There are many facets to an authors life but I think the biggest two are promotion and writing itself. Promotion is essential to get the word out about your work, but if you don’t have any work to promote it’s just an act in futility. Shortly before my book Grandma’s Pear Tree was released I began to earnestly promote the book. I created a website, began a blog with my best friend and jumped on the Merry-go-Round of social media with Facebook and Twitter.
After a little over a year of promotion I found myself spending more time on Twitter and Facebook than I did on writing. This really came to light as I began to do school visits and the one of the most common questions I faced was:
“When is your next book coming out?”
I have some pretty fancy ways to answer that question but the truth is, I don’t know. I remember reading an article about Kirby Larson Author of the 2007 Newbery Honor Book Hattie Big Sky. Following her win Ms. Larson was asked about tips for writing and the one that stood out for me was “Keep Writing.” I imagine the pressure to create more work is infinitely greater once you have won a huge award, but I think her tip is truly valuable.
So what is an author to do? We need to write but we also need to spend some time of our day doing promotion as well. Here is how I currently juggle my promotion/writing time:
- Drop my son off at school
- Answer any correspondence or emails
- Facebook and Twitter follow with any responses or messages for the day (I give myself 20-30 mins)
- Telephone calls for any promotion
- Write, write, write
- Pick up son from school