Tag Archives: scheduling

A Day in the Life…

So, I’m a day late with posting to the Scribes, but when I’m through, you’ll see why. PJ Sharon here, and I thought it might be fun to share the short list of to-do’s in the days before indie-publishing two projects at once–Christmas week.

Box set cover1) Complete third and final round of edits for SAMI’s CHRISTMAS WISH LIST, a holiday novella releasing on December 19th as part of The GIRLS of THOMPSON LAKE box set. (Done)

2) Format box set prior to sending off for professional formatting. (I don’t want any surprises!) The box set includes HEAVEN is for HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and PIECES of LOVE, which means I had to go through all three novels, combine them into one document, and assure that formatting was consistent throughout. Being that my brain is in edit mode, you can imagine I was catching things right and left that needed fixing. (Done)

3) Final round edits for HEALING WATERS, Book Three in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy. (Done!)

PJSharon_HealingWaters_8004) Prepare/format HW for final upload to Amazon by…um…tonight. (In order to offer pre-orders, the final product must be uploaded ten days prior to December 23rd release.) (In-progress) If you pre-order it now, you’ll have it on your Kindle on release day! 

5) Set up FREE run for WANING MOON, Book One in the trilogy. December 22-26th. (Includes listing book on as many FREE e-book sites as possible…there are probably hundreds these days. This takes hours and requires a personal assistant or an all-night spree in the next few days. (In-progress)

6) Ordered print proofs/advanced copies for Goodreads giveaway. They arrived today. Yay!!! So cool having the book in hand. If you want a chance to win a signed ARC, you still have a couple of days to enter. Giveaway ends December 15th. (Done) Mail signed ARCs to winners on December 16th.HW Arc pic

Oh, and did I mention, I’m participating in a group blog hop from December 12-31st? My Addictive Reads friends and I are chatting about a “Few of our Favorite Things.” You can read mine here. We also want to show our appreciation to our readers by offering $50, $20, and $15 gift cards, and a grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD Tablet that we’ve front loaded with a bunch of our books, including PIECES of LOVE. Estimated value $239! Check out the EVENT page, fill in the rafflecopter, and visit each author’s site to find more goodies.AR-2014-Giveaway

Once I’m done uploading HEALING WATERS tonight, I’m determined to take tomorrow off to breathe and hang out with my CTRWA writer pals at our annual Margarita Awards Holiday Party. This year’s bash includes a luau and a pool party. I can see some margaritas in my near future! Maybe even of the “awards” variety.

The one part my multi-project launch I haven’t been able to manage (secondary to limitations in time, budget, and brain cells) is preparing a release party or setting up any major advertising. Since past efforts (FB parties, paid ads, and social media blitzes through blog tours and such), have all shown minimal success, this time, I’m focusing on getting the books out. Now that I have the third book in the trilogy completed and I have the box set to work with, I’ll take a bit of time off from new fiction projects and focus my first quarter efforts on promoting.

2015 promises to be an exciting year. I have a non-fiction project in the works and plan to teach some workshops at conferences. I’ve already been invited to appear at the New England RWA chapter’s April conference. I’ll be presenting a workshop on Self-Care and Ergonomics for writers entitled…”Is your writing killing you?”

Yes…I am an expert, LOL.

Miraculously, I seem to be able to juggle all of this and plan a little time with family and friends, despite my slight grumpiness and fatigue. If you’re wondering if there are two of me, there aren’t. But it is on my Christmas wish list.

Best to you all through the holidays! Wish me luck.

 

 

 

Give a Hoot!

Happy Friday everyone! Casey here! I hope you’ve had a great week.

One quick announcement – The Undead Space Initiative is on sale now! Thanks to everyone who purchased copies. I appreciate it!

I’m always looking for new ways to use my time more efficiently. I recently signed up for the free version of Hootsuite (thank you Jennifer Fusco for the tip). Now, I received this information a while ago from Madame Fusco, but I was reluctant to sign up for YET another social media tool. I’d tried Tweetdeck and was completely underwhelmed and gave up using it.

With another book release looming in my future (and a huge bout of indecision about promotion), and feeling disorganized and out of control, I did what I always do  –  step back, assess, and organize.

My solution: give Hootsuite a try. So I signed up for the free version and gave it a whirl. (And yes, I do love that little owl logo – see here for my admitted owl obsession).

