Back in the days when I only had two novels to my credit, and I wasn’t even sure if I would ever write a third, things were easy. If I felt like writing, I wrote. It wasn’t a problem because there was little else competing for my time.
How quickly things change.
Here we are only five years later and oh, what I wouldn’t give for those good old times.
Somewhere along the way I became a juggler.
It was easy at first…like juggling two tennis balls. Keeping both of them in the air was a piece of cake, and if one of them happened to slip away it would usually bounce right back to me.
Somewhere along the way the two tennis balls turned into three or four or five…and they aren’t tennis balls anymore, they’ve become eggs, so now it’s a little more important to keep them off the floor.
I’m speaking metaphorically of course, to illustrate what it feels like to be me sometimes.
When I only had two books, I also had an abundance of spare time because I wasn’t really concerned with marketing.
After my third novel was released I began to realize that these wonderfully, magnificent works of literary magic were not going to sell themselves. So I began hitting the social media marketing scene – heavily. I began promoting myself on facebook, twitter, this blog, pinterest, LinkedIn, Google + and Goodreads (links provided for your convenience). There are probably others, but I can’t remember at the moment.
My social media presence grew slowly…at first it was just posting a few cool pictures, sharing a blog post and tweeting a couple of promos over the course of a week.
Nowadays keeping up with my social media marketing has become a monster that must be fed constantly. Things get really interesting when you start adding book signings and networking events – forget about the full-time job, the part-time gig at the radio station, and the social life.
What can a poor boy do? (I certainly can’t sing in a rock-and-roll band)
I’ve learned that being a writer is more than just mastering the craft…it’s also about mastering time-management.
Like the old fishing conundrum – fish or cut bait.
You’re out there on your boat, trying to catch dinner and you drift into a big school of potentially delicious filets…but you’re running out of bait.
Your head swivels back and forth between the chunk of frozen bait on the deck and the boiling ocean as dinner swims by.
You need to get your hook in the water if you want to catch a fish, but a bare hook is useless.
Writing and marketing…either one, without the other, is a waste of time (unless you’re one of the delusional few who claim that you write for the love of it). You need to write a book in order to have something to market, but if you waste too much time marketing you don’t get the book written.
Isn’t that a Catch-22? (One of the classic novels I’ve never read)
I don’t know how I ended up with such a lopsided ratio, but in recent weeks I’ve been forced to readjust my priorities to something a bit more manageable if I expect to release a new book this year.
Usually by this time of year I’m getting ready to pass off a manuscript to my beta readers…right now my current MS, Full Circle, is hovering around 13,000 words. A far sight short of its anticipated 90,000. So you know what that means…it means it’s time to cut bait…or fish…whichever is the metaphorical equivalent of get busy writing.
As always – thank you for reading