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I find that I'm spending so long trawling the internet, chatting on forums, posting messages and finding places or ways to promote my books that I'm not spending any time writing new books.  :'( Anyone else having this problem?  And if so, what tips do you have for using your time more wisely to accomplish both aims, promoting and writing?
 

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I'm disgustingly anti-social. So, I really have no problems staying away from forums and burying myself in my work. Luckily, 1 sale every other day doesn't bother me!

I try to be marginally active, as you might be able to tell from this post!

I embraced the idea that writing is a marathon and not a sprint. I do a little bit here and a little bit there, and hope that it all pays off one day.
 

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Shaun Jeffrey said:
I find that I'm spending so long trawling the internet, chatting on forums, posting messages and finding places or ways to promote my books that I'm not spending any time writing new books. :'( Anyone else having this problem? And if so, what tips do you have for using your time more wisely to accomplish both aims, promoting and writing?
All the time:-( I go out with my net book and a notebook where there is no internet. Put your stuff up and do minimal promoting. Just takes ore time for people to find your work, that's all.
 

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In the end, you write because you love to. That should be the proirity. Cut down to the two or three places you genuinely love hanging out online and schedule times when you allow yourself online to be there. Spend the rest of your time living life and writing.
 

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I don't know how long you have been on a promo push but have you considered taking  a break?  I have taken 2 breaks and found that my sales did not sink, in fact, one month they went up.  I also had a 20 times a day sales checking habit that I gave up in May and guess what!  I not only finished the bulk of a book I had been working on for awhile, I again had steady sales.  It's a time sucker.  Be productive.
 

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I do as much promotional stuff as I can but, until a couple of weeks ago, it was affecting the speed at which I wrote. Then I put a few projects on the back burner and made more time for my writing. In addition, I now do shorter blog posts, I Twitter less (and Twitter is, quite frankly, garbage as a promotional tool anyway) and I do minimal FB page stuff. My sales have been much the same over the course of The Gamblers three month life as a eBook.

I think I'm starting to get to that point where I have to let my first novel go and concentrate on the next one. There should be a knock-on effect on sales anyway once the second is finished and published, so a few months of lower sales is a small price to pay in the long-run.

Martin
http://thegamblersnovel.com
 

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Prioritize, just like any other area of your life.

Set aside a certain amount of time for promotion every day. Make it one hour or two or whatever.

The important thing is to set aside time for writing and stick to it every day no matter what.
 

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Schedule time for both.

1. Write first. Once you have the days writing completed, then the rest of your time can be spent how you like.

2. Limit promotion to an hour or two a day.

3. Post on only the forums that interest you the most and not on all of them.

4. Promote your WIPs to give you another reason to finish them.

5. Create a multi-tiered marketing plan, then implement only one step a day. For instance, contacting review blogs in your marketing/promotion time. If the step isn't completed, save it for the next day.

Erica Sloane said:
Prioritize, just like any other area of your life.

Set aside a certain amount of time for promotion every day. Make it one hour or two or whatever.

The important thing is to set aside time for writing and stick to it every day no matter what.
Beat me to it, you did :)
 

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Shaun Jeffrey said:
I find that I'm spending so long trawling the internet, chatting on forums, posting messages and finding places or ways to promote my books that I'm not spending any time writing new books. :'( Anyone else having this problem? And if so, what tips do you have for using your time more wisely to accomplish both aims, promoting and writing?
Yes.
And guess what? I've found that promotional activities are useless anyway. When I did the heaviest promotions (both time and money) I sold less than I'm selling now and I do virtually no promotion now. I blog occassionally. Tweet occassionally. Do this Kindle forum. That's it.

Now, I spend time writing, not promoting.

Guess what? Your next book (and the one after that) is the best promotion, anyway. :)
 

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I focus on the promotional stuff when I need a break from writing, typically when I've just finished a rewrite or had a book come out.

Other than that, I'm trying to do at least 30 minutes a day of promotional stuff to keep the wheels turning.
 

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I agree that this can take you away.  But the opposite is true also, too much writing and not enough promotion and you could see your sales dry up and blow away.  Maybe.  I think that for some folks, this is not a problem, but for others who have not yet 'taken off,' such as myself, you gotta keep glad-handing out there, shaking hands and handing out your card. 

