t realize just how much your life is not your own once you sign a book contract. Your publisher now has invested time and money into publishing and promoting your work. They expect, and you are obligated, to assist the publisher in the promotion of your works.
Okay, so how bad could that be, really? You write a blog or two a week, you participate in an online chat, you set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, and a website and maintain them all. You perhaps do blog tours, you get interviewed, you interview and review other authors, you comment on others’ blogs, you join Yahoo Groups and/or Goodreads groups. All with the intent of getting your name and your book titles out there to the paying public.
The problem, you ask? Time. All this promotion takes time. Time you could spend writing more wonderful books for your publisher to sell.
Thus begins the juggling act. How do you keep all these promotional balls in the air and still add one for every project you are currently writing, one for critting, one for your family, one for your job, and one for God knows what else may crop up (always expect the unexpected!). Octopus arms seem a good idea about now.
How on earth do you fit everything in?
The truth is, you don’t. You can’t. So this is where time management and the art of prioritizing, walk hand in hand up to the author and say “Tell ya what we’re gonna do…” You are going to make a plan.
1) Decide which ways you plan to promote your work. Your publisher may suggest things to you and, working with them, decide on several (not more than 4 to begin with) ways you will be able to promote your books.
2) Make a list of these promotional events and the days/times you will devote to them.
3) Set aside time EVERY DAY just to write. If you don’t produce new works you will be the literary equivalent of a “one hit wonder” in the music business.
4) Set aside time each week to critique your crit partners works (if you don’t do them, you won’t receive them).
This simple plan can help you carve out precious time to write, to spend with family, to read, or just to sleep. Your obligation is also to YOU