Getting Back to the Book

Rebecca-4~ By Rebecca Zanetti

When I was just a reader and hadn’t started writing (I finished my first book in January of 2009), I cared about the story and the characters in the books I was reading.  To be honest, I didn’t much think about the author, about their awards, about their publishers.  I also never read reviews.  (Shhh.  Don’t tell anybody.)

Then I wrote a book.  And another.  Then a third book that sold in December of 2009 to Kensington and started the Dark Protector series, in which the tenth and final book will be released this coming December.  As I became a published author, I started to pay attention to reviews, to awards, to publishers, and finally to bestselling status.  And I started to spend a lot of time promoting and marketing.  Well, a lot for me.  I’ve been fortunate in that my publishers market and promote well, and I truly appreciate that and them.

Even so, sometimes the business aspect gets overwhelming.  Trying to figure out where to spend time, and when to spend money.

At that point, I get back to the characters and the story…right where I began.  It’s truly almost a relief to jump back into a book and forget the business side of publishing.  Finding success in this business is very much about the characters we write and the worlds we build.  If there’s only a limited amount of time to spend on this job, then I truly feel the majority of that should be writing and honing craft.

I made two resolutions for 2014.  The first was that 2014 would be the year of health.  Working out, eating right, and losing weight.  So far, so good.  The second was that 2014 would be the year of writing, writing, writing and getting lost in characters again without so much worrying about promotion.  So here’s my breakdown of what I thought would work for me:

  • 60% of work time:  Writing something  (includes editing time, too).
  • 20% of work time:  Business aspects such as promotion, marketing, and keeping records
  • 10% of work time:  Learning and studying craft, promotion, etc.
  • 10% of work time:  Fun.  This job should be fun, too.  (Sometimes that’s more writing, in fact).  Also, I have a lot of fun on FB.  So sometimes I’ll play there without even thinking about promotion.

So far, this is working well for me.  Next year, I may reduce the percentage of time spent on promotion and add more to fun or to learning/studying.  (Which is also fun).  I’ve always thought that this entire career comes down to: It’s all about the book.  And it is.

If you’re somebody who gets caught up and overwhelmed by the promotional and marketing requirements in this business, maybe think about getting back to the book.  It works for me, and I hope it helps!  Have a wonderful spring, and I hope to see a lot of folks at conferences this year.

USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and sexy contemporary romances.  Her current publishers include Grand Central, Entangled, and Kensington.  RISING ASSETS releases on March 31st at a special sales price of less than a dollar.  Visit Rebecca at:

2 thoughts on “Getting Back to the Book”

  1. Wonderful advice, Rebecca!
    Boy do I need to stop focusing so much on reviews, promotion and my ranking. It really is about the characters and the story. That part of this business can really suck the fun right out of the whole adventure.

  2. I love this. And need to take your advice. My first book comes out April 7, with Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington. I’ve been spending way too much time on promotion, and checking reviews. OMG, I have reviews! And after finishing the second book which comes out in July, I really, really, really need to finish the third book. And then the fourth.

    Hopefully I will find balance in my writing, because I don’t want to stop doing this.

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