Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Finding Time to Write, Publish & Market Your Books

Authors have to write and market their books, both of which are full-time jobs. Indie and small press authors often do all of that along with formatting their books, designing covers, researching keywords, updating their books.....on top of having a full-time job because most writers can't make a living off of their books.

Being an author, in general, is a huge time suck.

Here's my life:

I usually release three books a year. I update this blog three times a week while being active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, Flickr and DeviantArt. I design premade book covers among other images. I'm selling photographs which means taking a lot of pictures, sorting them, editing them and attaching keywords because searching 18,000 images is a pain.

I release a newsletter the last Monday of every month. I'm also submitting stories and photographs to contests. Somehow, I have to fit exercise and sleep in there. I got a Masters while I wrote and published several books, which meant writing, designing covers, formatting books, researching trends, applying edits...

How can you manage your time so you won't go insane?

Side note: there might be some moments when you do go insane. I had to write, blog and social media while working on my thesis project. One day, I started crying for no reason. My parents said I was overwhelmed and encouraged to me take a break for the rest of night. I couldn't since I had to blog but I did take a small break to recharge.

Surround Yourself with Supporters
The only way I made it through my thesis project was because I had people around me who supported me. When you need help, tell your peeps- even your non-writer ones. If you don't have support, try going to writing Meetups. The library is another good way to meet people. One of my libraries often has free classes on things like social media marketing.

Social Media Schedulers
Interestingly enough, I don't spend a lot of time on social media. I schedule all my content through Hootsuite and Tailwind. I'm paying for both. All my accounts are on Hootsuite.


Since I have notifications set up on my tablet and phone, I don't need to be on the networks unless I get some engagement. I can schedule Instagram but it is something I'm on every day. Instagram requires you to be on the app. I don't mind. It's easy and fun. I'm already taking a ton of pictures.

I don't need to be on LinkedIn, DeviantArt and Flickr every day or even every week. For LinkedIn, I can monitor groups on Hootsuite and engagement on my phone.

Weekly Schedule
Most of the things I mentioned above, I don't do every day.

  • Sunday- Schedule Blogs/start The Week in Links
  • Monday- Design
  • Tuesday- Search for contests and magazines to submit my stories and photos
  • Wednesday- Photography
  • Thursday- Photography
  • Friday-Design
Writing and social media aren't included because they're everyday things, most times. If I have a deadline or I'm hit with some inspiration, I might work on Saturdays. For instance, a couple of Saturdays ago, I was working on book covers. So yeah, authors don't get days off.

Design and photography also includes updating my online portfolios-- Flickr, DeviantArt and Behance. When I post something on those sites, I also schedule them to go on a Pinterest board.

Side note: This schedule isn't set in stone. Right now, I'm not editing or formatting a book. If I was, one of those design or photography days would be for working on the book. 

Create a Publishing Schedule
Noticing a pattern? Schedule everything. 


This is an Excel template that comes with the program. It's impossible for me to remember all the things I need to do. I have to write down everything. I use this mostly for my blog. In this spreadsheet is a list of potential topics. It's been awhile since I've sat in front of this blog and not known what to write. 

Mobile
Most of you probably have a tablet or smartphone. Sign in to your social media and email accounts on those devices. I save so much time now that I don't have to check my email several times a day. It does mean I get a lot of notifications on my devices, especially from Facebook groups. It's better than logging on to gmail and Facebook when I don't need to. 

Go Easy on Yourself
Most authors say write every day. If that works for you, great. I don't think you need to write every day. I don't. When I can write, I don't often crank out thousands of words. Sometimes, it's just 300 which could take like thirty minutes. It could be terrible but at least I wrote something. 

Journaling is Writing
I took a step back from one of my stories because I couldn't see my way through it. I still working on it, I'm just not writing scenes. You can journal anywhere. 

Repurpose Content
If you've been a blogger for awhile, you have a good backlog of posts. You don't always have to write something new. I took a popular post and turned it into an infographic.
I've also started republishing content on LinkedIn. Using their blog is a good way to increase profile views but I don't have time to run two blogs. Instead, I take a post I wrote here and publish it over there. I usually change the title and header image since it's a different demographic. I also say in the post that it was first published on my blog. 


If you're running a blog, try to include evergreen content in the mix. I save time by sharing posts I wrote months or years ago. They're still relevant. 

Motivate Yourself
I have quotes posted around my workspace for when I get heavy and I just don't feel like doing anything.

The way I schedule my work, most times, I can take a break at the end of the day and watch mindless shows to recharge. 

Write Even if You Don't Know What You'll Do with the Story
I was able to publish so many stories because I wrote most of them years ago. Only recently did I needed to write something from scratch. Most times, I was taking an old story and fixing it.

More Resources
How to find time to write: 9 tips to get words down
Tips for Writing and Working Full-Time
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...