I haven’t blogged in a while. That’s a choice I made a long time ago – that I was only going to blog when I had something to say or something good to share. Why? Because blogging, when done decently, is work. And I have enough of that on my plate already.
Well, I have something to say now so here I am. This is to all the new authors out there, and to all those maybe not-so-new authors struggling with time management and promotion and marketing and getting the next book done and figuring out how to do all that and still keep a clean house and their kids/pets fed. You know what I mean.
Here’s what I want to say: You don’t have to do it all. In fact, I recommend you don’t. (Not the feeding your kids and pets part. You have to do that.)
In the early days before I was published and then in those first few years of being published, I believed I had to do it all. I had to write and promote and fill my website with content and do blog tours and attend every conference under the sun so that I could “get my name out there.” We’ve all heard that phrase, right? It was overwhelming. I was on a constantly spinning hamster wheel of things to do. It’s not surprising to me that some of the people who were coming up with me at the same time have dropped out of writing altogether.
What I’ve learned in the last two years is that much of that can be skipped or dialed back or just put off until a different time in your career. For example, yes, you should buy your domain name and throw up a coming soon page, but you shouldn’t spend hours every week crafting content for it when you haven’t published your first book yet. You also shouldn’t be killing yourself promoting one book. There’s no tail! Do a little promo, but save the big stuff for when you have three or more books in the series. That’s how marketing really pays off.
I promise that making these kinds of choices won’t cause you fade into oblivion or ruin your career or make you to miss your shot at some best seller list.
What it will do is free up your time. And with that time, you can do what matters most: write. Because that’s the best tool in your arsenal. The next book. It could be the book that launches you, the book that really resonates with readers, the book that finally enables you to earn the sort of money that lets you breathe easier.
Look, if you love blog tours, do them. I don’t. And I don’t think not doing blog tours anymore has hurt my sales one bit. Just like not going to conferences or reader events. Hey, I’m an extrovert and conferences wear me out. It’s great meeting readers and networking with other authors, but it’s also exhausting. Cons also take up an incredible amount of time. From the prep to the time there to the recovery time at home, you could be losing two weeks or more. (And that’s IF you don’t come down with con crud, which is a very real thing.)
And then there’s the cost of doing cons. Clothes, swag, airfare, hotel, meals, transportation, etc. It’s outrageously expensive which makes getting a decent ROI nearly impossible. Again, if you love conferences, have at it! But don’t feel like skipping one is going to ruin your career. It might actually improve it.
I keep my schedule as simple as I can these days. One, maybe two events a year and that’s it. And I try to keep those events on the industry side of things so that my writer well gets refilled. I love my readers and love interacting with them, but social media has made that so much easier these days. So not only does this lighter schedule lessen my stress level, but it’s healthier for me physically, mentally, and financially. And did I mention it allows me more time to write?
Because honestly, writing the next book is the most important thing.
Have a comment or question? Leave them below. Happy writing!