Friday, November 15, 2013

Time Management for Authors


By Mary Ellis


In my blissful, pre-published days, I erroneously believed that once an author received the coveted “call” and turned in a complete manuscript, she could relax and put her feet up. Nothing could be further from the truth. Being published means honoring contracts in a timely fashion, along with a multitude of details. No longer was I squeezing time to “write a book” into my daily routine of tending home, family and day job. With each new release, the juggling act increases from three balls in the air, to four, five or even six. Let’s take a look at how five projects could potentially demand your attention simultaneously:

First, there’s the book you’re currently writing and editing, according to your publisher’s expectations for word count, sensual level, etc.

Secondly, the book you recently submitted is by no means done. A plethora of add-ons must be finished before the book heads to the printer, such as developmental edits, line edits, back cover copy, book cover and trailer suggestions, and blurbs or excerpts for catalogs and sales brochures.

Thirdly, if this was a series, chances are a book was recently released and requires promotion. Your title will either sink or swim during the first several, crucial months. An author must get the word out to readers through blog or radio interviews, website and newsletter giveaways, and book signings, along with social media. Otherwise, with so many fine books releasing each year, how will potential readers find yours?

Fourthly, an author needs to research the next book she intends to write, and that often involves travel or at least long hours spent in the library. Not everything on the internet can be trusted for accuracy, especially with historical fiction.

And finally, what happens when your current beloved series draws to a close? If you don’t wish to be out of a job, you must devise an irresistible proposal that your publisher simply cannot turn down. Publishing houses consider projects well in advance, so authors need to think far down the line too. Considering all this stress, hard work and long hours, you might conclude that I’m complaining. Nothing would be farther from the truth. I love being an author, and pray each night for God to make me a better juggler.  Happy writing!
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Mary Ellis grew up near the Amish and fell in love with them. She has now written ten bestselling novels set in their communities. When not writing, she enjoys gardening, bicycling, and swimming. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Her debut Christian book, ,A Widow's Hope was a finalist for the 2010 ACFW Carol Awards. Living in Harmony, book one of her current series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Book 3, A Little Bit of Charm, will release in late August from Harvest House. An Amish Miracle, a novella collection from Thomas Nelson, will release in November. She is currently working on a  historical romance series set during the Civil War. The Quaker and The Rebel is coming January 1st, 2014. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net 



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