Friday, May 15, 2009

Life Gets in the Way

As always, you make some great points, Marilyn! You keep us inspired and focused. However, often life gets in the way, and I confess I am thankful that it does. I love seeing my children--all three of whom came today and had lunch with us. My daughter, who is a pilot with American Airlines and is based in St. Louis, flew into the West Point Airport in her small plane. She had planned to continue on by air to Columbia, SC for a South Carolina College alumni weekend. However, the weather changed that plan, so she and another daughter, also an alumni of the honors college in Columbia, drove from here. The third daughter came from Williamsburg to see her sisters. My plans to work all day on finishing my new book, Stranger in My Heart, were put aside.

Life gets in the way because of the 260 little artists I teach each week. I enjoy watching them respond and create. My job with them takes up Tuesday and Wednesday of each week. So I try to plan my writing (and sometimes art) around those days.

Part of the writing time goes to promotion and all those outstanding ideas Billie, you, and Sunny put out. The Kindle is a great market Billie has created for us. I am delighted with the Kindle Board connection Sunny gave us, but I regret that I have not yet followed up on the cover contact she sent. You folks with the Public Safety Writers are amazing people. Thank you for being here and sharing your awesome ideas.

On Sunday, I will be part of a panel on publishing. I've been asked to talk briefly about working with a small publisher. I plan to use some of your comments, Marilyn, during that talk. This will be our first annual Author's Book Fair at West Point Library. Meeting and talking with the other 20 authors who will be there should be a good learning experience.

For the future, I have all of Billie's newsletters filed away. On those days when life doesn't get in the way, I can go back and put some of her ideas into action. Still, when good things in life get in the way, I'm glad.


Morgan Mandel said...

Nothing wrong with life getting in the way. Do what you want to do. Writing and marketing should not be a chore. Oh, and try not to feel guilty. Now, if I could only follow my advice...

Morgan Mandel

BillieJohn said...

Monti's comments very valid...I try to always keep in mind that one's involvement in the book biz is not a "one size fits all" concept. We all have other people, other activities that call for a chunk of our time and attention. Demands and schedules fluctuate with the seasons, the holidays, health and family issues.

Plus, where you are in the process has an impact. An author with a book just coming out will have different goals from one that is forthcoming months down the road, or one that came out last year.

The goals each of us has for our slice of the book biz is key. Each must decide what he wants out of his book career and what he is willing to do to accomplish that. Then, you have to ask yourself if your goal and your targeted effort are a sensible match. Do they fit,considering the other factors of your life? Can you reasonably expect to meet your goal with the plans you have in mind? Or do you need to adjust something.

Like Plato said, "Know thyself."

WS Gager said...

Thank you, Monti. The past couple of weeks have been so stressful for me. Every time I think I have a slice of time carved out to write and accomplish some of the things on my promotion plan for "A Case of Infatuation" coming out next month, something has come up taking me out at the knees. There have been days where I've said why bother and the fact that I even think about quitting makes me angrier still. I must admit that I am not the easiest of people to live with at the moment. But then "Life does get in the way." Your child gives up something you know they want to do so you can escape to a writing retreat and find your center. I'm away right now and after taking a quick cat nap, am really feeling like I'm accomplishing something on my latest work in progress. I'm getting excited for Vegas and meeting the people who I've been reading. I know I'm on the write (pun intended) path and so do my kids. When I go back, I will be ready to be a mom again with the busy schedule, but now, I'm writing and all is right in the world!

WS Gager

BillieJohn said...

I just had to leave a PS on this thread. I just added a cover pic to Monti's post, as I often to, because it's good business to show the product out there and also because I LOVE OTP's covers.

This time, however, I decided to give HEARTS ACROSS FOREVER some love, even though Monti has newer books on the list. As usual I have a point to make: I just got another order for HEARTS from Amazon this morning. In the past couple of months, HEARTS, which came out in 2001, has begun to enjoy a renaissance, both in paper and on Kindle. HEARTS is the 3rd highest seller to date on Kindle.

The point here is that you don't know definitively when and in what way the promo work you do will come back to you.

Also, to give OTP a pat, eight years later, we are still filling orders for this title. A big house would have sent any remaining stock to the recycling people a half dozen years ago, or more.

And yet another point: This situation highlights the value of a series. Each time a new PASSENGER TO PARADISE novel comes out, all the preceding ones get a fresh look.

and you know where I live.

Monti said...

Thanks, Billie, for your comments and for adding the Hearts cover. I used some of your comments, Sunny's, and Marilyn's in my little talk yesterday at the local library. I love the way people are working together!!!