Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Time, please! (And a VERY SPECIAL OFFER!) by Cathy Ace

BUSINESS: How best do you manage your time and resources? What tools are helping you manage life while you complete your next work? Websites? Apps? Tricks of the trade?

My only real resources are my time, and my money. I probably give more thought to how I spend my money than my time, because my money is a limited resource, whereas I think of my time as something I can keep giving...

Let's start with promotional costs. I have to put time into promoting myself, rather than money, whenever possible; blog posts, guest blogs, interviews, podcasts...all are ways I can try to bring news about my work to potential readers at no cost - except time - to me. My use of social media is limited to Twitter and Facebook; I work on both every day, reading, Retweeting or Sharing, commenting and so forth, as well as creating my own posts. I post to my Cathy Ace – Author FB page probably four or five times a week, but interact on my Cathy Ace Facebook page several times each day, including weekends. If anything, this tends to INCREASE when I am writing or editing because – let’s be honest – that’s when I'm looking for displacement activities, and can only wash the kitchen floor so often!

However, sometimes I just have to put my hand in my pocket and try something new. For example, RIGHT NOW (starting today, February 6th, but only for a few days) I am offering my latest book, the psychological suspense novel The Wrong Boy, for just $2.99 (local currency) in the USA, Canada & Australia, £2.99 in the UK and ₹195.00 in India. (Buy links are below, of course!)

Why? I decided to buy into a BookBub deal (BookBub is a daily email I get as a reader which tells me about cut-price offers on e-books. I don't feel "guilty" about taking advantage of the low prices because I know the author/publisher has made the decision to offer them at a low price for a short time, with the explicit aim of getting the books to be read by as wide an audience as possible.) Today an email will go to about 750,000 people around the world telling them my book is available at just $2.99 etc. Since I've had to drop the price for the Kindle, Kobo and Nook books in any case, it makes sense to me to now tell as many people as possible about the included! It will never be available at a lower price. Honestly. Try it?

Sales pitch over!
The next "Biggie”? My website. When I began this writing journey I had a rudimentary website that I’d set up using a free template on (I think!) Wordpress. It did its job for a while, but as soon as I gave up work to write full time I knew I needed something that would actually work on my behalf. I found a local website designer who set up something just for me at a low-ish cost, and he updated it for me on an ongoing basis as I added books, a new series of books, questions for book clubs etc. I was able to update my own events, but that was about it. He decided to not do this sort of work any longer at about the time I knew I needed a different solution – a website I could be more hands-on with managing myself, without having to pay someone to update it for me each time I needed that done...balancing time and money.

So, what to do? Well, I did what being in this business has taught me to do – I asked people whose websites I admired how they handled theirs, and was delighted when Terry Shames (yes, our own Terry) came back to me and told me her son had put together her new website, which I liked very much. I was delighted with what said son-of-fellow-blogger did for me, and now I have a website I can update and change for myself…which looks exactly as I wanted it to – which I love! Thanks Geoff Shames. It required an investment which (to me) was a lot of money but it’s worth it, because now I am in control...more time, but less outgoings over time. 

Now that I can update it myself I do so often – because I think a website needs to be up to date to be effective. A good deal of what I do online (Twitter, Facebook) is with the aim of driving traffic to my website to “find out more about…” whatever it might be, so it’s important that the website is able to cope, becoming the go-to place for much of what I do online. 

When it comes to time management, I am hopeless. There, I have admitted it. I ABSOLUTELY HATE ROUTINE (loud enough?) which means I cannot work to a schedule because I feel stifled after a few days and begin to lose the will to live. So I do what I do when I feel I need to do it. I tend to give priority in the day to “business” and leave writing/editing until later…right through to 2am (my most productive writing hours are usually 9pm-2am) which works for me. 
So, I suppose you could say I do have a routine, but I don’t dare acknowledge it as such, or I would fight against it. Yes, my rebellious streak shows itself even now.

Please consider reading my new book?



Dietrich Kalteis said...

I agree, Cathy. Do what you do when you feel the need to do it. That's the best way.

Cathy Ace said...

I also TRY to do what I know I SHOULD do, when I SHOULD do it! ;-)

Kathy Reel said...

I love your website, Cathy, and I also love Terry's. That Geoff Shames is a talented guy. I do appreciate it when an author keeps his/her website up-to-date. I dislike going to an author's website to find out something about a new book and there being nothing about it there. With your website, fans and new readers can easily see what's new on deck with you.