Monday, April 23, 2018

Schedules and Panicking

Not to beat a dead horse, but self-publishing isn't just about sitting at your desk, happily plunking away as the stories flow freely from your fingertips.  It's a business.  And, as such, it requires scheduling.

You need to find time to write, of course.  And to edit.  That is all part of the job.  But it's not all of the job.  You need to find time to market.  You need to find time to network.  You need to find time to sell.  And then there's the paperwork and the accounting and the...  :collapses under the weight of the to-do list:

And that's just what's on you.  But like any good business, you have to coordinate with others as well.  You have to figure when your editor can schedule you in, because you're most likely not their only client.  And they have lives.  (Imagine.  The nerve.  LOL)  Like I know my editor takes a break in May.  Not the whole month, mind you, but it's usually a good idea to not have a lot going on in that month.  She gets a break, too, so I try to leave her alone to recharge her batteries.  (Lord knows she probably needs it after editing for me.  Heh.)

You also have to find a place to squeeze into your cover artist's schedule.  Because, like the editor, she has other clients and a life.  I totally brainfarted out on this one and then I saw my artist post to FB that she was full up for work until July.  I emailed her straight off and we worked it out so I can still have an August release, but those harrowing hours between wouldn't have been necessary if I had planned better.

Another thing you need to remember is scheduling for marketing.  Most marketing venues fill up fast and you'd better get in touch with them around three weeks in advance (at least) or you'll find they're full up for the dates you want an ad to go out.  I run afoul of this more often than not because I am such a bad marketer and planner.

The point of all this is that planning and scheduling can leave you with less to panic about.  If I'd thought to shoot my artist an email at the beginning of the year when I knew what my publishing schedule was going to be, I would've saved myself from panic now.  If I'd taken time last month to schedule marketing for Early Grave, the release might've been a bang instead of a whimper.

This is all a learning experience, but we shouldn't all have to learn things the hard way.  I would've been a little screwed if my artist hadn't posted to FB and then been able to work with me to get me what I need when I need it.  Don't be me.  When you have a publishing schedule in place, think about all the other people who will need to contribute to that and plan accordingly.  Jus' sayin'.

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