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Bulletin Board > Seeking advice as a part time writer

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris Garrett (chrisgarrettofficial) | 12 comments Hey guys! So here is my situation I'm a full time dad and full time retail manager. During my spare time I like write and self publish zones and novels. I also do conventions and signings on the side.My wife isn't a fan of this for it takes time away from her personnel time. So based on the above information my questions are as follows.

How many zones and novels should I put out yearly to keep my momentum going to be a successful writer on the side?

What are the best ways and cheapest to promote yourself and your work while doing conventions and signings?

How any events should be done in a year?


message 2: by Chris (new)

Chris Garrett (chrisgarrettofficial) | 12 comments Let me clarify ZINES and NOVELS. Lol


message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Only you can answer those questions for yourself; each person's situation is different.

Here are the questions I would consider based on your post:

-- How do *you* define success?
-- Are you taking advantage of Vistaprint for your promotional materials, which often has sales or "freebies"? It is sometimes possible to get rack cards, business cards, or even a table banner for nothing more than the cost of shipping.
-- What events can you easily *access*? Think about the ROI; if you can get to an event with just a little gas and the cost of parking, without having to pay for a hotel in addition to table costs, it's easier to break even than if you are flying all over the place.
-- How are you repurposing what you've you've already done? Are your hard-copy books available as eBooks across *all* markets and not just in KDP-S (which limits your potential audience)? This is where a distributor like Smashwords is your friend. Are your titles available in audio editions? ACX allows you to do a royalty split with a voice actor, which means you don't have to pay them something up-front.

Just some food for thought.


message 4: by Jim (last edited Jul 29, 2015 12:34PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1038 comments Chris,

There are several established book promotion options that have proven to be effective over the years.

Website - Dedicated to one book and its author. It should include a blurb, author's bio., excerpts, an events clendar, and interactve communication page.

Interviews - Accept invitations from established literary magazines, websites, and blogs.

Push Cards, Business Cards, and Thank-You Cards - Distribute during events and leave behind at book stores, public libraries, and literary events.

Literary Websites - Active participation in various discussion group threads; not just those designated for self-promotion. Allow members to become familiar with you as a person and fellow reader.

Public Appearances - Festivals, conventions, public library programs, and book signings at book stores, book clubs, and other venues.

Blog - Professionally written and consistently maintained.

Only you are able determine how often and for how long you write. I am sure that whatever decision you make will be the right one for you. Here's to a timely and effective resolution to your dilemma.


message 5: by R.F.G. (new)

R.F.G. Cameron | 443 comments Chris wrote: "My wife isn't a fan of this for it takes time away from her personnel time..."


One sentence sticks out though I think you mean personal time. My take is you probably should discuss all that with your spouse first.

Of course I hear it's exciting being the next contestant up on Divorce Court.

My writing is mostly on hold since the Wife can't find it in her heart to give me even a few uninterrupted hours a week. As a rule I reply to postings while a Tiny Demon is throwing stuff at me, so interactions on GR don't count as writing.

I could force the issue, and wind up sorrier for it.

Seriously, we're the wrong people to ask.


message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 361 comments The other key point is the cycle in your life. If all your kids are under 5, the writing is going to suffer -- there's no way it cannot. Or if the day job involves running for office, or annual conventions -- there are periods where you're going to have to not write.

It is all very well to say that you're going to write a novel a year. But who says that? Show it to me, in the Bible. You can set your own schedule. I would not sacrifice quality for the mere goal of grinding out a 100K of words per year.


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1038 comments When it comes to establishing a mental priority list that inludes family, homelife, friends (not to be confused with acquaintances), career, and writing, one of those items belongs at the bottom of the list. Hint: It begins with the letter W.


message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Stuart | 108 comments Anyone who regards writing as work, even if they are one of the few who can afford to live on their royalties, is wasting their life surely?

I write because it's as essential to me as breathing. Yes, I have a husband... friends... other commitments... but the way, for me, round writing without harming my marriage is the way I'm doing it right now... or I will be when I've caught up with what's going on here and the rest in my notifications. He watches TV, reads a book, talks on the phone, listens to music, and I work on my laptop. Music is positively helpful: the rest I've learned to tune out. Sorry, no pun intended :-)

It isn't easy to learn how, but it can be done and it's well worth the effort, as is staying up late or getting up early sometimes.