I try and divide my time equally.  It's tough.  Good luck, by the way!
 

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Shaun Jeffrey said:
I find that I'm spending so long trawling the internet, chatting on forums, posting messages and finding places or ways to promote my books that I'm not spending any time writing new books.
I think you can find an easy solution with a daily word-count quota. You are a writer. Your first priority is to create new product. Taking into account your other daily responsibilities, how many words can you write in a day? One thousand? Two thousand? Most professional writers I know shoot for 2,000 a day, some more than that.

So, you set a target and you hit it. Once you hit it, you then go to the other part of your job. You are a writer (the factory making product) and also a salesperson (who is out selling the product). A company can't succeed without one or the other. You hit your word count first, then go out and pimp.

Some days you won't hit your word count and you don't go out and promote. Simple. Some days, you'll tear the roof off of that sucka and write 2,000+ quickly. When that happens, you use your remaining available time to promote.

You have to promote. That's the new reality of being a writer. But, you can't promote without product.

Does that help?
 

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There is a simple solution.

Set aside your time for writing every day. That time is golden. Set yourself a target: 3 hours solid writing, a chapter, a few scenes, 1000 words, 500 words - whatever works for you.

You aren't allowed to promote until you hit your target.

Another tip: never count "research" as writing. Only words on the page.
 

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Also, Bob Mayer made the point recently that most promotion is essentially wasted until you have a few titles on the market. He has a point.

And you should remember one important thing. The #1 promo tool any writer has - Stephen King, Stephenie Mayer, John Locke, anyone - is new work.

Nothing beats it.
 

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It's a tough mix... but schedule.  Take time for this and that, etc. with no exceptions.  It's hard because our computers are connected to the net all the time... I actually go and turn my wireless off on my laptop so that if I get that urge to check something, it's going to take a minute or so to get the wireless on and connect.

I set time for writing, for blogging, for working on my site, for network on boards, etc.  And when the time's up, it's up.

Another thing I did was create an email addy for all that posts of blogs I follow go to... including KB.  That way I can take my "social hour" and check that email addy for new topics, replies, new posts, etc. so I'm not wasting time searching.

Also, for promoting, try to set up things for the future that just hit auto... like guest blog posts, tour posts, giveaways, etc.  You can set up blog posts to hit in the future and do nothing - it posts.  You can also use Twitter clients like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to schedule tweets.... AND if you have a Facebook account, there's a link plugin that allows you to type a tweet and put #FB after it and it will post that to your Facebook account too... so you can technically schedule your tweets and Facebook updates together.

-jb 8)
 

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I agree, I agree, I agree! Promoting, going to social media, Facebook, Twitter, forum participation, everything out there is KILLING my writing time!  :mad:

All your advice is GOLDEN, but I don't seem to be able to pay heed. And book 2 of my Fear of the Past trilogy is due in September - I've only written 25% (or thereabouts - don't believe my stats!) Help!

It's like cigarette smoking: either you do or you don't. The only way I can write is to shut down the Internet connection, completely! For a whole day!

That's my best advice! ::)
 

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There's a certain amount of promoting that is necessary, and all the advice given regarding moderation is wise and on point.  One benefit of the mutual water cooler is the sense of community we can have as writers far-flung across the planet.  But too much hanging around becomes another distraction.  With that, I'm off :)
 

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What everyone else is saying here is absolutely right. It's all in time management. I'm a mother of three (ages, 4,5 & 7) and also a full time working mom. I set my books with www.freado.com and they automatically tweet for me about all three books a few times each day. It looks as if the tweet is coming directly from me, except that I set up a bank of tweets that I want to be said about the books when I set up my account with them (free). I use my Droid to fill in tweets here and there occasionally , not more than 4 or 5 times a day. Facebook = a fan page, and doesn't require much maintenance. One update a day will suffice on that. If you like to spents lots of time promoting at once, then give yourself writing days and promoting days. I write Monday-Thursday. Friday-Sunday is family time for me, so I strictly promote usually from my phone during down time, and thats about it.  I read that the more books you have out, the more you will tend to sell in the long run. Writing is #1....so just write it into your schedule and don't change it around for anything :) Good Luck
 
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