I’ve probably mentioned to you before that I belong to a little local group of authors. It’s not an official organization and we don’t have any program—we just meet most months, have lunch, and talk. Sometimes we talk about writing, sometimes about publishing, sometimes about other topics. It’s interesting and it’s fun. We have some things in common: we are all actively writing and publishing; we all write romance in some sub-genre (although some write in other genres, too); we all have other responsibilities to juggle along with the writing and promotion associated with it. What’s interesting is that we all make different choices, and sometimes we talk about that. Some authors in the group are traditionally published; others are with digital-first presses; others are indie all the way; still others have a blend of publishing styles, depending upon the project, sub-genre and opportunity. I represent the old guard in this group as everyone else has entered the publishing biz in the last five years or so.
One of the things that most interests me is how each author balances her time. (Yes, we’re all women.) The choices of one author in particular intrigue me, because she and I share a desire to just write. The difference is that she let that desire shape her choices. She has a blog which acts as her website. She has a Goodreads account. But that’s it. She does no social media. She’s not on Facebook. Her author profile and bio is a single sentence with no photograph. She doesn’t have a newsletter. I was skeptical of this plan when she started out, because it’s very much the “right answer” for authors to do all of these things. The reason I do them is that my publishers have insisted upon it. Her blog posts are all business, too, of the “here’s the link for my new release” variety. She says she doesn’t have time to do anything else, which is fair – she has published the equivalent of four full length books in the past year and a half, in addition to her full time job. The thing is that she’s doing very well. Her blog gets lots of traffic and comments, plus she consistently sells a lot of books. Granted, she writes in a popular sub-genre (erotica and erotic romance) but I’m thinking I could learn a few tricks from her.
Spring is a time when I take a hard look at my choices. In all facets of my life, I try to organize and sort what’s worth keeping, and re-distribute what isn’t. This is when I simplify. Over the past month, I’ve taken a look at my promotional obligations, in contrast to those of my friend. I’m not going to stop doing all that I do (because habits are hard to change) but I’m going to do less. For example, the Wild West Thursday posts here on the blog take me a lot of time to compose. They don’t generate a lot of traffic, so my friend says they’re work for nothing. I suspect she’s right, so no more Wild West Thursday posts. In fact, I’m going to take my blog to her model, and post only when I have book news for you (plus the monthly contests, of course.) I’ve already cut back on Facebook time and that’s helped me to write more. And if you want to see my knitting, you’ll need to check on Ravelry. I don’t think the changes will be that painful to any of you, and the bonus is that you’ll have more books from me sooner.
We have a new plan, and I have writing to do!