After the initial set up (which took about two minutes because I had to create and document another new password), I was asked to choose the social networks I wanted to connect to. With the free version, I was limited to five. I had a tough decision to make because I also manage the Scribes’ Twitter and Facebook pages. And I belong to several Facebook groups too.

In the end I chose to use my own pages for the trial run. So I hooked up my Facebook profile, fan page, my Twitter account, and my WordPress blog. Once I did that Hootsuite presented all my information on a series of dedicated tabs and then asked me to choose the “streams” I wanted to view.

 

Basically that means – how much information do I want displayed? For example on Facebook, you can view wall posts, news feeds and events (to name a few). With Twitter, I can view lists, mentions, the twitter feed, and sent tweets.

The best thing about Hootsuite is scheduling messages. Hootsuite allows you to add photos, documents, and links. Then you can decide the date/time where you want them to appear (FB page, Twitter, your blog).

I have to say – it’s pretty sweet. With minimal effort, I can now schedule my tweets etc. for my weekly blog posts or announce my latest buy link therefore saving me time. If I were to upgrade to the full package ($9.99) a month, I could use their bulk scheduler, connect to an unlimtied number of social networks, and more.

Hootsuite has other free features like analytics that I have yet to explore, but I’m taking baby steps for now!

So far I’ve had a good experience with Hootsuite and I would recommend it for those of you who are time-strapped. Especially if you are on a blog tour or gearing up for your next promotion. The scheduling aspect is my favorite part.

Anyone else using Hootsuite? Any time-saving tips you want to share with the rest of us? And if not Hootsuite what other time-saving applications would you recommend?

Blast From the Past

Hey, all. Suze here. Guess what? May is the Scribes’ birthday month! We’re going to have some special things going on all month long in honor of our upcoming first anniversary (including some pretty cool giveaways!). Make sure you visit us every day so you don’t miss anything.

Just for fun, I thought I’d repost my very first blog. Hope you enjoy it!

Hi, all.  Susannah Hardy here.  I’m a writer of humorous mysteries set in the fictional resort town of Bonaparte Bay.  I hope you’ll be able to travel there with me soon!

With summer approaching, I was thinking about my own childhood summers in northern New York State, way up by the Canadian border.  I would often spend a day or two with my grandma, Gert.  Gert lived with her second husband in a little converted one room schoolhouse, surrounded by zinnias, peonies (which she called “pineys”), and old-fashioned pink roses.   She always did her housework and gardening in the morning, because after lunch she dropped everything.  She’d make herself a cup of Red Rose tea and put an Archway cookie on a plate, then park herself in her rust-colored velour recliner in front of the television to watch her “stories.”  Now, there was no cable where she lived and she only got a couple of stations, so it was the CBS soap operas for her — The Edge of Night, and Secret Storm, and As the World Turns.

The point is, her stories were important to her, so she scheduled her other activities in such a way that she had time for them.  And that’s a lesson we can all learn as writers.

There are so many demands on our time — families, housework, jobs for those of us still in the traditional workforce — it can seem impossible to eke out even a few minutes to write.   I’m here to tell you, though, that The Dream, whatever The Dream constitutes for you, is never going to come true unless you find time for it.

Notice I didn’t say “make time.”   We’ve all got the same twenty-four hours in the day (at least here on Earth that’s true — you fantasy and sci-fi writers, modify to suit your particular planetary rotation), so there’s no way to make the day magically longer.  However, we can structure our days to include a few hours, or even just a few minutes, to work on our stories.

Maybe you can get up an hour earlier than the rest of your family (easier in the summer than the winter here in the Northeast!).  Maybe you can skip going out to lunch with your co-workers, but instead brown-bag it with your BFF the laptop in an unused office or the local coffee shop.  Maybe you could – gasp! –ask your family to make a simple dinner a couple of nights a week, or put in a load of laundry, or run the vacuum cleaner.   Maybe you could — bigger gasp, possibly resulting in hyperventilation! — limit Facebooking, Tweeting,  Internet surfing, e-mail reading, and/or television watching.  You might just be surprised at how much you can get done in an hour or less of focused effort.  And even small amounts will eventually add up to a completed manuscript.

Take a look at your typical day and see where you can rearrange or delegate some tasks, or delete some time-suckers, to find time for your Stories.  Nobody else will, or can, do it for you.

Till next time,

Susannah