That said, I don't set myself deadlines. so if something comes up that takes priority I can stop without feeling pressured, which is one huge advantage of self-publishing.


message 9: by Jeffrey (last edited Jan 31, 2015 02:03PM) (new)

Jeffrey Eaton | 53 comments Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

And we aren't marital counselors.

But here is my idea, Chris: does your wife have a hobby? Of any sort? What does she do for fun away from you?

Once you identify that, the two of you then sit down and the conversation goes something like this: I am happy dear for you to spend 'X' number of hours a week on your hobby if you let me spend 'X' number of hours a week on mine. And then you both decide to commit to spending 'X' number of hours per week on together stuff.

As you presented it, you are always the bad guy, which isn't fair. Whether her fun comes from going to a gym, playing Candy Crush, or watching Game of Thrones, the fact is BOTH OF YOU are doing things separate from one another and so BOTH OF YOU have to flex, compromise and most importantly come to a contract that makes both of you responsible for ensuring you have time together and have time to spend on your individual endeavors.

And maybe most important, a contract that doesn't make either of you the 'bad apple' at whom the other is always wagging their finger. Good luck!!


message 10: by Chris (new)

Chris Garrett (chrisgarrettofficial) | 12 comments Thank you for all the great suggestions and thoughts. Sharon asked "How do I define success?" Success is selling multiple units(just a few)of my book online and at events and also keeping my readers involved with my work as I write other projects. With my personal Reasons of seeking this advice to the side I guess the main question is.... how do I expand myself and my books without spending tons of time and money?

What im doing now....
-planning 3 to 6 events a year away from birthdays,major holidays,etc.
-using social media
-using vista print and other sites for items to promote
- created a website
-self publishing through kdp, createspace, and smashwords.

Any other suggestions?? And thanks again for the great advice.


message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris Garrett (chrisgarrettofficial) | 12 comments Sharon wrote: "Only you can answer those questions for yourself; each person's situation is different.

Here are the questions I would consider based on your post:

-- How do *you* define success?
-- Are you taki..."

Good point Sharon. Ill have to try ACX.


message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris Garrett (chrisgarrettofficial) | 12 comments Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

And we aren't marital counselors...."



And we aren't marital counselors...."

Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

Thanks. I apologize if im misleading people to think me and my wife fight over this which isn't the case. Like most spouses the concern is time and money so respectfuly im trying to find ways that will let me do what I love on the side without taking too much time from away my family and not very costly.

And we aren't marital counselors...."



message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris Garrett (chrisgarrettofficial) | 12 comments Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

And we aren't marital counselors...."



And we aren't marital counselors...."

Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

Thanks. I apologize if im misleading people to think me and my wife fight over this which isn't the case. Like most spouses the concern is time and money so respectfuly im trying to find ways that will let me do what I love on the side without taking too much time from away my family and not very costly



message 14: by Chris (new)

Chris Garrett (chrisgarrettofficial) | 12 comments Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

And we aren't marital counselors...."



And we aren't marital counselors...."

Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

Thanks. I apologize if im misleading people to think me and my wife fight over this which isn't the case. Like most spouses the concern is time and money so respectfuly im trying to find ways that will let me do what I love on the side without taking too much time from away my family and not very costly



message 15: by Chris (new)

Chris Garrett (chrisgarrettofficial) | 12 comments Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

And we aren't marital counselors...."



And we aren't marital counselors...."

Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

Thanks. I apologize if im misleading people to think me and my wife fight over this which isn't the case. Like most spouses the concern is time and money so respectfuly im trying to find ways that will let me do what I love on the side without taking too much time from away my family and not very costly



message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Stuart | 108 comments Jeffrey wrote: "Yes there is a marital thing going on here and a side career thing as well. Unfortunately, for you to have a real solution, I do believe you have to address both.

And we aren't marital counselors...."


