This whole self-publish, indie-publish thing takes a lot of time! You’re your only real commodity. You might have others assisting you here and there, but it’s all, primarily, on you. You write. You edit. You design. You promote. You build your readership.

You don’t have a lovely cushion of, “We’re getting it out to all our millions of followers, so, yes, you need to promote, but by getting your book out there for you, we’re doing half of you work,” that you get with the Big 6. I know. I know. That’s not exactly how it works, Big 6 authors. I’m not a total doorknob. You guys have a LOT on your plate, too.

The difference is the amount of pressure. The pressure on our hecking/savings/retirement account because the investment is all on us.

It’s easy to get over-extended, guys. You want to help your fellow authors. You HAVE to be active in the writing/reading community. You NEED to be extremely active in every aspect of your book.

Okay, so! You hear from other successful SP/IP authors (I hope to be one of those some day) that you need a business plan. You need a budget, yes. However, the larger part of the business plan is schedule.

I write…how many books in a year? Four-ish. This year it’s six, but in my business model, it’s dropping down to four, so we’ll call it four. With that model, I’m publishing a book every quarter. I think this is doable.

However, I originally thought that I’d re-publish some of my other books bringing the grand total of books published in my first year to (7). Originally, it was going to be (8), but after I got into it, I realized there was NO WAY that was happening! I was INSANE! There were no ifs, ands or buts about it. I was INSANE.

Here’s the breakdown of hours I spend in a weekday:

  • Day job: 10 hours
  • Driving: 1 hour
  • Writing: 1 hour
  • Tweeting: 20 minutes
  • Facebook: 20 minutes
  • Eating: 1 hour (all three meals total)
  • Email: 1 hour
  • Blogging: 1 hour
  • Sleeping: 8 hours (No. I cannot survive on less.)
  • Reading: On toilet – not kidding
  • Spending time with living people: 2 hours
  • Downtime:…what downtime? I have 20 minutes of my day left

That’s a pretty tight schedule. Did you count of the hours? There are literally 20 minutes of the day left. Spending time with living people usually coincides with something else I’m doing; we’re on the computer together doing our own thing, we’re having downtime, watching TV, we’re USUALLY eating.

Be very careful accepting BETA requests. Do you see the time to read? It’s while you’re on the toilet. Unless you’re constipated, you spend, what, maybe a couple of minutes? If it’s more than that, we don’t need details. Now, sometimes, the BETA time runs in with the email time. Emails are involved. It could be coordinating interviews, or coordinating book reviews for other authors, or it could be answering questions that people have, or…*eye roll*…dealing with formatting issues which take a LOT of time.

Where’s the editing time? You edit when you should be writing.

Where the book formatting time? You format when you should be writing/editing.

Where’s the promotion time? Usually during email/blogging time.

Make no mistakes. SP/IP is a full-time gig. You need to sit down with your family and friends and make sure they understand. They’re going to feel put aside, and they will eat up your weekends. Don’t be angry with them. Just try to be open with them. Make sure you have a supportive group of people around you. This is going to be the most challenging time of your life.

Well, one of them.

There will be other posts on things you can do that will buy you a little time.