Earlier this year, I started to wonder how I had so little time to write even though I felt like I was working all the time. I started to keep a daily log of what I was doing, and made some changes to my routine. I thought you might be interested in seeing a typical day in the indie author’s life.
Here’s my day, on September 20 of this year.
6:00 AM – Rise and shine! Let the dog out. Update pages on my website with new covers including the Rogues of Ravensmuir (5 website pages) plus the Prometheus Project (6 website pages). Fiddle to make the old covers display better. Create two new banners for the website (one for each of the above series) and install.
7:30 – Breakfast. Review plans for the day and meals with Mr. Math.
8:00 – Daily email triage. Daily sales check at online portals. (I publish directly to Amazon, Apple, Kobo, B&N, All Romance, GooglePlay, LSI, and Createspace. I check sales on the first four every day, the others less frequently.) This is an on-sale day for Wyvern’s Prince, so check product links on all portals, verify that pre-orders have been posted. It’s also an on-sale day for Spellbound, but I’m not the publisher on that series. Have a peek at the product pages all the same. Social media quick-stop because tick tock, time is passing and there’s a lot to be done.
9:45 – Crisis and challenge management. There were several portal issues in the midst of resolution, which was the morning’s focus. Crises change by day, but here’s a typical sample:
• I’m updating the interiors of backlist titles and had a glitch at Ingrams on the upload. They said it would be fixed by today. It appears to be fixed, so submit four titles in the Coxwell series for final file review.
• I’m participating in a promotion on September 28 with a free title. I’d requested that Amazon match Apple’s free price point, they said that they would do so by today, so I verified that the price change had been made.
• Also, Amazon had incorrect prices on two other titles, I requested they be corrected which was to be done by today. They are now correct.
• A GooglePlay price is incorrect so I fixed it by logging into my dashboard.
• I have several books that have been miscategorized at Apple, they say a fix is in the works, so I checked on them. That change is still in progress, so I’ll check it daily until it’s done. I was accepted for two Kobo promotions, declined for another and invited to participate in a new one. Flag that application to be done later.
10:00 – 12:00 Begin review of final edits of Arista’s Legacy. My editor always asks such good questions. (grrr!)
12:00 – Lunch! Take the New Girl for our daily walk and think about the answers to my editor’s questions.
1:30 – Details, details. Register two copyrights. Compose and send two “new release alerts.” Check that monthly newsletter is being delivered in batches as scheduled. Talk to agent about an errant check. Check in on social media and retweet, share, etc.
2:00 – Back to Arista’s Legacy. Finish edits and finalize file. Tweak file of Wyvern’s Prince for continuity. Deliver both files to formatter. Update print-on-demand interior file for Wyvern’s Prince (which includes Arista’s Legacy). Since the cover is already done and uploaded, submit book files for technical review. Update Createspace product page, and update my website with Createspace link. Ask Amazon to link the print and digital editions of Wyvern’s Prince on their website.
5:00 – Confirm details of upcoming BookBub ad. (The Crusader’s Bride on October 2.) Sign up for an author signing event in 2017. Review and sign contract amendment with Blackstone Audio for wider audio distribution on two audiobooks. Deliver new audio cover for The Rogue to Blackstone and to ACX, and upload it to Soundcloud. Hand off audiobook review lists to new VA, review protocol and history so she can manage it going forward.
6:00 – Make dinner with Mr. Math and eat. 🙂
7:30 – Interior files for the Coxwell series POD updates have been approved on the technical end at LSI. Review proofs digitally for all four books, approve the files and put those books back on sale.
9:00 – Read a bit while Mr. Math loads the dishwasher.
10:00 – Sleep.
Rinse and repeat.
This was actually a pretty productive day, as I did about five hours of what I consider to be my real work—writing and editing. That’s progress! Just for the sake of comparison, ten years ago, I would have written 3000 words on a new ms before getting those edits done, and I would have been done by 4 PM. I would have had no responsibilities in terms of publishing my books, but also (there’s always a downside) just about no control over the way my books went into the world. I’m happy to take on the extra hours to have that control.
It is a question of how many hours, and of finding a productive balance, though. At the other end of the spectrum, for several years up to last spring, I would have spent the entire release day on social media stuff and admin stuff. I would have gotten no editing or new writing done at all. (I might not have gotten any writing done the day before or the day after, either.) I decided last spring that I needed to spend more time writing each day. I’m pleased to see my progress in the right direction.
So, there you go. That’s the view from my desk. Was it what you expected or not?