A blog about the amazing things teenagers do, about writing for teens, books for teens, and occasional forays into my world and the world of publishing.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Many Hats of a Debut Author

I feel like I'm in the last stretches of a marathon and I didn't realize how many hills would be at the end of my race. BREAKING BEAUTIFUL comes out in (checks official counter) nineteen days,and thirty-five(ish) minutes.


There is still so much to do! When I (naively) submitted my query almost two years ago, I didn't have any idea the amount of work that would be involved in making this book thing happen or how many different roles I would have to take on before my book even came out. I think everyone (me included) has this idea that an author sits around in his/her pajamas daydreaming and creating worlds of fiction. Then they submit their art to their editor, tweak it a bit (again in their pajamas), and then sit back and collect royalty checks.

A dream job, right?

Um, not quite.

I've had many jobs in my life, from waking up early to milk cows, to working with handicapped children, to electronic editing, but I don't think I've ever done anything that was quite this mentally taxing or required me to take on so many different roles. Except perhaps the mommy thing I've been doing for the last sixteen years.
(Incidentally, the "mommy thing" is another job that is often misunderstood and often done in pajamas, mostly because you don't always have the time or energy to get completely dressed).

In the last week alone I've played graphic designer, publicist, event planner, video director, mail-room associate, web designer, accountant, and blogger all while continuing to be a mom, and trying to complete my second novel for a May deadline.

 To give you an example of what I've been up to, (including a few "life" things thrown in) the past week or so:

Monday: Answered e-mail. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Probably shouldn't do this.) Worked on the design for the poster to advertise my launch party. Decided on the number of books to be ordered for my launch party. Cleaned my house in preparation for the arrival of our latest Japanese exchange student.

Answered e-mail. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Sometimes a big lift, sometimes a downer.) Re-cleaned my house. Met with the librarian at my son's high school to talk about an author event in May. Went to conferences for all four kids. Went to a welcome potluck and met my Japanese daughter for the week, Mirei. Gave a presentation on disability awareness at my son's cub scout pack meeting.

Sent poster off to my agent, editor, and my publicist at Walker for approval. Worked on guest blog posts. Answered e-mail. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Maybe not healthy.) Directed my lovely voice-over actress, Brooklyn, as she recorded her part for my book trailer. Had her try on the red dress that I may or may not use in the trailer. (Depends on how it works out.)

Answered e-mail. Took the approved poster to Minute Man Press, a local printer. The nice manager there, Renae, showed me all my mistakes and told me how to fix them. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Okay that's kind of become a daily event.) Did some actual writing on SHARDS OF GLASS.

Answered e-mail.  Made a list of all the people I need to send my author copies to; friends, family members, bloggers, and a few charity auction winners. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (I have a million other things I should be doing, why does this keep creeping up?) Bought envelopes to mail them. Finally got some writing in. (Not in my pajamas.)

Answered e-mail.  Cut the ugly white border off 1,000 (literally) swag stickers. Put books and swag into envelopes to mail. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Enough already.) Took my daughter, son and my exchange student to Seattle for some sight-seeing.

Relaxed with my family and played games with our exchange student. I don't work on Sunday, I need that day for church and family stuff and to mentally recharge.

Met with Jane, the owner of Fireside Bookstore, where my launch party will be held, to figure out where to set up tables and audio-video equipment. Got the name of the person at the restaurant next to the bookstore to see if they can do appetizers for my launch party. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Not because I'm vain or anything I just, you know, want to know what advance reviewers are saying.) Mailed off packages of author copies and swag. Made updates/changes to my website.

Worked on SHARD (again, not in my pajamas.) Worked on guest blogs. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Okay, you get the idea.) Listened to a webinar about diet and MS with my husband. Put together a picture album for my exchange student as a good-bye gift.

Said a tearful good-bye to Merei. Went through all my loosely filed receipts to get everything ready for tax appointment at 4:00. Went back through bank statements and e-mails to figure out mileage and put expenses in a spreadsheet. Beat my head against the wall because I hate this kind of stuff. Swore to keep better records next year. Tax appointment. Trip to Trader Joe's to find non-gluten food for my husband's new MS diet plan. Did laundry and packed for family trip to Seaside Oregon (including shooting the final footage for my book trailer.) Didn't even have time to stalk myself on Goodreads and check all my Google alerts.

Wrote this blog post!!!

Whew! Not much of what I did this week could be done in my pajamas and not a lot was actual writing. So, I guess I'm still looking for that job where I sit around in my pajamas and daydream all day. In the meantime, I'll continue to be an author, the job I used to dream about, (and still love) even if it's more work than I ever imagined.

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