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The Writer's (Business) Life

So, it's the second last day of another November, and the hands on the clock seem to be in hyper-drive. My goal for today involved a 3000 word count. Right now, I sit at zero. Hey, it's not even 4 pm -- the day is young. Instead, today turned into a business management kind of day. Here is a glimpse into that side of the writing life.

This week, I launched a new novel, The Heart of Things. Launching means, I've researched, written, edited, formatted, created a cover, created those little back cover blurbs (there's a name for them, but I forget at the moment), then obtained an ISBN number, then I linked them with my online accounts at Smashwords and at Amazon to get them pre-authorized for distribution on the date specified.

Prior to that, I set up accounts with Amazon, Smashwords, BookBub, Goodreads, not to mention my website. Plus I blogged, hoping to create followers. Plus I wrote magazine articles, hoping to pay the monthly website premiums. Then I jumped on Lumen5 to create a promo video to create interest in the novel. Then I launched that on YouTube and on Instagram and from there, Facebook and twitter. (Oh yeah, previously I set up Instagram, twitter and Facebook accounts as well as a YouTube channel).

As well as creating the promo video, I also jumped on Canva and created Instagram posts with quotes from inside the books and threw those out into the inter-world, much like that Psalm which says God flung stars into the sky. I created an email newsletter and sent that off.

Previously, I made phone cold calls to various local retailers to attempt to interest them in selling my novels. Today I dropped off books at one of those retailers and had phone and email conversations with three others. I touched base with the contact person in charge of the book signing and launch I will be doing on December 13.

Previously, I created a spreadsheet for myself listing the retailers where my books are spread across the world and who has how many copies and who needs more and how much each sells for where and how much profit that leaves for me after the store takes their commission. Later, I need to update this chart to reflect today's progress. This same spreadsheet also records the private sales made on each title and the name and email addresses of those individuals, that I might send them direct mailing information in future. It also has columns for my online sales commissions. Between now and April I need to run the totals, see if I've made a profit at all yet.

Which reminds me, do parking tickets count as a business expense when one acquires said ticket while dropping off product to a retailer? I think the point could be argued...

During today's email correspondences to retailers, I directed them to my website, which then reminded me I needed to update that website. So, I jumped online and added my newly launched novel to the scroll bar at the bottom of the home page, then added Buy Me buttons in all appropriate locations and copied and pasted the web URL's where the novels may be purchased.

And then I turned my attention to tomorrow (metaphorically speaking). So, right now, I have four published novels, and the newest is book one in a four book series, the second newest is book one in a three book series. I have the second book on the Lakeland series completed and awaiting edits, and the third book of the Lakeland series is about ten-thousands words away from the first draft being completed. The Way of Things launches in March, and The Best of Things launches in July. The final installment, The Merry Kinds of Things launches in November. That one still needs to be written. As well, Feathers in the Snow (book one in the Far and Near Trilogy) comes out Tuesday, meaning I'll be going through all these website changes again next week. The follow up to that, Santa's Surf School, and the final one there, Whiskey and Mistletoe, are due next December.

Then, there is the first book of my future series Peachland Passions. Book One is Walking Walrus Café, and it is already written. Book Two is Sunflowers and Sweet Peas, which I haven't written yet, but the main character does appear in the current series I am writing (we call that free advertising). There will actually be five books maybe more in the Peachland Passions Series, although since I have one down and won't need to have the next ones done soon, I figured I would send that one off to a publisher on spec. I have the time to wait, after all.

So, if you were keeping track, that is three series all underway and at various stages. There are also a couple solo projects that are in various stages of completion. Confused yet? Sometimes I am. And so, today I jotted all of them down by title (or main character where there is no title as yet), by anticipated launch date, and by what that means for me in terms of production. The first thing it means is there will be very little writing in December. I will finish off what is left of The Best of Things, then will finish designing the memoir course I teach in January. Maybe I'll take a break.

And then in January, I take books to the two retailers who today told me they can't handle them until then, and I teach a course on memoir writing, and I edit The Way of Things and create the promo release material and maybe start working on Santa's Surf School. Last week of January, I start to promote The Way of Things. Then in February, I will be formatting The Way of Things and editing Walking Walrus Café and also The Best of Things, and maybe finishing off Santa's Surf School as well as teaching memoir and fiction writing courses.

In March, I launch The Way of Things. In July I launch The Best of Things. In November I launch The Merry Kind of Things -- which I will need to start writing in March. Then, in December I launch Santa's Surf School and it's companion short story, Whiskey and Mistletoe.

And so on and so on...

Recently, a friend asked why I haven't been at writer's group. I said it was because my life has been in flux -- that's one word for it! I feel I could really use an office manager. Or, at least, a wife.

On the to do list I created today are things like, learn how to create Instagram and Facebook ads. Find space to get book reviews. Fold laundry.

I chose to participate in NaNoWriMo this November, and "won" on November 26. Last year, I wrote 60,000 words plus in 20 days, and this year it was slower going, and the word count might be a win, but the story isn't finished, so it's hard to feel that sense of glory and accomplishment. NaNo, such a big challenge, seems to have faded very far into the background of my workaholic story-telling brain.

And so, going into a new year, and a new decade, I am ridiculously busy, as always. I love every single moment pursuing this dream. Well, okay, I might have passed on the parking ticket. Maybe one of my characters can be at war with parking metres or something. Then, I could claim that obtaining parking tickets was a form of research, and then I could DEFINITELY write them off. Right?

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