Saturday, June 26, 2010

Guest Post ~ Dave & Lilliam Brummet

The Writer's Life

Time management is a real biggie for me. There is always so much to do. Someone wants a banner ad, another radio show needs a promo ad, there’s guests to book on the radio show and outlines for their interviews to create, and articles for newsletters or blogs… emails popping in every few minutes involving queries for an interview, or offers of networking opportunities. Keeping records of all of this and making sure that everyone has been followed up on, while finding new contacts, new opportunities to reach an audience that has not yet heard of our work – this can eat up a lot of time. 

Part of the struggle is keeping up with the new technologies, each of these takes a little time to become accustomed to. New book releases are the most time constraining tasks that a writer will experience. We need to find patience through this busy time and know that there will be time for writing again soon enough. Besides being patient, keeping good records is essential to ensuring nothing is left behind along the way.

As soon as my coffee is poured in the morning after breakfast, I am ready for the office. So my day can start at 7 AM and can go to long into the evening. However, I also help my husband run Drum-it’s other endeavors, look after our yard and garden and do most of the household duties. On top of this I have 2 dogs to maintain – so I find myself doing a few hours here, a few hours there … kind of intertwining everything, finding a way to balance it all.
Record-keeping is the best thing that ever happened to me. Whenever I have queried a media contact, for instance, I'll head over to the Excel file where I'll record brief information on name of the media, the contact, the email/web address and then brief notes to myself in the Notes column - such as the fact that I learned of a radio program's interest in receiving guest applications through I use color-coding for easy referral - blue means I need to follow up, pink means something is booked but not yet published, purple means it was published, and so on. Every 3 months or so I go through this file and eliminate all the rows that have no colors (this means that if I have not assigned a color code, there was no response to my query) because I no longer have a need to keep a record of those contacts. At the same time, I'll do any follow-ups that have not been completed yet - I want to see everything pink or purple at the end of the year. 

Research is key for my writing process. I do tons of research, glean the best from it, add my own personal twist and then tweak it to suit the audience the project is intended for. Everything is researched… the content itself, the audience, the publication – their departments – and their staff… then comes the promotion aspects.

If I know something is coming up, I will make a point of researching it and make a brief plan of action well ahead of time. As soon as we found out our manuscript was ready for publication, for instance, we made sure that we had a plan of action in place for marketing along with an estimated schedule; without this we could easily become overwhelmed by the vast array of time-sensitive activities that one faces upon a book release. 

It sounds complicated, but the whole thing only takes just a little effort; the outline and record-keeping aspects of a writer's career can make all the difference when it comes to doing things efficiently and effectively. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by it all, remember that getting reviews and other media exposure is something you want to have happening for the life of the contract for each book - so that means spreading the activities out, at a comfortable pace. 


Purple Snowflake Marketing ~ How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd
Trash Talk ~ Learn How You Can Impact the Environment
Towards Understanding ~ a collection of 120 poems on society, the environment and overcoming trauma.



Email ~ ldbrummet (at) yahoo (dot) com

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