My word count sucked this week, and I really have no real excuse for it – nothing that counts for anything, anyways. I was distracted for most of the week with various things, and thus just…didn’t write nearly as much as I should or could have. Needless to say, there’s nothing in the world I can do to finish this draft by the deadline, and I’m not sure I can actually live up to the publishing schedule I set for myself this year either. So I’ll be going through that this week, and paring down to something actually “doable” given my average word counts over the past couple of months. The fact is, the day job has a lot more to do with how much mental energy I have for writing on any given weekday, and deciding to get back into promotion and keep up with my business stuff on the weekends means there’s no time or energy for writing on the weekends either.
I’m not feeling sorry for myself here, just facing facts, and figuring out what to do about them. I think it’s important to be realistic when making goals, and to adjust when I realize I’m expecting too much of myself. It’s kinder than constantly reaching for too much, and constantly failing.
So…this week’s tally (most of it done on Monday, since I had the day off):
The Time Stone: 2,504
And that’s it. The draft is currently sitting at around 18k words, and I think it’ll end up being around 40k – 50k words, so around half-done. I am going to diligently work to bring that up to 30k words by next weekend, though that won’t be the average speed I expect from myself all year. I do want to get this draft done and out the door though, so I’ll give up some extra time to make that happen. It’ll still be late, but hopefully not more than a week.
This weekend was newsletter weekend. I’m sending out newsletters once a month – one for each pen name, and one main BSB newsletter. Last month, it took me an entire weekend of fairly steady work to get just three newsletters templated and scheduled. This month, I was more organized, but I needed to optimize my templates for mobile use (something I didn’t think about until I opened up last month’s newsletters on my cell), and I still had to write the actual letter part of it, which took more thought than I had planned for.
The other thing that took awhile was the fact that I’d planned a marketing campaign for March for my latest book, but I didn’t have everything in place yet, some of which needed to be before I could finish the newsletter. I had to spend time firming up plans, finishing general launch-type things that I’d started, but not finished just yet, and grabbing links from all over the place to include in the letter. That lack of planning really cost me, but it’s okay, because honestly, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, and this process forced me not only to make decisions, but it sort of showed me through trial and error (and a lot of bumbling around) what I need to do in order to plan and execute a campaign like this.
I do tend to learn best through trial and error, so while it was irritating at the time, I’m glad I have a much better perspective on what needs to be done, and *when*. I’m going to make myself a list now – a blueprint, if you will, to use for marketing campaigns in the future, and also a list of things I need to think about on the first weekend of every month that will force me to decide what needs to be done before the end of each month as far as marketing goes. Training myself to think farther ahead, if you will.
I’m still working my way through Write, Publish, Repeat, and I really need to set up marketing funnels for my books. Which is going to be a lot of work, going backwards, but hopefully worth it. Another item for the ever-expanding to-do list…
After I post this, I’ll be formatting the print copy for my latest book, so I can get my giveaways set up for March on Goodreads, as well as digital giveaways for LibraryThing & BookLikes. I need reviews, and I’m exploring options for enticing those as well.
I spent my business office hours this morning uploading books to Coffee Time Romance, my new distributor. It’ll take awhile to get my whole catalog uploaded, but hopefully I’ll sell a few things there. I need to get TrackerBox all set up with a new file for 2015, and also an all-encompassing file for previous years, but haven’t had time yet. Next weekend, I need to do the monthly bookkeeping, but that won’t take me as long with the new accounting software, so I’ll try to get TrackerBox updated then as well. I’ll have a better overview of how things are selling, then, and that will help me plan my marketing campaigns more effectively. I think.
So…keepin’ on, keepin’ moving. To say there’s a lot to do is an understatement, but I’m not feeling quite so overwhelmed this week, even with being way behind with no hope of really catching up. The thing is, I’m starting to see patterns in what I need to do, and logical sequences, and things that make me feel more in control of it all. And control-freak that I am, that keeps me calm and steady.
Now I’d better get that print book formatted. Here’s hoping next month’s campaign yields some good results – or at least some good data to learn from.