Since getting back from RWA in July I've been having a few epiphanies. I'm working thirteen, fourteen hour days, then trying to be a decent mom, home owner (not really wife as DH is working just as hard as me if he's even in the country) and still not getting as much written as I want. The bottom-line is I'm now a publisher as well as a writer and for the last 18 months I got away with doing it all myself. No more. I'm done. Spent. Deflated and knackered.
Since I got back from RWA I updated back matter in all my books--for those who don't know that's the extra stuff at beginning and end. The key though is making sure hyperlinks etc go to each correct vendor. So I have five self-published books, ten published titles, five vendors (at least). My books are mentioned two or three times in each book so it's about 500 links that I needed to update. Then my website was in desperate need of an overhaul--10 books average 12+ book buying links each on page and then series pages and and and... You get the picture.
So even just doing the basic stuff has taken me forever. I almost gave up on the website (what do you think BTW link?) but I knew could do it. I like being in charge of the website, and I like the immediacy. I like the control. CONTROL is a big thing for self-published authors. But I made a few decisions. Firstly, from now on the manuscript is going to a professional formatter. I can do it. I like doing it. I just don't have time anymore. Covers and editing are already in the hands of professionals. I am cutting back on formatting so I can write (please god, let me write) and I'm cutting back the social media. I've cut back on that quite a lot already--not the interacting on my page/profile, but the aimless wandering. It isn't that I don't care what's happening. I just need to concentrate, to retrain my brain to enjoy long sentences and complicated story-lines.
I'm also doing a lot of my research using audiobooks which has been a big help, time wise. Dog walking has involved much Russian shenanigans.
My son comes home soon after six weeks away, hubby too though he's only been gone a week. I'm going to enjoy them for a few days and then dive back into COLD LIGHT OF DAY which is shaping up nicely I think. It was a hard book to get into, but it is turning into the book I want it to be--I just hope readers feel the same way (eep). After that I'm going to write a couple of novellas (One for Sarah & Cal out of HER SANCTUARY, and one for Vivi and Jed out of COLD PURSUIT for Christmas) and then onto ASAC Frazer's story in the new year. Then I'm hoping to start on some SAS thrillers linked to THE KILLING GAME,intermixed with more FBI/Wisconsin RS stories.
Second epiphany was that the quality of the work matters more than the speed of production (contrary to much self publishing wisdom). Readers might have to wait a bit longer, but better to write a book to the best of my ability than to rush it. I need to stop panicking. This is the best year I've ever had as a writer but I need to trust my decisions. I know myself. I know my body. I know how I work best and that is by achieving balance. This isn't me being lazy, it's me knowing my body and my mind and my writing. This is how I do what I have to do. This is how I stay sane. Bullying doesn't work. Pressure doesn't work. Deadlines mean nothing because I work my ass off everyday anyway. I don't need anyone else cracking the whip. I just hope readers stick with me for the ride.
Another thing--I realized I have four shorter manuscripts sitting on my hard drive, stories that I originally wrote for Harlequin Intrigue but that were rejected. There are at least two pretty decent stories there (the third would actually make a better bigger book). So maybe next year I'll also figure out a way of putting them into my release schedule. They are simpler books, only 50K words long. What do you thing--would readers like them?
Hope you're having a good summer. I'm going to put my feet up now. 9 pm on a Sunday and I don't remember the last time I had a day off. Time to make a few changes.