Deb's Morning Pages

My Writing Life. One Morning at a Time.

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A Little Assistance Please

When the March issue of Romance Writer Report (RWR) arrived I put it aside until I had a block of time to read it cover to cover. I’ve been enjoying the Well Writer series they’ve added. I believe that far too many writers push health out of the way to meet family needs and writing deadlines. But the article that caught my eye was Is It Time to Hire a Virtual Assistant?

After reading the article I can see why so many authors are exhausted all the time. Geez. Today it’s not just about writing the book. There’s a whole other full-time job in promoting yourself and your book(s).

Lets take a look at some of the things an author might need an assistant to help with:

Promotion Assistance. Creating a website, media kit, promotional items, press releases, blogs, podcasts, book tours and book signings.

Social Networking: Facebook and Twitter. Yep, that big hole that sucks up so much time. To be honest, the only way my FB page gets updated is because of my friends who post on their pages. I sometimes forget I have a FB page and Twitter account.

Website: An assistant can help design & maintain the site.

Review Requests: An assistant can contact bloggers to line up reviews of your current release.

Blog Tours: An assistant can set up blog tour.

Advertising Campaign: An assistant can set up and monitor pay-per-click ad campaigns for you on FB, Google & other sites. That would be awesome!

Bookseller Outreach: Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone created an extensive database of chain and independent bookstores, that is if any still exist.

Marketing Materials: Bookmarks, sticky pads, pens and all those other little goodies authors give out. It would be great to have someone order and ship these things to conferences.

And if that’s not enough, how about having someone help with E-mails, research, creating story bibles and keeping your backlist up-to-date?

Wow, that’s a lot for any one author to keep on top of. Assistance would be great but it comes at a cost. And for most authors, that’s an expense that just can’t be covered. Yet, it’s vital that authors do all of the above and probably a ton of other stuff I didn’t mention to get noticed by readers.

I guess the take-away from this is that authors need to work smarter, not harder. For those of us unpublished and about to-be published, we should start developing routines and strategies for getting things done. We should be embracing time management and stay alert for low-cost solutions for our business needs.

But we never should lose sight of the most important task – writing a damn good book.

A = Assistance



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How Do You Keep It All Together?

I’m talking about ALL the papers writing creates. Notes, drafts, outlines, character profiles, agent leads, editor info, contest info, critiques received, critiques to give, etc. Mounds of paperwork. then there’s the notebooks (love them), the pens, pencils, dozen of post-it note pads, magazines, books. I think I’m a fairly organized person. But lately while doing this revision (which I’m doing kicking and screaming) I can’t seem to get my desk organized. It’s messy, it’s chaotic, and I don’t know what to do with all the stuff. Well, I could easily spend the day and organize everything but that would be…hmm, what do we call that in the writing world? Oh, yes, procrastination. I won’t do it. I know that I will just have to suck it up and accept that my desk is messy. It’s like a punch to the gut. But when I’m done with this revision I will organize & clean up my desk.

So, how do you organize all your writing related materials? I’ll take any advice because what I’ve been doing all the long isn’t working for me and it’s time to change things.