For somebody who isn't a counsellor that sounds like very good advice. I love dogs... I've supplied them for the stage... but it's my husband who enjoys long walks, so right now I have a pup to train. I make time because that's HIS thing... that a disappearing to rugby matches.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Today's motto:

Don't let anyone tell you who to be. Be yourself. Work on yourself. And be PROUD of who you are and who you are becoming!


message 18: by Jim (last edited Jan 31, 2015 03:09PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1038 comments "Remember to always be yourself; unless you suck."
Joss Whedon - Screenwriter/Producer: Movies & TV (1964 - Still Living)


message 19: by Steven (new)

Steven Malone | 43 comments My advice on the writing. Write the stories that come to you as they come to you. You try to crank out momentum stuff you'll end up writing crap. People that want to make money off of you want that novel a year. Go for quality. Go for story.

If you solve the mystery of book marketing you'll die richer than Rollins. I'd buy that book.

Don't sacrifice family for art. Guaranteed unhappiness.

Best of luck.


message 20: by Rita (new)

Rita Chapman | 480 comments Use this time to build some sort of following - then when the children are older (or even when you retire!) you will be ready to roll.


message 21: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 2804 comments There's no right or wrong answer, since different things work for different people, and in different situations.

My advice, however, is to find time where you can in your busy schedule, do as much writing and promoting as you can during that time, but don't worry too much about how many books you're completing a year, or how many fans and followers you have.

The thing is, while it's great to think you're going to get several books out every year, and sell several copies of each, there's no way to guarantee that, no matter how many hours a day you spend on writing and promoting. However, if writing is something you love, you'll find time to do it somehow, and enjoy whatever time you can make for it.

Even with a job, a wife, and kids, you should make time for things you love to do; you'll get burned out if you don't get some time to enjoy your own hobbies by yourself sometimes. I'm hopeful that your wife knows this too, and would therefore be supportive if you were to request some alone time to work on writing and promoting your books - even if it's just a couple of hours on the weekend, or half an hour or so each evening, or something like that.


message 22: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Troemel | 13 comments I work full time, am a full time mom (though my daughters are all adults now) and wife, and write as much as possible. I put out 12 books last year and 2 crochet patterns. Where I fall short is marketing. I'm still feeling my way.

One thing I would suggest is negotiate with your wife. Writing is probably part of your soul so giving it up isn't going to happen. She's probably seeing it as a competition for your time and attention. Do you dedicate time every week to her? I hate the date night stuff but do you make appointments with her. Do you give her notice that you're planning to write, work on marketing etc.? All of these will help her realize you value her as well as your writing. As for how many, how many can you do and still have time for your other commitments?

I've not done conventions so can't help you there. How do you get reviews? Cultivate a reliable list of reviewers to get your books reviewed. Do you have a web site? Do you have a blog? Do you put your covers on Pinterest? Do you have a Facebook page? Are you on Twitter? These are all things you can do to drive your customers to your product.

My husband is encouraging of my writing but there are times he comes to sit next to me and even when the writing is flowing, I stop and pay attention to him. The people in our lives are more important than the words we're trying to get down.


message 23: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments I would say write whenever you have free time, you feel inspired to write and it doesn't interfere with anything else you may have going on. Make a set schedule for yourself, perhaps put a little time into writing on certain days or a day during the week.


message 24: by Debra (new)

Debra Easterling (debeasterling) | 10 comments First of all, congratulations on the 12 books. I've written four and I suffer the exact same problem with marketing. When you work full-time, then come home to take care of family, house, and home, it leaves little time to write, much less market. In my case, the fact that I'm the most technology challenged individual in the world, makes it even harder. I still don't know how to use Goodreads correctly.

Sorry, I can't help, but at least I can sympathize. I'd suggest reading the book "The Frugal Book Promoter" but it isn't for those with little time. Its all a matter of doing a bunch of little things rather than one sure fire method.

www.DebraEasterling.com


message 25: by Janna (new)

Janna Morrow (JANNA_MORROW) | 52 comments Hi, I understand your plight since I work full-time and have two kids. I think that is why I cannot write a million books a year. I do what I can. Marketing and self-promotion is tough for me. It seems like a job and I have a job that pays my bills. Writing is not paying my bills right now, so I have to be practical and focus on reality. I would recommend that you focus more on your day job and write more in the evenings after you have spent some time with your spouse. I only write when the baby is napping or my hubby is playing with her. Otherwise, I don't write. Good luck!


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