Today's topic is talk about tasks that time has taught me thorough types tackle (but I didn't, both during the A to Z and more generally about my writing). (I thought about writing about taxes, but I've finished with that annoyance, and don't want to think about it--nor do I particularly want to risk sharing my dubious decisions).
These first five are about the blogging thing:1. Because you already figured this out, I didn't write a post for today. Or even figure out what it was going to be (I don't consider a vague note of "something about Tess?" to be a plan).
2. Housework. Blogging is a great deal more fun than housework. Oh, I've kept the laundry done and fed people most days, even swept the kitchen and dining room a couple of times. But please don't look too closely at my dust bunnies. They are getting large and savage.
3. Talk. I haven't made enough time this month to talk to my friends. It's very easy for an introverted writer to crawl into a cave with the computer and not emerge.
4. Visit. I'm guilty of failing to visit as many blogs as I'd like, though I think I've hit everyone who's left me a comment. Where do people find the time for this?!
5. Prepare. Next year (and yes, I'm already planning on doing the next A to Z!) I want to prepare more posts in advance. Prepare, plan, and execute, so that I can spend more time reading.
Six through ten are about writing, and publishing:
6. Plan ahead. I wrote the book, then I started thinking about covers, formatting, etc. The sad thing is. . . I did it again with the second book, which is why instead of it coming out in Feb. as promised, it's still not out.
7. Invest. Spend a little to make a little. In other words: hire a cover artist. Maybe an editor, but especially a cover artist, because without a decent cover you just don't sell books.
8. Build a platform before you publish. Everyone says to do it. Unfortunately, for many of us, once we've published THEN we start reading about how to promote our books. But you know what? Since my indie-published book is not under the gun to reach a certain level of sales by the end of six months, that's okay. I can take my time and learn the ropes and get there by and by. Or not.
9. Perfect my record-keeping. After figuring out the taxes, I noted that I now knew how to keep my records (what categories to use, etc.) to make it easier next year. I can't help noticing that I haven't changed my record keeping yet.
10. Pick an age and genre and stick with it (in a particular book). The Ninja Librarian grew organically out of stories I wrote for my co-workers, and only when I had about a dozen did we start to think it was maybe a kids book, maybe YA (turns out not). So the poor Librarian hovers between the children and the adults, and no one is quite sure where to put him. So I'll clarify: the Ninja Librarian books are completely suitable for kids, and adults will get even more out of them. Some of the humor verges on slapstick, some is more subtle. I think the story works either way. But, from a purely marketing standpoint: don't do this at home, kids!
On the up side, there are a few things I've done and want to keep doing: I've read a lot of books this month, after a bit of a slump where I was just noodling around on line. And I've been finishing books. That's something to be proud of.