Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Writing Life

Writing looks so romantic. A lot of people think it’s a cushy job and that we sit in front of a computer all day and just dream up stuff.

Yeah. I wish.

A member of my street team was visiting with me and we were talking about my books and the things I have to do every day. She watched me do promo – I was working on it when she walked in the door and I had to finish. Yes, I had a guest. And yes, I have to work.

Just as she was leaving, she made a suggestion: Tell people what you do. What your life is like. What it takes to be an author, especially an indie author. So here goes.

Three days a week I do promo. That consists of posting through Hootsuite to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Then I have to go and post that post from my Facebook timeline to groups specifically for promo. That takes me about an hour.

I also do this blog post every Saturday and it goes to my street team page. From there, they take it and do their magic.

Speaking of which, I have a street team. They’re awesome. Really, really awesome. So shout out to Deanndra’s Construction Crew! I try to spend some time with them when I can.

I spent a good part of this last week designing swag. Then ordering swag. Then looking at the prices and having a stroke. Then getting a beer and trying to forget.

I do a blog post every Wednesday to feature a book that I’ve really liked. It’s not a review – it’s a chance for me to expose people who read my blog to books they might not otherwise know about. I don’t have to, but I usually talk to the author and tell them what I’m going to do so they can tell others to read it. I also ask them for a high-resolution cover shot I can put on the post so it’s really attractive.

I read a lot. I usually read in my genre, but sometimes I read other genres just to see how they’re constructed. That’s a real learning experience, especially if it’s paranormal or supernatural. That also gives me fodder for the Wednesday posts. Because of that, it’s important. I also believe that to write, you have to read, so I do, as often as possible.

I talk to my promo people. I have the best promo people in the world. We plot and strategize. It’s fun, but it’s time-consuming.

I have to design and buy a banner to use at signings. I design the banner. I redesign the banner. I order the banner, then have sticker shock, and then have another beer just because I can.

I write. I try to write. If I have time.

There is a lot of time spent looking for author events and sending out interest forms. Then I pray that I get in. Most of the time, I don’t get in. Maybe indie events, yeah, but others are populated by writers whose publishers bought blocks of tables, or they were there the previous year. You’d think they’d want new blood, but no. So there you have it.

I attend all kinds of things that will give me exposure or help me in the craft. I know some of you think your writing is so damn good that you don’t need that but, trust me, EVERYONE could use help in that arena. The ones of you who think your writing is so good that you don’t need a workshop or retreat are the exact ones who do. As I’m writing this, I’m rolling down the road with another writer, headed to my RWA chapter’s monthly meeting two and a half hours from my home. It’s the closest. That’s sad but true.

I do takeovers. For those of you who don’t know what that is, if someone is having a cover reveal, or a release, or any other type of event, they take a day or days or hours or whatever they want, divide it up, and give slots to authors or bloggers or anyone who will draw attention to them. During my slot, we play games like captioning a funny picture or finishing a sentence, and I award prizes. They’re not big prizes, but they’re good. And we have fun, so much fun, in fact, that I get asked to do them a lot. But it gets my name out there.

I talk to other authors. I actually try to help some of them. Some thank me. Some ask for help and never thank me. Some ask for help and it’s obvious they’re not listening; those don’t get any more of my time.

And there’s much, much more. Doesn’t sound particularly romantic, now does it? It’s not a lot of fun. But the research sure is fun!

P.S. My mobile hotspot isn't working, so I'm out in a library hallway, squatted down in front of a tiny little table because it was the only way I could get a signal to load this post. Ah, the things we do for the craft!

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you wrote this. I would also say, if you want to be an author, you'd be well to remember that your feelings are going to get hurt. Toughen yourself up for that. It can be a solitary existence, but not completely lonely. Grab hold of some good folks to help you, and remember to laugh. At yourself, at others, at everything. It saves your mascara from running down your cheeks. :)


Thanks for visiting my blog! Please come back to see what's new. I love hearing from you!