The Workload Post
This will probably be a recurring post from time to time due to all the wonderful projects any writer has going at one time. The purpose of this post isn’t my usual “show readers how hard I work” post though. It’s aimed at showing authors how to slow down and maximize their time.
Recently, I was working on seven different erotic stories. They ranged in length from 20k, to 100k and then there is a series I was querying agents for, plus the radio station, the anthology I’m editing, twitter and all the other miscellaneous bullshit I do. My publicist and I were taking a look at the market, at my marketing plan and seeing some results and it became time to retool things for better results. This website is actually a product of our previous conversation to steer more readers here as we expand just what I write as Sascha Illyvich, rather than just the BDSM niche crowd I so dearly love. The site may be less flashy than SaschaIllyvich.com but it’s certainly more open to a larger audience. With blog updates once a week that discuss the writer’s journey I’m on, hopefully you’re entertained and kept up to date on not only a writer’s career but my career.
That conversation by the way, was painful. The outcome was that I cut down to two writing projects, the anthology for Jean Marie of REB, and now I’m taking the summer off of querying.
This laser focus we’ve managed to assemble is the pinnacle of any writer’s marketing plan. I recently spoke with Kayelle Allen and had to yell at her for doing everything I told her not to do. She had scheduled chats both live and loop, set up a few blog posts and was spending time spinning her wheels so much on promotions that she had no time to write. And I can almost predict that while she’s being more prolific online, her targeted marketing efforts are draining and killing her ROI.
FYI, I know a lot of authors hate talking about Return on Investment when we start off with such low pay but if you’re going to grow your career, this is an essential thing to look at.
I am not a marketing machine. That’s Debbie’s job. And Diane’s job. They’re my machine in a sense that helps me figure out just what is needed as an author so I can do as I want. That would be writing for both the contemporary and larger romance markets for those who know my true desires.
The big trend in our changing industry is SEO and social media and while annoying, it is a must. How much time spent there is debatable depending on how much you find it’s helping you. I’ve found for me that I can be on twitter on and off throughout the day thanks to my cell phone and still get a ton of writing done. (Well, 10 pages at least anyway LOL!)
The question I ask you about your marketing efforts would be twofold. First, how much traffic is coming to your site and buying your product? This is measured in your checks. No, we don’t care about demographics. We have a way to check that but for the publisher it’s too tedious a task. Besides, it’s blatantly obvious in most cases. My readers (currently) are those who like Male Dominant stories with females submitting to them. Who cares about the gender? I don’t need to. I’m not an economist, I’m a writer.
The second part of that question is how much time are you spending writing? Are you stressing over deadlines because you’re overworked on writing projects OR because you do too much stupid PR? Again this is measured by your royalty checks though your readers list, twitter followers and fans who actively comment on your posts may or may not help. I have little comments here so far. I’m also still thought of as a BDSM writer.
I write in a variety of erotic romance genres but I also write what sells and ONLY what sells. There will be another post on how I get to write what I want and still make money coming soon.
Lastly, I’d ask you this: Is it still fun? Is this what you enjoy doing? For me, the answer is a resounding yes. I mean what other job can afford me time off to go smoke cigars and drink while working? And take time off when I need it, not before? And what other job can I do well that impacts so many readers?