Saturday, April 22, 2017

When a Writer Has To Not Write

Scott D. Parker

I think it's fair to say that the best part about being a writer is the writing. But being an independent writer means that I have to wear multiple hats depending on the situation. In the past week and a half, I have not been writing. I've been doing all the other things that need to be put in place from the marketing, website, and general business direction. I'll admit that I don't mind most of these kinds of things. But they take me away from the writing.

I am in the process of re-branding my Westerns as written by "S. D. Parker." It is a strategy to keep those westerns seen by other Western readers who may or may not enjoy mysteries. I am not making a secret of the pen name so I don't have to duplicate everything, but I am having to do a lot of little things. For example, I created a specific western author page on my website. It will act as the landing page for the "S. D. Parker – Western Author" links and books. Well, as soon as I did that, I had to finagle all of the individual webpages featuring my western stories to fall under the new western author webpage. Not a huge deal, but it had to be done. One of the stories I have decided to rename with a shorter title. It was not just a matter of changing the title on that webpage, I actually have to create a brand new webpage for that story so that the URL would read correctly. It is an irritating little detail, but it is in the details where we differentiate ourselves from others.

Yesterday, on a day off from my day job, I scheduled myself sometime to revise the word files for the four westerns I currently have on sale. Going in, it seemed like a rather easy thing to do: fix the title page, fix the copyright page, and fix the URLs embedded in the files. That part was easy. Where I stumbled ones with the mailing list link. You see, the current mailing list is geared toward the mystery side of things and not the westerns. If I was going to divide my energies, I thought it a good idea to have two separate mailing lists. No big deal… Until I realized I have to go and make it. That sent me out to Mailchimp where I spent some time creating the brand-new Western mailing list.  Again, it didn't take a lot of time, but it was one more thing to do. Then there was the decision to create a western author Facebook page. Maybe it's overkill, but if I am keeping everything separate… Then it would make sense to have a unique western Facebook page. And I have one now.

I think you can see how all these little steps add up to a big chunk of time. I was so engrossed in all of this work that by the time I looked up, I had only 30 minutes to eat lunch before I had to go get my boy from school and take him to the orthodontist. When the two of us got home, he chilled in the game room while I went back to my office and fixed another book.

Tomorrow (for me; Today for y'all) will be more of the same — with the birthday party that we have to attend — thrown in for good measure. It is all gearing up for a launch on May 1.

Lest you think that I am giving up on mysteries — far from the truth — this summer I will refresh all of my covers. In fact, here's the new cover draft for THE PHANTOM AUTOMOBILES.

You'll note that it's just in draft state and the watermarks are still in place. I'll be purchasing those images in the next month. All of the mystery covers in this series — including the Benjamin Wade stories and the one Lillian Saxton novel — will have the same look and feel. And there will be a couple of new mystery stories that will be released this summer.

It's an exciting time here at the offices of Quadrant Fiction Studio. How about y'all? What are y'all doing as summer approaches? Any new books we can discuss?

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