I hesitated to make this post because I like to keep my personal life personal, but it’s become apparent to me that my personal life is going to impact my writing. To keep it brief, I’ve been dealing with health issues on and off since August that has forced me to cut back on my pace for writing. It’s not serious, but it has disrupted my life to the point where I have to make adjustments.
Slowing down the writing
The first adjustment I made was lowering my word count goals. I used to write 3,000 words a day 5 days a week. My goal is now to write 1,500 words a day 3-4 days a week. After experimenting with this new goal for the past month, I’m happy to say that it’s working. I love writing. It gives me something to look forward to. Unless I’m truly at the end, I can’t see giving up the writing.
Stuff to give up
But there are some things I do have to give up. Audiobooks has to go. It’s a shame because it was fun, and my assistant and I worked through a few chapters in two different books, but it is what it is. Those will just have to go into the “put aside” folder. I also had to let my assistant go. I spent more time training him than I did in working, and while I’m sure that would have been okay if I gave this setup a year, I don’t have the energy required to keep it up. Writing is the top priority. I’d rather write new books than make audiobooks or have an assistant.
One thing I will add
The one thing I have added, however, is Radish. This is a new retailer for me, but it’s one I believe is worth pursuing. Plus, I can go at my own pace, and I’m just uploading books I’ve already published. Very low energy needed. If D2D were to start distributing to serialized fiction apps, I’d be more than happy to look into other serialized fiction sites, too. (D2D acquired Smashwords. My books will still be on the Smashwords store, but I’m not an all-in D2D author.)
No changes to some things
Thankfully, I never did a lot with marketing outside of this blog post, tweaking my website from time to time, and running the occasional ad. So I can keep up with this stuff. Years ago, I decided not to go into Amazon, Facebook, or Bookbub ads because those require authors to track and update keywords on all the time. That turned out to be the best decision I ever made because if I had to rely on that kind of marketing, I’d be up a creek without a paddle right now. Some authors rely on those ads for their livelihood. If you’re a writer who is reading this, my advice (for what it’s worth) is to focus on building your brand. Write your books, make some free so people have a risk-free chance to try you out, and spread your net wide because you never know when something will take off.
Pre-orders will be set up closer to the release dates
I am having to change the way I do pre-orders in the future. In the past, I could project up to a year out when I’d have a book ready, so I was able to effectively set pre-order dates. That’s no longer the case. I still want to do pre-orders because they give me time to get the blog post, links to the book in order, and the announcement ready for people on my email list. Instead of setting up a pre-order far out in advance, I’m not only going to put them up when the book is done.
As a side note: I only did the pre-orders long term on Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and Apple because those places made it easy to do them without the book already being finished. With Amazon, there have been glitches in the system where some authors didn’t have the final book go live on release day. Instead, Amazon put the draft version up, and that caused a lot of headache for the author and the readers. I only put up the final version of my book on Amazon for pre-order to avoid this nightmare scenario. Google Play/Books wants the final file. So that’s why it took so long for pre-orders to go up on Amazon and Google. But with this new change in my life, the pre-orders will start going up at the same time everywhere.