Sunday, June 24, 2012

Writing: Treating Your Book As a Business

This is my post for day 24 of the Author Blog Challenge.

Rebecca Fyfe Slimming World photo shoot
photo copyright Slimming World/PAUL BULLER

If your goal is to sell books, you must view your book as a business. In what ways do you treat your book as a business? Where could you improve? What resources could you leverage to improve your book business?

The main way that I treat my book(s) as a business is by spending a certain amount of hours dedicated to my writing every day. Well, I intend for it to be hours, but really it ends up being one hour if I'm lucky. I spend enough time for it to be equivalent to a part-time business. Ideally, I would be able to sit down each morning at 9:00am and spend that time focusing on my book(s) until lunch time and then again after lunch time, so that I would be spending a proper work day writing and marketing my book(s).

What really happens is that I get up in the morning and get my kids ready for school. I then spend two hours of my morning taking my kids to school and getting home again. Is that when I sit down to write? No. That's when I spend the 90 minutes on my elliptical crosstrainer that my body requires to maintain the weight I am at, and then spend another 20 minutes showering. Is that when I sit down to write? No, that's when I start a load of laundry and wipe down the kitchen table from the mess the children left while having breakfast that morning. I make myself lunch and a coffee. Then I sit and get about 30 minutes of writing done and answer a few e-mails before I have to get ready to spend the next 2 hours picking my children up from school and getting home again. Then I am busy making dinner, serving dinner, eating dinner and getting the kids ready for bed.  Once the children go to bed, if things are going my way, I can sit down to write for an hour or two. (It's getting to the point where my husband is starting to feel as though we have no time together.)

photo copyright Worldwide Media

I have found a sort-of compromise by carrying a small notebook with me on the bus each morning and afternoon during the school runs and getting some writing done during the bus trips. Typing up what I have already written takes less time than typing while thinking up what to write, so typing it up later actually saves me some time. And I even get a brief bit of editing done while I type my handwritten stories into the computer.

I do spend some of my writing time on social media. This is a necessary part of "treating my book as a business", because if no one on-line knows who I am, my book is starting out at a deficit when it comes to getting people to find out about it.  I have many friends who will plug my book when it is completed, and I have plenty of Facebook friends and Twitter followers to help me get the word out about it when the time comes.

The resource that I have to leverage and that I am finding the hardest time with is time. I am having to make time that I wouldn't otherwise have by prioritizing my writing. The other resources I have are my many on-line friends who are amazing and giving and always willing to help one another. The other resources I have in regards to my health and fitness non-fiction book are that I have a following on my Skinny Dreaming blog and it's Facebook page, I have the experience of losing over 145 lbs, I have been featured for my weight loss in several magazines and national newspapers and I have been on TV twice to discuss aspects of my weight loss.

I just wish I had written my book before all of the media exposure, so I could have plugged my book at the time!


Melissa said...

I have the same problem with time. I wish I could spend time during the day writing, but right now I have to work... One day :)

Julie Hedlund said...

What a beautiful family! I think you should be congratulated for getting any writing done at all!!

Merlene Fawdry said...

Now that's a lot of writing in this post and I wonder where you wrote it - on the bus or on the run. I do a lot of writing while doing chores - just writing in my head, processing ideas etc. Another benefit from having a large family is, once they've all flown the coop, you've become so used to moving fast while multi tasking that finding time to write is a breeze :-)

VikLit said...

Really good post, it's so true there's so much to do during the day, well done you for finding time!