Monday 5 February 2018

Juggling Multiple Releases - The After Process


Now I'm not exactly an expert here having only really done two releases the way they need to be done once before. But I'm writing this from a place as someone in the midst of doing it again. I plan to keep releasing more than one book a year from now on. In fact next year I'm gonna be completely nuts and release three books! However, there are some things I've picked up in the time I have done it. As I type this, I'm about to start properly editing my thirteenth book - Walk A Mile. This is my final edit before it goes off to my editor. On top of that I have the editor edits to do for Sixth Change, and then sending that off to the proofreader and doing those edits before I get to the ARC portion of release. In case you missed it, that makes me Busy, and yes I did mean to capitalise that!

So how do I do it? How do I keep track of everything and still get writing done, vlogs recorded and actually have time to read occasionally? Well, you've heard this before, but I am an organised person. I always have been and always will be, make no bones about it, I have to-do lists and sticky notes and all that jazz. I approach things task by task. If I didn't do it like that then I'd probably burn out and find myself thinking way too much steps ahead of where I actually am. That's one way to keep focused - only look at the task in front of you and don't think too far beyond that. Otherwise you can end up piling on too much and feeling like you're not ever going to get anywhere.

When you're juggling multiple releases (and I'll admit it's not for everyone) then you need to stay on task and on target. How you do that is up to you, but I'd advise that you implement some kind of organisation so that you don't lose your head along the way. Whether that's lists, or notes or even just doing one thing at a time, you have to find what works for you. I use to-do lists because I like being able to cross things off. I do the same with my sticky notes. I know what days, at a glance, are for what. So I know that on this day I'm writing this book, and on another I'm setting aside the time to edit ten chapters or whatever.

Now some people can't work on edits and write, and that's completely okay. I manage simply because of the way I approach things, but if you can't, this is not me saying you should try. The whole idea is to make the process as stressless as possible. If that means focusing solely on editing and promotion, then do that. There's nothing wrong with knowing your limits. Even while juggling multiple releases, I still have days when I look in the mirror and question my motives. Like did I realise how much work this was? And did I ever wonder if I'd like to have sleep and lazy days occasionally?!

Of course there's a limit to how much you can do in one day. I know that, as do most people. I especially know that having the conditions I do. There are, and will be, some days when I look at my to-do list and think: Nope, just ain't gonna happen. And that's okay too. While there are limits, both soft ones and hard ones, working myself to the bone is not going to help matters. So for those soft limits, I'll push them out a little. While I can't change the release date once it's announced and I can't change how fast anyone else will work, and I need to make sure to give them time to do their jobs...I can change some things. And in having that control I can find a way to make it work for me. Just as you can find a way it works for you, but at the same time, if it doesn't? There's no shame in that. Everyone works to a different pace and it takes as long as it takes.

So what do you do if you've got your plan and you've got your to-do lists and all of that and things go wrong? Firstly, I'd remind you to breathe. It happens to us all. I'm in a situation at the moment where I can't move forward with one release and it's just there waiting for the next step. It's no one's fault, but it is stressful to know that I have all this promo planned and it all depends on my book being ready on that date. Sure, some of it are soft limits in that I can move things around. Others aren't. That in itself is stressful and it makes it harder to juggle other matters, but I have to remind myself to keep breathing, and that it will come together. It always does, and that's the important thing.

So hats off to the others like me who are juggling multiple releases, but also hats off to anyone in the middle of a release. It ain't an easy path and along the way any number of things can go wrong. We're gonna make it to the end, and we're doing something not many people do - write, finish and release a novel. It ain't easy, but it's worth it!

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