Time seems to be one of the biggest issues. Or lack there of. Prioritization can be really helpful. Alexa Bigwarfe talks about the stresses and time crunches on authors, and how we can make sure we're choosing the BEST for US places to spend our time and energy.
Are you struggling to find a balance between writing your book and effectively marketing it? In this episode, we talk about a strategy that will help you optimize your time and efforts, leading to heightened productivity and effectiveness in achieving your writing and marketing goals.
Time is the one resource we cannot create more of. We all have the same amount of it. So how do I fit in all the things? How do you fit in the things? How do you decide where to spend your time so that you can move forward? – Alexa Bigwarfe
In this episode, you will be able to:
Learn practical approaches taming time management difficulties authors often encounter.
Ascertain how to balance the duality of writing and marketing roles effectively.
Realize how a professionally designed website can levitate your book promotion efforts.
Gather efficient strategies for task prioritization that propels progress in publishing.
Comprehend the pivotal role of dedication and unwavering perseverance in navigating the publishing industry.
The Biggest Challenge for Authors
In a recent networking session, participants identified time as the biggest challenge in their author businesses. The never-ending tasks of writing, marketing, and building a platform make it difficult to find time for everything. In order for people to value your book, they have to know that it exists. You have to be doing things. You have to be making the time to go on podcasts, to go to book fairs or book events or places where you can speak as an author, to go to school visits if you've got a children's book, to go to craft fairs or trade markets or farmers markets…You have to be doing things so that people know what you are doing. Prioritize your goals and decide whether you want to focus solely on writing or also engage in marketing and audience growth activities. Map out specific time slots for each task and considering seeking help from professionals to save time.
Check out Pubsite: Pubsite is a DIY website platform designed specifically for authors to market their books. Visit womeninpublishingsummit.com/pubsite to get a free two-week trial and save $5 per month for a whole year on your monthly hosting. This platform makes it easy to create sales pages, event pages, blog pages, and more for your book. It also includes templates and tools to help you market your book effectively.
Build your author website: Having a website is essential for authors to promote their books. Use a platform like Pubsite to create a hub where readers can find information about your book, sign up for your email list, and learn more about you as an author. A website is a central place to share content, post updates, and connect with readers. Make sure to include a clear call to action on your website, such as joining your email list or purchasing your book.
Grow your email list: Email marketing is a powerful tool for authors to connect with readers and promote their books. Make it a priority to grow your email list by offering a free resource or bonus content in exchange for email sign-ups. Use platforms like Mailchimp or ConvertKit to manage your email
00:15:45 – The role of publishers in book marketing, Alexa discusses the potential help authors may receive from publishers in terms of marketing and launch support, but emphasizes that authors are ultimately responsible for selling their books.
00:16:08 – The importance of focusing on one book, Alexa advises authors to focus on one book at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and making slow progress. She suggests dedicating time specifically for writing and setting a deadline for completing the book.
00:21:19 – Separating writing and marketing phases, Alexa suggests separating the writing and marketing phases of book production. Authors can focus entirely on writing for a set period of time and then dedicate another period to marketing and audience growth. This approach allows for better focus and reduces the risk of distractions.
00:30:53 – Balancing Learning and Implementation, It's easy to get stuck in the cycle of constantly learning without taking action. To make progress, authors need to strike a balance between learning new skills and implementing them.
00:39:53 – Setting Goals and Deadlines, Having clear goals and deadlines is crucial for efficient time management. Set realistic milestones and create a timeline that allows for flexibility, ensuring you stay on track without feeling overwhelmed.
00:43:11 – Prioritizing and Saying No, Focus on activities that directly contribute to your goals and say no to those that don't align. Avoid the fear of missing out and make decisions based on what will help you progress towards your desired outcomes.
Have you ever wondered about travel writing retreats? Lisa Daily and Cami Ostman take authors on travel retreats for writing and are loving the results.
Trying to force creativity can be frustrating and often leads to disappointment. Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, consider using travel as a tool for enhancing your writing. Immersing yourself in new cultures, environments, and experiences can open up new perspectives and ideas for your writing. From exploring the streets of a new city to experiencing the natural beauty of a different landscape, travel can offer unique opportunities for observation and reflection, ultimately fueling your creativity and improving your writing skills.
Traveling opens you up to newer possibilities, newer things, newer creativity, newer ways to think about things that you may have never thought about before. – Cami Ostman
Lisa Daily and Cami Ostman's love for travel led them to create Wayfaring Writers, a unique program combining exploration and writing retreats.
