Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I know I've read a million times that once you get a publisher to pick up your book the juggling really starts. You not only have to be able to write a book, you have to write a book at the same time as you are editing the last book, and working on marketing for that book or a previous book, even if that's just getting your name out there.

I had no idea how hard that really is. I'm a bit obsessive and I don't like switching gears. I've found that, despite all my determination, if I begin the day thinking I'm going to do "just one or two things" to help market myself, I never get around to writing, because there is always one or two more things, which lead to more things, and it never ends.

Quickly I realized I was doing all editing and marketing work, and very little writing. And I convinced myself that was what I needed to do to get this baby out into the world.

Unfortunately, I really missed writing. That was the whole reason I'm where I am. It's not the promise of being on the bestseller list or anything. Heck, for that I could dream to be president, or CEO of a major company, or an Oscar winning actress. I'm here because writing is like breathing... I need it to live.

So I divided up my time into marketing/editing days, and writing days. When I have writing days, I try not to do any marketing things (like writing emails and surfing the web for reviewers and figuring out twitterdom). But how do I take chunks of time to just write and not feel guilty about it?

Shelli, over at Market My Words, had an awesome interview Tuesday with author Alyson Noel. And Alsyon, after several paragraphs about how she markets herself, said just about the wisest thing I've read about writing and marketing:

The truth is, and this may not be wildly popular but I believe it to be true—the absolute best thing you can do to market yourself as an author is to write your next book! At the end of the day, that’s all your readers really want from you anyway. And with books getting such a short shelf life these days, the best way to ensure yours books maintain their space is to keep ‘em coming, to build up a nice backlist for your readers to explore and for bookstores to reorder with each new release.

So now my writing days are just a secondary marketing day!  Yay! Somehow just thinking of it in that equation lessens that frantic feeling that I need to be doing something, and feeling like writing isn't getting my novel sold any faster or wider. 

Less guilt is good. Writing time is even better.


  1. I couldn't agree more. I was reading in Donald Maass' book "The Career Novelist" on how you need to develop a career plan and how "A long period without publication is like closing one's store."

    Plus writing is the fun part and most of being an author should be fun.

  2. That's great advice. I spend *way* less time thinking about the marketing than I do about my next (or current) project. I would love to be one of those hermits in a cabin in the woods...write all day and just forget about the "real" world. Unfortunately, you still need to do *a little* marketing...

  3. It really all does come back to the writing, doesn't it? And if you love writing the most (I know I do), there's no need to feel guilty. Your readers will thank you for staying true to your craft.

  4. We could have written this same exact post! There's just so much to think about, isn't there? We've synched up our blog, facebook and Twitter, so at least we don't have to update every single thing every single time.

  5. Writing time *is* even better! I hear you on that one.

    Congrats on your book publishing adventure. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts & blog & book!

  6. I read that interview, too, and that quote stuck out to me. Here's to writing over everything else writing-related.

  7. Hmmm... no one here to say we should spend more time marketing and less time writing?? :)

    Terresa - thanks for stopping by! I look forward to getting to know you!

  8. That is a really comforting thought. It makes sense-- the writing is the main objective after all. All the marketing stuff sounds so overwhelming.

  9. Se - you know, it could just be me. I must get overwhelmed easily. :)