A Day in the Life of an Author

I’ve discovered that most times readers have no idea what goes into writing a book, and all the extra stuff that goes hand in hand with being a published author. So, I thought I’d share my personal to-do list to give you a little insight.

The first struggle, aside from coming up with the characters and story, is finding the time to actually write! Even authors like me, who write full-time, struggle with this issue. Why? Well, I can sum it up in one word — Family! Yes, I write at home and have a home office. However, when the kids need something, they come looking for mom. Meals need to be cooked? Mom. House needs to be cleaned? Mom. Pets need to go to the vet or a human needs to go to the doctor? Mom.

If you’re a stay-at-home Mom, then my hat is off to you because I know you are one busy lady! Now take all the stuff on your to-do list and add in writing and everything that goes with it, and that’s pretty much my day-to-day life. With a huge helping of stress and anxiety on the side.

How do I write my books?

I don’t plot my stories. I write them as they come to me. That might mean binge-writing 15,000 words in one day because I’m on fire and just can’t stop… or it might mean I struggle to write 500 words. Regardless of the daily word count, I have a publisher who gives me deadlines that I need to meet. The closer I get to a deadline, the crazier things seem to get at my house, and the less time I seem to have to write. I think it’s the Universe having a laugh at my expense.

There are also times I get stuck. The story just won’t go anywhere, and usually, it means I need to rip out anywhere from a few paragraphs to a few chapters. That’s always fun. Not! Thankfully, it doesn’t happen with every book.

What about after the book is done?

Not counting having to fill out a cover art request form (which means finding 4-5 images of different models, on the specified sites, but also making sure they’re usable for a cover and haven’t been on a previous book with my publisher), the profile sheet (where I write my book description, tag line, and fill in the genres/themes), there’s also the two or three rounds of edits that come my way. Sometimes those require re-writes or adding scenes. Other times I can zip through pretty quick because it’s all simple stuff. Each book is different.

That’s just getting the book itself taken care of…

What about behind the scenes outside of writing?

Well… Generally, I try to hold onto my sanity LOL …

Here’s my current checklist that’s the bare bones of what I need to accomplish:
some of these tasks take days or are on-going for 3-4 weeks while others are quick and I’m finished in about 15-30 minutes

  • Prep a social media copy/paste file with up to 3 posts
  • Prep teaser graphics (at least 3)
  • Prep general social media graphics (4-6)
  • Prep sneak peeks (at least 3)
  • Prep a media kit for bloggers/PR companies
  • Send kit to companies (some have their own required forms to complete as well)
  • Create at least 2 TikTok videos for preorder and one for release
  • Share on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook throughout preorder and release week
  • Create Throwback Thursday graphics for at least 2 older titles per month and post on social media
  • Add new book to Harley Wylde website
  • Update Coming Soon page on website
  • Add book to Goodreads and BookBub (once preorder links load)
  • Go into Amazon and add the “from the author” section
  • Update series order for entire series under “from the author” on Amazon – one book at a time
  • Schedule preorder and new release newsletters
  • Schedule support team newsletters
  • Add book to StoryOrigin, then add to campaign dates
  • Request newsletter swaps with other authors in similar genres
  • Join group promos each month
  • Have next book written within 3-4 weeks

There’s actually a lot more that I do, but that’s a fairly basic list. I also help my author friends with some of the items on my list, like graphics or creating social media posts — because I know how hard it is to get everything done, and some days are more of a struggle than others.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, I have to also wrangle my kids and the furbabies, keep the house in order, make sure everyone is fed, and if I’m REALLY lucky, I’ll find a little time somewhere to sit and read or watch a movie each week. But yes, there are days I get up and hit the ground running, and by the time I stop, I’m ready for bed.

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