Writer (http://www.organizedwriter.com) is that most unusual
thing: a website that helps authors handle the business side of
being in the writing game. Host Julie Hood offers writers a 30-day
plan for getting organized, in addition to weekly email of tips and
reminders to keep you on track.
Xlibris caught up with Julie to talk about this useful new
resource for authors, and ask her expert advice about how an author
can move from writing a book to promoting it. Don’t miss her
extremely helpful response to this one!
XNEWS: Why create a site called The Organized Writer?
Organized Writer...it almost sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?
But it doesn't have to be. Writers are small business owners
without any employees to keep track of some of the details! A writer
must be the accounting, marketing, sales, and operations departments
rolled into one.
When I started writing, I found lots of resources on how to
write, but not much on how to be efficient. I was spending so much
time on each project my rate per hour was incredibly low. So I
started looking for ways to speed up the process (in my former life
I was a consultant/auditor). The Organized Writer website grew from
XNEWS: What are the two biggest things writers do to sabotage
OW: First, writers tend to think of themselves as
creative and unable to be organized. Even though most writing is a
creative, right brain activity, getting organized is a skill you can
learn (even if you have to use the other half of your brain!).
The second area I think writers have problems with is getting
distracted and not finishing projects. We all know authors who have
been working on their novel for the past ten years but never finish.
We get excited about a project, start it, but then it loses its
charm before we're done. Planning and creating is much more fun than
editing and reworking.
XNEWS: How do you tell people to combat these problems?
Three ways: writing down your goals so you don't lose sight of where
you are going; rewarding yourself along the way to keep your
motivation high; and using a timer to keep from getting distracted.
XNEWS: Who would find your free Writer-Reminders email service
OW: Most of the tips, resources, and links in the weekly
message work for both authors and freelancers. The weekly checklist
is primarily for freelancers, but all writers will find the tips
useful since they cover areas like how to organize your desk and
files, how to set goals, how to find more time to write, and how to
use the internet and email effectively. Subscribers also get The
Sidetracked Writer's Planner ebook with 20 printable forms for
XNEWS: Can you explain your DRAW method?
OW: DRAW stands for
Declutter, Read, Assess and Write. It is a 20-minute daily routine
to get you writing and keep you organized. We start by decluttering,
but only for five minutes (it's easy to get stuck here!). Then, we
warm up by reading for five minutes. Next, we take a few minutes to
assess today's most important writing project. The final step is to
write, even if we only have five minutes left. I found if I could
write just 110 words a day, I'd have 40,000 words in a year.
XNEWS: What encouragement would you give to an author who is
moving from the writing stage to the promotion stage?
the battle of promotion is getting organized. If you can put
together a simple marketing plan and have your marketing resources
available when you need them, you are way ahead.
Start with a big three-ring binder and a bunch of dividers with
the following sections:calendar, marketing plan, reviews, my
website, book cover, signature, press release, blurbs, motivation,
press kit, book signings, and marketing websites.
Print a calendar from PVS Calendar
Maker (http://wapiti.pvs.k12.nm.us/cal/calform.html), and use it
to track all your promotion activities. Include a copy of your
marketing plan. The reviews section helps you track where you send
review copies and what they said. The website section should list
information you want on your site with a project list in the front.
Place your book cover, email signatures, and press releases in their
sections. The blurbs section is for those one- and two-liners you
have describing your book. The motivation section is where you put
every glowing comment and good review. In the press kit section,
have copies of your press kit. Keep track of book signings (when,
where, who and what you did) in its section. Finally, use the
marketing websites section to list all the sites where you could
send review copies, submit an article, or offer to chat.
Once you have collected all this information you will be amazed
at how much time it saves.
You can find out more about The Organized Writer, Julie Hood’s
DRAW method for organizing your writing day, and her upcoming e-book