If I had a fully functional magic lamp, or if Jiminy Cricket appeared on my windowsill promising a wish on a star, I wouldn’t wish to win the lotto, or for money to grow on trees.
I’d ask for more time.
It’s such a shame to only have 24 hours in a day. Since more than a third of my day goes toward writing, and another third goes toward my brain cataloging memories and refreshing its cells or whatever the heck it does at night, I must choose how I spend those remaining few hours wisely.
If I sent you a link to this post, or if I haven’t sent a personal response to your email, message, or tweet, please know that I’m flattered that you reached out. I’m sure whatever you need help with is really important to you.
Disappointing others is one of my greatest fears. Because of this, I say “yes” to things too often. But every time I say “yes,” I siphon time from my priorities. And as much as I hate this — because I know what it’s like to be in your shoes — since I’ve said “yes” to so many other things, unfortunately I have to say “no” to you.
I know you don’t think you’re asking for much. But if you knew how many people reach out to me asking for help, you’d understand how much time it would take to say yes to everyone.
Here are the things on my plate that I must prioritize:
In no particular order, here are the things that have to come first, in addition to obvious priorities like my family and my health:
1. Writing novels. I’m fortunate enough to write-full time now, but since I don’t get paid if the words don’t get written (I no longer get paid time off!), I must make sure I have the brain space to write on short deadlines.
2. Marketing tasks. Authors are expected to do their own marketing these days, and I’m no exception. That involves sending email newsletters, creating TikTok videos and Instagram photos, managing my street team, and so on… and it’s very time-consuming.
3. Author admin tasks. Now that I have multiple books in the pipeline at once, it takes a decent chunk of time to handle things like reviewing interior page designs, providing feedback on cover designs, tracking payments, fielding emails from my agents, editor, publicist, etc.
4. My critical partners. Part of my writing process includes getting critiques from CPs and beta readers, which means I need (and want!) to return the favor.
5. Blurbing books. I get asked to blurb books multiple times each week, and though I can’t agree to read for everyone, the ones I do take me a long time; I’m a slow reader!
6. My personal life. I like to have some semblance of a social life every once in awhile, and to exercise, read, and play video games. Otherwise stress will reduce me to a useless blob. And I really don’t want to be a useless blob.
7. We’re living through a pandemic. That means all of the above takes about ten times the emotional and mental bandwidth than it did In The Before.
So, I’m very sorry, but I simply must say no to you. As I hope you can tell, there aren’t enough hours in the day to allocate time to my personal and professional priorities and still make time to answer your question.
Thanks so much for understanding.
Here are some useful links based on questions I receive frequently:
2. If you need book marketing advice, you can read tons and tons and tons of posts I wrote back when I worked at BookBub on the BookBub Partners Blog.
4. If you’re looking for marketing advice specific to your unique circumstances, I’d recommend posting your question to:
- The Absolute Write forums (for traditional publishing and writing questions)
- Kboards Writers’ Cafe (for self-publishing questions)
- The Inbound Marketers group on LinkedIn
- The marketing section of Reddit
There are tons of helpful folks on these sites who may have more time on their hands, and who’d be willing to share their expertise.