Just let me start by saying: I am so excited about this article. All week long, I am going to share some of my favorite tips I’ve given to top-selling indie authors and NYT bestselling authors alike RE: editing, interior and cover design, tricky marketing, and dramatically increasing the shelf life of their books.
If this is your first time here, hi! I’m McKenzie Lynn Tozan (you can call me McKenzie or Kenzie). 100% of the time, I am a mama of 3, wife, cat-mom, and book and movie/TV show enthusiast. By night, I am a poet, novelist, and professional book review. And by day, I am a freelance writer, high-ticket copywriter, and book strategist.
But what is Book Strategy? To put it simply, I offer A — Z services to authors, all the way from outlining/developing a bare-bones concept into a complete first draft… all the way up through publishing their book and marketing it (while growing their author presence online and increasing their book’s shelf life). And when I say I do it all, I do it all: developmental editing, line-editing, cover design, interior design, publication assistance, query letters and book proposals, marketing plans, audience engagement, etc., etc., etc…
Today, I want to talk about a task that trips authors of all backgrounds and genres up: trying to do all the things, all the time.
Whether you’re a writer or a published author, surely you know the feeling of overbooking yourself:
- You have to do the writing.
- You have to complete the other tasks in your life, like laundry and cooking.
- You have to work, so you can keep the lights on.
- You have to edit the writing you did.
- You have to promote your work, network with writers and publishers, try to get it published, keep track of your portfolio…
- And if you get a deal with a publication or publisher, you have to fine-tune your work, and then later still help with author growth and social media management, and likely marketing, since most publishing houses don’t have an extensive budget (of time or money) to help you with the marketing…
I could keep going, but I’m sure you understand what I’m getting at.
It’s hard to keep up with all of the different tasks of day-to-day life, working, writing, and all of the promotional work that goes along with it. The two best suggestions I can give you are:
- Prioritize Your Task
I need reminders of this frequently: you don’t have to do every. single. thing. during every. single. day. of your one. single. life.
For one thing, it’s impossible. We simply cannot complete every task we’re dreaming of, never mind adequately, in a single day. We have to decide what is the most important today. For example, if you mopped your floors yesterday, you likely don’t need to do that again today… but you didn’t get your laundry done yesterday, so you should probably wash a load today.
Also, you’re feeling especially stressed, so get your writing done… but give yourself a day off of social media. It won’t mess up the algorithms that badly if you take one day off (trust me, it won’t), and it might be that much-needed break you’ve needed.
2. Plan Your Writing and Promotion in SEPARATE Time Blocks
I like to sit down at the beginning of the day with a complete list of tasks I’d ideally like to complete throughout the course of the day, and I put a star next to the truly non-negotiable items.
The next thing I do is block out the times in which I’d like to complete these tasks. I do not include writing and promotions/social media in the same block. I used to do that, thinking that I’d be promoting the work right after writing it, so why not list them together? But I’d end up using social media, and I’d get so wrapped up in that, I’d use up all the time I should have been writing by browsing social media instead. Then I either wouldn’t get my word count for that day, or I’d have to push something else off, so I could get the writing done. Don’t learn this the hard way the way I did; just don’t block these two tasks together. They’re both important, they’re both time-intensive, and you can’t do both at the same time.