The days of your publisher promoting your work is pretty much gone. An author has to make her own splash in the reading world and it’s not always easy. Then you still have to write your next book. Unless you’re someone who can afford to hire a publicist to do all your promoting while you sit in your room and write you have to learn to balance the two.
I heard that the woman who wrote 50 Shades of Gray hired a publicist to the tune of 350,000.00 – she’s made millions now but I don’t have that kind of scratch floating around my house – come on lottery – so I have to do the promoting myself and on a shoestring budget. I think most of us do.
During the time I have a release I find my writing suffers because I spend a lot of time getting my name out there, but I do try. My characters get a little mad if I ignore them for too long. The balancing act gets real hectic when I have releases close together. My latest book Forgotten Desire released on September 24th. The release before that was Hesitant Desire on August 3rd. For the last two months I have been trying to promote both books and work on the next two. It’s exhausting.
It would be very easy for me to just focus on one or the other and I’m a great procrastinator – I learned it from my husband – but when I get organized I can get it done. I’m still not happy with the amount of writing I’m getting done but I am touching on all things.
I blog, participated in online parties, do chats, then post on loops about my releases. I have tried a few inexpensive promos here and there. But I have learned at you need to do it a couple of times before you start to see some return on your money so I rely on the kindness of blog hosts and try not to flood the loops I’m on and keep writing.
How do I find time to write when I’m doing all this promoting? It does take up a lot of time. Earlier this week I had three blogs I was writing and a class I’m doing on pitching. My poor computer had all my blurbs open, the three blogs, the class document, my two books and another author’s work – did I mention that I’m an editor for Melange Books? Anyway, I had something like fifteen different documents opened. Instead of focusing on one at a time I would write a paragraph in one blog, then move to the next one and do the same thing etc until I worked on all of them at least once. With the books I would read a scene of my book I was editing, edit ten pages of the author’s ms I’m working on and then write a few paragraphs in my newest story that I’m still writing. Then if I was allowed to post my blurbs on some of the loops I belonged to I would send them out. If I had more time I’d go back to the blogs or the class I’m working on.
The balancing act is a tough one, but can be done. I allot time to each thing so I can get it all done. Other authors have other tactics that work for them. Find one that works for you.
Writing for Barbara Donlon Bradley started innocently enough, like most she kept diaries, journals, and wrote an occasional letter but she also had a vivid imagination and wrote scenes and short stories adding characters to her favorite shows and comic books. As time went on she found the passion for writing to be a strong drive for her. Humor is also very strong in her life. No matter how hard she tries to write something deep and dark, it will never happen. That humor bleeds into her writing. Since she can’t beat it she has learned to use it to her advantage. Now she lives in Tidewater Virginia with two cats, one mother in law – she’s 86 now, her husband and teenage son.