About Lisa & Cami:
Lisa Dailey is an avid traveler and writer. In 2015, she traveled around the world with her husband and two teenage sons visiting 14 countries and nearly 100 locations. In her time abroad, she unearthed new ways of looking at her life through her discoveries in remote corners of the world and she continues to enrich her life through travel. Lisa is a voracious reader and writer, and has published more than 20 titles and 200 authors at her company, Sidekick Press, including her own travel memoir, Square Up. A native Montanan, Lisa now makes her home by the ocean in Bellingham, Washington, but returns to her roots every summer for a healthy dose of mountains and Big Sky.
Cami Ostman has traveled to all seven continents and to twenty-four countries. She’s run 25 marathons and zillions of races of other distances, always at the back of the pack. She is the author of Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents and co-editor of Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religion (Seal Press). Cami holds a Bachelor’s of Education in English and Theater from Western Washington University and a Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University. She has a special interest in helping women live more authentically and freely. She is also a dog lover, a wine connoisseur, a runner, and a blogger. She runs a program for writers called The Narrative Project and has a passion for changing unhelpful narratives so people can be in charge of her own stories. She coaches people into their truest expression of themselves. Cami lives in Seattle, Washington.
In this episode, we covered:
Adventure Writing – Why Travel is THE Way Hone Your Craft
Travel is the best thing we know to spark an adventurous spirit and inspire creativity
Travel WRITING offers opportunities to be inspired by PLACE and CHARACTER like nothing else.
The Wayfaring Writer Retreats – a rare opportunity for a small group of writers to immerse themselves in their craft while experiencing the food, drink, art, and history of foreign places
Writers to step out of their comfort zones and into using all their senses.
Together Cami and Lisa have visited nearly 50 countries and know first-hand the impact that travel has had on their writing
The Wayfaring Writers Experience
Wayfaring Writers takes a group of writers to a particular location and goes on adventures from there. The group includes an agent who consults with writers, and mastermind sessions with Lisa, Cami, and an expert on the craft of writing. The writers are given specific coaching and lessons to help them build their skills in observation and incorporating their experiences into their writing.
Unlock the creative potential of travel for boosting your writing prowess.
Delve into off-the-beaten-track adventures for a truly immersive cultural experience.
Grasp essential tips for women to make their travel escapades safer and more enjoyable.
Immerse yourself in specialized writing guidance crafted to address your unique needs.
Embrace the rewards of moving beyond your comfort zone to elevate your horizons.
00:02:43 – Philosophy of Adventure Writing, Travel is about challenging assumptions and opening writers up to new experiences, sights, smells, and sounds. It helps writers hone their observational skills and become better at incorporating those experiences into their writing.
00:14:23 – Favorite Wayfaring Writers Experience, Lisa and Cami share their favorite experiences, including a doctor who was able to finish her book and get published with Cambridge University Press after coming on a Wayfaring Writers trip. The trips are designed to challenge assumptions and open writers up to
00:16:01 – The Importance of Travel in Writing, The hosts and guests discuss the benefits of traveling for writers. They believe that experiencing different cultures and perspectives can help writers become better contributors to the collective consciousness.
00:17:09 – Eating Tarantulas in Cambodia, Lisa shares a story about taking her family to a restaurant in Cambodia that served tarantulas. The restaurant was also a non-profit that helped children from the street find a career in the food industry. The group believes in off-the-beaten-path experiences to expand their sense of the world.
00:27:10 – Setting Travel Intentions, Alexa shares her intention to travel more and write about her experiences. She believes that travel is important for personal growth and to capture unique perspectives in writing. The guests encourage her to join their travel group and explore new destinations.
The last few weeks have been a pretty wild ride. In a time when everyone's feeling uncertain, it can be hard to sit down and write.
We’re entering another week of the “new normal,” and it’s feeling anything but. I hope you have found some peace and space for yourself during these wild times. I have been enjoying hearing about all the ways this crisis has sparked the imagination of my clients, driving them to finally tell a story that’s sat too long in their hearts or building a new world out of the strangeness of this one.
How Grief and Stress Impact Us
My own author journey was thanks to being thrown into a strange world I’d never imagined – losing a child and having her sister clinging to life in the hospital was never something I’d thought I’d experience until it happened. Writing became my way out of the darkest moments of grief, pain and confusion in the time that came after. I’ve been thinking about that period of my life a lot lately – I’d never imagined any world like this, either. This time reminds me a lot of that time – being stuck in a hospital bed, not allowed to go outside, not knowing HOW LONG this would last or what the outcome would be.
I am sitting with grief and anxiety once again. I bet you have too. Whether you realize it or not, we're all grieving right now. Grieving what could have been, should have been. Grieving the loss of jobs or freedom or even a trip you'd planned for – for months. And when we grieve, it's hard to focus and make progress. I decided it's time to dust off some of my old coping skills and share them with all of you.
Coping Skills for Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and Increasing Productivity
If this is a topic you feel you need some help with as well, or just want some general coping skills for anxiety, I encourage you to watch the replay of a webinar I did recently on this very topic.