Posted by Alex Alexander • September 13, 2015
Not one year ago I was naive enough to think that writers… wrote books. Perhaps I’m just a struggling writer who’s still trying to build his own “author platform.” Even then, I was shocked to discover the paltry share of all the man hours that goes into writing your own books. And that includes all the necessary research and fact-checking that goes with the territory.
Here’s an incomplete list of tasks that an author must complete. Author’s website. The art for the cover. The font for the cover. Marketing materials for the cover, the website, and for other purposes. A video trailer. A story coach, at least for the early stages. Two or three editors. Revisions. Rereading the book for the hundredth time. The initial book layout, fixing bugs, the final layout. Facebook. Amazon central. Google+. After those, maybe even LinkedIn and Twitter. Initial customization and continued support for each social site. Constant blogging. Order SEO, read the report. Get the keywords: supernatural, mystery, paranormal, etc.
Redo everything based on the report’s recommendations. Ship the book to everyone who had agreed to write an objective review on Amazon. Ship out all the prizes won at giveaways. Try to establish contact with other bloggers. Keep an eye out on new material in your genre. Attend writing courses and workshops.
And that’s not including all the homework that needs to be done before you can even sit down and write anything: read a bunch of books on “how to write books,” “how to develop characters,” “how to write dialog,” and a myriad other books on marketing along the lines of “how do make your book stand out despite the fact that up to four thousand new titles (by some estimates) are published every day.”
I have to think that things used to be simpler. You wrote a book, sent it to publishers, then waited patiently for their response. Patiently but with tremendous trepidation. Oh, the romance of it all…