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Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Time Management

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on April 13, 2012

Things used to be simpler several years ago when all we had to worry about was selling to a NY publishing house. When I wrote for Kensington, I turned in one book a year. Easy, right? I wrote my Bad Hair Day mysteries and nothing else. No blogs or Facebook posts. I didn’t have a second publisher to worry about making deadlines with double the work.

It wasn’t until my option book was turned down that I started writing in other genres to see what would sell. Now it’s years later, and while I’m still looking for a home for my two new mystery series, Wild Rose Press has picked up my romances. I am preparing to launch a new paranormal series with Warrior Prince.

Meanwhile, Five Star published my tenth Marla Shore mystery. So years after I thought this series was dead, I’m writing it again. Before starting the eleventh book, I completed the first three books in my Drift Lords series. So those are all done, except for the edits, page proofs, and promotion.

And herein comes the juggling act. I am attempting to move forward with Bad Hair Day mystery #11, but I keep having to halt work on this project to do page proofs and revisions for the Drift Lords series, not to mention planning the promotional campaign for the series launch.

Meanwhile, those two completed mysteries linger in the back of my mind. Should I continue submitting them to small press or self-publish? If the latter, should I publish them as stand-alones or as the first books in new series?

Before deciding on these titles—and we’re still waiting for responses so hope remains in that regard—I would like to self-publish my deceased father’s book. He hitchhiked across the U.S. in 1929 and his journal includes some fascinating adventures. So my projects include:

1. The Drift Lords series from The Wild Rose Press
2. A new Bad Hair Day mystery
3. The possibility of self-publishing three titles
4. The possibility of one of my other mysteries selling in the interim

Never before have we had so many options. It’s an exciting time but it’s also consuming. Who has free time when we can publish our entire body of works through various formats, and then when we have to spend hours on the social networks promoting them? And this discussion concerns new works, not backlist titles. Those need time and attention, too, in the accelerating ebook market. So does writing additional material for world building extras for readers, and more.

Soon I’ll be heading off to Malice in Bethesda. I’m excited to meet new friends and visit with mystery writer pals I haven’t seen in a while. So if my posts are sparse in the next few weeks, it’s because I am happy and busy or we’re on the road.

Are you still writing at the same pace with the advent of new technologies? How have your writing/reading habits been affected?


8 Responses to “Time Management”

  1. Nancy,
    I laughed when I read this blog entry because you sound just like me. I’ve mysteries coming out here and there, and I want to publish some of my out-of-print kids’ books and other mss, too. I never have enough time. Going through my writing-related emails take up a good part of each morning. Then there’s the writing of my new book. We’ve more choices, and there’s much more PR we have to do these days.

    Sorry I won’t be at Malice this year and will miss meeting you.

  2. No matter what you do you will be a success. Nancy you have a great talent and you are a master marketer!
    This is a really difficult market, but I’d be willing to bet that no matter where or how you publish, you will do well.
    But, I have to tell you, I’d be very curious to see how you did at self-publishing. Especially since you have such a following. At least a couple of Novellas…

  3. Marilyn, I’d love to meet you. Hope we’ll connect at another event. And yes, email takes up a significant amount of time. I scan through all my listserves because I learn so much from other authors.

  4. Mary, I may be self-pubbing my mystery novels (other than Marla) unless I get a positive response. But then I’d have to hire a cover designer, an editor, buy ISBNs, etc. It’s even more time consuming going that route without knowing if the compensation will surpass the expenses.

  5. Linda Pearl said

    For a fan, it’s quite interesting to hear all about this process…I think it’s overwhelming, to say the least, I am glad I just buy the book,and enjoy it. In the “olden days” did the publishers do all the pr work for you? Love to hear you are going forward with Marla….somewhere down the line, we will hopefully meet again:)

  6. LInda, the publishers sent advance reading copies to reviewers and provided bookmarks or postcards. I’m happy to say Five Star did this for me for Shear Murder. Beyond that, promotion was pretty much up to the author like today. We’ve always done most of our own marketing. What we haven’t done before is to become publishers ourselves.

    I am so appreciative of your continued support. Readers like you are why I wrote Shear Murder and keep going in this crazy career. Fortunately now it’s so much easier to connect with fans.

  7. Sounds like you need a part-time personal assistant, Nancy.

  8. Yes, Di, I wish my writiing income would warrant a virtual assistant at least!

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