This week I received the advance copies of my new novel, The Book of Zev. Wow. It’s heady stuff to hold the thing you’ve toiled over for three years in your hand! But that doesn’t mean I can blithely turn my attention to my next book.
In the new world of publishing it means that the advance I received that was historically applied to creating time for the author to finish the book, is now dedicated to marketing and promoting the work. Unless you are a well-established author, publishers will not spend time and money promoting your book beyond their basic resources. That is the reality of modern publishing.
So the author is faced not only with the task of raising awareness about the book to push book sales, but also with the fact that it is a glutted marketplace due in part to the easy availability of self-publishing.
There are many websites that offer help, many people who are experts that do consulting, so a successful promotion can be done – but it’s nearly impossible to focus on writing the next book (the most important part) because the marketing is time-consuming and emotionally exhausting.
I recently attended Thrillerfest, and on a dare pitched my new as yet unwritten book thinking there would be little interest – instead, 5 agents requested to see the full manuscript as soon as I can write it. So the pressure is on. Write the new book, sell the one I have.
And, I need to run my coaching business and teach at NYU!
The advice I offer to my students I must now take myself, that is: Compartmentalize and apportion specific time to each task. Great advice, except for one small thing—I am a spontaneous person. One of my core beliefs is that hard work is easy work done at the wrong time.
People admire my work ethic, but they don’t realize that while I work often, I wait for the right moments to work. These moments are frequently not during business hours or at regular times. What I am doing now is keeping a log to see when I do my best work, so I can create a new schedule.
For example, if I do the most daunting task first thing in the morning and then write, both things get done and the day goes well. If instead, I sleep late and then have to focus on the business end right away, my chances of getting any creative work done are almost nil. Now that I know this, I can plan my workday accordingly. The dilemma then becomes whether to schedule thereby having to show up, or keep things fluid and leave my day more open so that I’m are available when the muse strikes.
I will keep you posted in future blogs.
Here’s to your successful and happy writing!
Professor Marilyn Horowitz
Copyright © 2014 Marilyn Horowitz