In today’s tight market, authors are called upon to develop an impressive platform, a network of thousands of friends, family and associates likely to buy our books. To develop that, we promote. Following every promotional tip we’ve ever received, we lead workshops. We mail press releases and postcards. Do book signings. Stage contests on our websites. Start blogs. Make guest blog appearances. We join mySpace, Facebook and Twitter, and we distribute bookmarks with the enthusiasm of Santa on Christmas Eve.
Oh, to have our own publicist, wouldn’t that be fine? But we don’t, so we simply add all the responsibilities of a publicist on our long line of job titles, and if we’re overly zealous, get accused of being an in-your-face shameless promoter.
After two book releases and the whirlwind of activity and energy spent promoting those books, I’m trying to find balance in my life. One way is to adopt my husband’s practice of “billable time.”
Billable time is a way of life for attorneys and CPAs, consultants and other professionals who sell their services. How much time do you spend with your writing, as opposed to your promotional activities?
Put your week-at-a-glance calendar close to your computer screen. Use an internal timer on your computer or a standard cooking timer. Set it to go off at quarter-hour increments and record how you’re using your time.
Recover lost hours. Being time-accountable will give you new focus and increase your efficiency.
Reclaim your writing. That love was what inspired you to do this, in the first place.
Wishing you much joy in your writing.