Thanks for joining me today in the first of the “Author Share” series. I have asked Cara Bristol, Patricia Green, and Renee Rose to share with us some of their experiences in the broad topic of “Putting it All Together.” These women are amazing at what they do! And I am blessed to call them each, friends.
Katherine Deane: Ladies, thank you so much for joining me today for the first of the “Author Share” Series.
You three are at the top of your game – selling books like wildfire. They’re fantastic, and I adore them! But there seems to be more to it, than just book writing. I read your wonderfully written blogs, see your promotions, and follow your posts on Facebook. You make it look so dang easy!
Now for a gal like me, just trying to get a handle on all this juggling, I feel overwhelmed just watching you.
So, how do you do… IT?
How do you combine writing, blogging, promoting, and social networking into a workable routine without burning out. (I remember an awesome series by Patricia Green about Burn Out, recently).
Cara Bristol: When I am actively writing a first draft of a new book, I write a minimum of 1K every day and shoot for 10K per week. Writing comes first, promotion is second. But a big second. Recently, I started reserving Sundays for blog time—writing a week’s worth on that one day, leaving me free to focus on writing during the week. When I have a book release, the week before, during and after, I generally ONLY work on promotion.
Katherine Deane: Do you have a percentage that you use for each activity?
Renee Rose: I wish I could break things down that way, but while I do consider myself a full-time writer, I’m also a mother of two kids who go to two different schools (one hour each trip for pick up and drop off for school) and I see clients during the week for my Feldenkrais practice, teach dance, organize PTA events and generally run around like a chicken with my head cut off.
Cara Bristol: When I was a new author, I spent about 90% of my work time writing and 10% on promotion. Now that I’m multi-published, it’s about 50/50, but it varies by where I am in a book project. Of my social media time, the allocation is probably 50 percent blogging, 30% FB, 5% Twitter (used to be more), and 15% all other combined.
Patricia Green: Not exactly. I read somewhere that an author should spend 80-90% of their time on writing and the other 10-20% on promotions/marketing. I try to use Mondays for promotions (like this interview, blog posts on my blog, blog posts for other people’s blogs, community outreach, etc.) and then use the rest of my week for writing. I do post on FB and Twitter nearly every day, but that takes maybe 10 minutes of my time altogether.
Katherine Deane: What does your weekly schedule look like?
Cara Bristol: I write six days a week, on the seventh I blog. I am on FB and Twitter every day. I catch other social media (Pinterest, Goodreads, Google groups, etc) when I think of it. I’ve found that it works best to focus on two or three things rather than engaging in a smattering on many. But one has to keep one’s ear to the ground because what used to be the “go-to” place can change.
Renee Rose: Basically, I do the email/social media stuff in all the snippets in between. I can retweet from my smart phone while waiting to pick the kids up, or read emails, or laugh at FB posts. I always write in the hour or two after my kids go to sleep, and I hold that time sacred. The rest I fit in if I’m not booked with clients, or if the kids aren’t especially needy, etc.
Patricia Green: My schedule is weekly, but I keep a “blogging calendar” to keep track of the various obligations I have.
Katherine Deane: What is the most important of them all? (Please don’t say “all of them”. LOL, I’m overwhelmed as it is!)
Patricia Green: By far and away, the most important task I have to do is write. If I don’t do that, I’m out of business. If I have a writing deadline, if takes precedence.
Cara Bristol: This varies by author because it all depends on how much you invest in the activity. For me, it’s blogging. I post about four times a week. With blogging, I can control the message, and I’m not limited by space requirements. And I enjoy blogging so I’m motivated to do it.
Renee Rose: I don’t know. Blog posting, I suppose, but I get more sucked in to the Facebooking.
Katherine Deane: If you had one tip for new and aspiring authors, what would it be?
Cara Bristol: Get socially connected so that people know your name before you publish. Get your blog established, build a cadre of FB friends and Twitter followers, get to know other authors in your genre.
Patricia Green: Write more books!
Renee Rose: Join the Spanking Fiction Facebook group! Once you’re in there, you have a whole community to gain from.
Katherine Deane: And for my own sake, do you have a house cleaner? Seriously, there seems to be a direct correlation between the messy kitchen and piles of laundry and my good writing days.
Patricia Green: Yes. I have a housekeeping service. The only thing they don’t do is laundry and window washing. I have a window washing service for that twice a year. It’s an expense I’m willing to shoulder because I like a clean house, my back is wonky, and I’d rather spend my time working. My husband doesn’t do housekeeping. We divided the chores up early, and the housekeeping fell to me. It’s his job to make big bucks. 🙂
Renee Rose: I agree, my good writing days correspond with messy house, too! 😦
Cara Bristol: I do have a housekeeper. I rewarded myself with one when my royalties reached an arbitrary goal I’d set. But my housekeeper only comes twice a month—so the daily stuff (dishes, laundry, sweeping) still remains. But I have learned to turn a blind eye to the house until I have completed my daily writing, and I have stopped picking up after DH all together (he does his own laundry and he is responsible for cleaning his office/the library and his side of the master bathroom).
Katherine Deane: LOL, I’m glad to see we all have something in common! My next big goal is to sell enough books to afford some weekly cleaning help. 🙂
As we can see, each author does things differently. They have found what works for them. Writing, blogging, promoting, social networking – it’s all important. But the gist of it, is to combine these activities into a cohesive structure that works for each of us.
My plan is to figure out how to do each of these different activities through specific blog posts utilizing the experiences of other SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). Stay tuned as I delve deep into this thing called authorship.
And please don’t forget to reply. I’d love to hear your experiences and suggestions! And if you have any further questions for the authors, about this week’s topic (Putting it All Together), please reply below.
Next week’s “Author Share” post will be about blogging. I can’t wait to share our discussion!
Thanks again to Cara Bristol, Patricia Green, and Renee Rose for getting this series started.
Happy Spankings Writing!
About the authors:
Cara Bristol has written everything from mainstream long and short fiction to nonfiction magazine and newspaper articles. She sold her first erotic romance in 2009. She is best known for her spanking romances, but she has also written in the science fiction romance, contemporary, and paranormal genres. Multi-published, she has released more than a dozen erotic romances, including two series: the Rod and Cane Society (spanking romance) and Breeder (science fiction romance). Cara lives in the Midwest United States with her husband. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and watching reality TV shows.
Patricia Green is a full-time fiction writer specializing in erotic romance. She provides the reader with love stories that emphasize fun characters with quirky personalities. Patricia is the author of more than 20 published novels and novellas.
In her personal life, Patricia is married and the mother of twins. When she’s not being the angel of domestic harmony and a semi-crazed creator of fictional friends, she loves to read, crochet, knit and watch hockey and baseball.
You can reach Patricia Green in the following ways:
Email: pig (at) patriciagreenbooks (dot) com
Spanking romance pages: http://patriciagreenbooks.com/books-featuring-spanking/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Green/e/B002RCB0IK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Renee Rose is a multi-published author of erotic spanking romance. Her latest release The Bossman, won Eroticon USA’s Next Top Erotic Author contest. Her blog can be found at www.reneeroseromance.com. She can also be found on Twitter or Facebook.