Finding Time to Write and Promote  

© Cheryl Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved

 

One of the things I often hear from fellow writers is that marketing takes a substantial amount of time, and that means, less time for writing. Many feel there is no easy way to balance promoting their work while still sending out submissions. 

 

As someone who works in online book promotion, I know how important marketing is. Here are a few tips you can try to help you achieve a better balance between promotion time and writing time. 

 

Add Marketing Time to Your To-Do List 

 

Without a list, you can lack focus and organization, which means time slips away and you’re not even sure where it went. Daily and weekly to-do lists keep you on track, and they motivate you to keep going. 

 

See where you can add 15 minutes to half an hour of marketing time to your daily schedule. I find that after lunch is my best time because I’m in between roles. The mornings are dedicated to virtual book tour clients and the evenings are dedicated to writing and blogging. Afternoons are usually spent on promoting my work and tying up loose ends. I need a less intense activity before the girls get home from school, so that I feel refreshed and can focus solely on them. 

 

Create an Online Media Kit  

 

Every published writer needs a media kit. A media kit should include: a long and short bio, author photographs, novel covers, book trailers, excerpts, audio clips, links to previous interviews, and a schedule of events. If you write articles, it should include a list of those articles, where and when they appeared, and direct links to any articles that appear online.  

 

By having this information available on your website and in PDF format, you’ll save time when you contact people for interview and book review requests.   

 

Even if you’re still waiting for that first sale, it’s a good idea to have a biography and quality photo available for those who request them.  

 

 

Use Social Media Effectively 

 

I have eight social networks that I post to multiple times a day at least five days a week.  Can you imagine how long it would take if I had to post to each site separately?  

 

By using a site like http://ping.fm/ I can create one post that is submitted to all my social networks at once.  

 

Another way to save time using social media is to use share buttons on other sites and add them to your own sites.  

 

Why is this important? 

 

If you have to copy a link from a blog, shorten it using http://tinyurl.com/, and then copy and paste the link onto your Facebook wall, how many times will you or someone else actually share that link with others?  

 

When it only takes one or two clicks to share a link from a website or blog, people are more apt to do it.  

 

Support Local Schools and Events 

 

Who says marketing can’t be fun and fulfilling? With tightening budgets, schools are often looking for guests to come and speak to the kids. Every year I hold a writing workshop at each of my daughter’s schools. I speak to the teacher about their current course of study and then tie my workshops into that.  

 

Last year I visited during National Poetry Month, which is held in April. The kids had also been studying Colonial America and the America Revolution. My two-day workshop was on using your senses in writing and on how to develop your powers of observation.  

 

We started off by reading excerpts from classic children’s books and seeing if the kids could point out the senses the authors used. Then the students pulled items out of a bag and had to use their senses to describe it. On the second day, they observed me reciting “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and we discussed their observations. Finally, they put all they learned into practice by writing a short story based on a field trip they had taken earlier in the year. 

 

The kids still talk about it when I see them in the halls. 

 

When my book came out, I asked to hold a book signing at my church during their annual Christmas Bazaar and Tag Sale. I got a chance to sell my book, and a portion of the proceeds went to the church, so everybody won. 

 

Marketing is part of the business of writing. The writer who learns to make time for both has a leg up over those who focus solely on the creative side of the business. Using these tips will help you strike a better balance.

 

 

 

About the Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelancer who specializes in helping writers increase productivity through time management and organization. She has also written articles on everyday life in the 1800’s, gardening, parenting, and women’s health issues.  Cheryl is a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book! and the editor of Musing Our Children’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.  Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010.  She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find out more about Cheryl by visiting her website at http://ccmalandrinos.com/ 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Writer's Guide to Time Management