Author in Winter
It may surprise you, but the job of authors goes beyond the reading, dreaming, writing, editing, and rewriting of their literary genius. Authors in today’s book world are also agents, bookkeepers, press agents, editors, and marketers. All of the business world overwhelms the innate propensities of many creative writers, and much of it is as distasteful as yellow snow to authors who want to be snowed-in, to write.
I know several authors who’ve had a book published, but decided they don’t want to do it again. Shy, introverted, overwhelmed by the need for more advanced computer skills, they’re not interested in putting themselves – physically – out there in the market place; and we are all stunned at how expensive the marketing can be.
I love traveling with my books, meeting people, and discovering new places. I’ve learned a lot of new computer skills, but I don’t really enjoy that part. I don’t tweet, and don’t plan to. I’m not an e book reader or writer. I’ve learned to be discerning about which conferences and book events I attend, and which professional organizations to join. I don’t self-publish, but marketing is still expensive. It’s also necessary to sell books. Authors must don many hats!
So while the neighborhood hushed in the solitude of our short winter last week, this author wasn’t just sitting by the fire, reading, and writing in her writer’s cap. I finished the year-end accounting, made a fresh Excel spread sheet of contacts and sent New Year’s greetings to many, telling them about recent books and how they can get them. These are formal and professional letters, not the quick hey-how-are-ya’ style of emails. I made phone calls to set up appointments with stores, libraries, and school librarians. Two manuscripts were accepted by my publisher this week. I sent another to an editor for finalizing, and discussed sketches with my illustrator for the next Little Beth picture book. And, I walked Buddy in the snow wearing my knitted dog-walking cap! Even put on a baker’s hat and baked some cookies.
The warming temperatures and rain released our cars from captivity today. The timing was perfect for me; I’ve got some appointments to keep! Put on the sales rep cap and off I go. I’m going to get a new spring hat before long.