Tuesday, February 28, 2017

If Only...

By R.J. Harlick

If you could magically do one thing to make the business end of writing easier for yourself, what would it be? (Having an Assistant? Learning to use a program you have resisted? Having someone who could magically explain your royalty statement? Knowing for sure what promotion would work best for you?)

I can quickly knock off a program. I’ve no interest in these fancy software tools that are supposed to do everything but write the book for you. The words, the story have to come from the heart and soul of the writer. A computer program would only produce the work of an automaton.

I gave up trying to figure out my royalty statements years ago. I don’t think anyone, no matter how mathematically inclined they are, could decipher it. My usual approach is to put the envelope aside until I’m in a good place with my writing, open it quickly, groan at the amount and return to my writing.

It would be nice to know what type of promotion would work best for me, but I think that’s only one part of a much larger job, ASSISTANT.

Yup, like Terry, I’d love to have my very own personal assistant. I am very envious of those authors who can afford to have one. It would be wonderful, I will even say magical, to have someone worry about all those other aspects related to THE BOOK, while I concentrate on the writing.

Not only would they help organize my time, ensuring I wasn’t going to miss deadlines and was sufficiently prepared for events, but they could help with the research, which depending on where I send Meg, could entail a fair amount of digging to get exactly what I need for the story. They could also be someone to toss around story ideas with and to help talk me through those log jams that invariably raise their stubborn head during the course of the writing. Though I wouldn’t expect my assistant to be an editor, I would want them to read the first draft as it was progressing to ensure the storyline and characters were making sense.

I would also want them to handle the promotional side, performing such tasks as managing my website and social media, scouting out guest blogger opportunities, organizing book launches, library readings, store signings, guest author appearances at literary festivals and radio and TV interviews. I would probably want them to work with my publisher’s publicist in developing a comprehensive list of media contacts for press releases and the like.

Whew, sounds like a lot, eh? But it would be so wonderful….if only.

Now back to finalizing the proofs for Purple Palette for Murder, organizing its book launch and beginning the cumbersome task of identifying and contacting books stores and libraries for the ensuing book tour.

And while I have your attention, Purple Palette for Murder is now available for pre-order at the various online stores, such as Amazon.com or Chapters.Indigo.ca.  I should also mention that some of the earlier books in the series are now available in large print.

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