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A day in the life... Part 2.

When I wrote my blog giving you a glimpse into a day of my life as an indie writer with a full-time job, my wife suggested we do one about a day in her life as the one doing all the rest of the work – or, as I like to call it, the hard work.


While this isn’t exactly a day in the life because days vary based on where we are in what we call a “new release cycle,” it’s a pretty good glimpse into the various tasks she has to perform to publish a book and market it. In fact, when I asked her what to type, she gave me a handwritten list she’d made, and we laughed because I cannot read her handwriting. The list was long, but it in no way encompasses everything she does to put out one of my books. In case you were wondering, we laughed because it looked like she’d written “toe loving,” but it was actually “tailoring,” and it took her a minute to even remember what that word was herself, so it wasn’t just me.


Let’s pretend we’re putting out a new release, shall we?


The first thing she has to do is figure out when it’s going to come out. I used to put out 6-7 books a year, but last year, it was 9, and this year, it will be 9, too, and we also, you know, have a life, so we like to do things like get out of the house when we can. She needs to make sure she has the schedule locked down for the year, including things like pre-order dates, release dates, if we’re doing audio for a book or not, and making sure she has time to do everything between books that she needs to do before it’s time for the next one.


To do that, we need a few things. We need a cover for each book format, which she designs and we review together. She needs to edit the manuscript, format it for all sorts of versions (e-book, paperback, hardcover, etc.), and then upload for publishing, where she’ll also set prices, fill out all the required book settings, review other important info like adding the ISBN (which she also has to buy and fill out all the required details for). She’ll also make sure to get the book copyrighted legally to protect my work as well.


Once the book is edited, formatted, and ready to go, she has to send it to my ARC Team (hi, awesome ARC Team), who will read and sometimes, send any typos they find back. Then, she fixes those issues and creates “final” versions of the book to upload. Don’t forget: there are different formats of the book (ARC file, e-book, paperback, hardcover, event-specific formats, and sometimes, audio), so she’s formatting all of those, which means different cover sizes, layout specifications, platforms requirements, and things like that.


There’s also all the social images and graphics that need to be created. So, she’s making those, too. Adjusting the collage images with the new book for a series, for example, making sure she has multiple images that would work for different social media, etc. We also participate in various sales and challenges, and those require graphics to be made or adjusted, as well as updating prices back and forth on time. She’s the one updating social media after the previous release with the information for the new release, letting everyone know in the profiles, banner images, etc., that a new book is on its way.


Every week, because of the challenges and giveaways, she’s adding those to our social or getting the challenge providers the information they need to post on their end. I.e., the blurbs, book links, images, etc., and because I have so many books now, that’s basically happening every single week in one way or another.


She’s also in charge of this very site and has to keep it up to date with every release. That includes making a book page, series page, updating the main bookshelf and new releases listings, adding the soundtracks/playlist, getting me to give her what I think the angst, sarcasm, and heat ranges are to add to those meters to help people choose the book, etc.


If I’ve written something that’s free for subscribers, she has to edit, format, post, and message that to everyone as well. Oh, yeah – she also revises everything I write, including this very blog (hi, babe!). Now that I’m doing these blogs weekly, along with my writing prompts (Scene Sunday) and Ask a Main Character questions, she’s revising all of those and posts them for me, too.


I think her favorite tasks, though, are the ones called, “Get wife to do…” Those involve things like reminding me to write the descriptions (which I hate doing, like a lot of writers – I’d rather type a 500-page book than a 500-character blurb); getting me to write her the newsletter and blog text she needs to do her job; identifying any tropes so she can fill out the numerous forms she needs to for other sites and challenges; asking me to help her figure out cool giveaways, and writing taglines, short blurbs, and social media posts (which I’m writing, but she’s usually the one posting the main post while I’m working my day job). I’m the one in the comments, so don’t blame her if there’s a typo there. She’s asking me for email text to send something or reply when we need to send something to another author or for a challenge, ask a narrator if they want to produce a book for us, etc. Then, she’s reminding me if someone has emailed back so I can remember to respond.


If there’s an audiobook coming out, she’s the one doing most of the work upfront. I outlined some of that in my blog on that process. You can check that out here. Once the auditions come in, we’re both listening and making a decision on a narrator, but she does the rest of the work. Then, we both listen to the fully produced book before approving it.


Oh, and she’s dealing with all the reporting. She always checks to see how the books are performing and keeps track of various ads, tweaking things where appropriate. She also puts everything together every year to give to our accountant, pays the business bills, and keeps track of all the expenses throughout the year to make sure that’s easier when the time comes.


I also forgot to mention the random weird things that happen because of other platforms authors use. For example, right before The Show Must Go On came out, the book somehow got tied to reviews from another book that had come out in 2017 with the same title. We had to message the platform and wait several days for those reviews to be untied from our title. That was an early-morning emergency that might have caused people to turn away from pre-ordering or buying the book, and she had to email back and forth to get support to finally take care of it. Recently, another book called The Show Must Go On, about the history of cricket in South England (of which, I am no expert, surely), got tied to that same book. So, if you wanted to buy a hardcover of my book, you couldn’t because you’d be getting one about cricket in the link instead. We got it fixed since, of course, but the point still stands. These types of things happen more often than the average person might understand because you’re dealing with bots updating major retailers, and they kind of do what they want to do, which means she has to pay attention every day.


I have a lot of titles out now (over 50), so you can imagine the amount of time it takes to make sure everything looks fine. We also have issues where certain formats of the book don’t automatically sync up. For example, the paperback is live and ready for you to buy it, if you choose, but it’s not on the main link where the e-book (and often, even the hardcover and audiobook is), so people can’t find it. It’s supposed to happen automatically, but it doesn’t always. She has to wait a couple of days (because those are the rules), and if it’s still not there, she reaches out, and they do it manually, which can take…. 3 to 5 business days. Nothing with those kinds of issues is ever immediate or easy, and sometimes, she has to follow-up on the ticket so that it doesn’t float away into the ether.


That’s really just the start, and as long as she’s been doing this, and as much as she tries to get ahead, anything can pop up that throws off the schedule. It could be a good thing, like one of my books won an award and we need to post about that, or a life thing, like we need to run to the dentist or something and she didn’t have enough time to finish what she needed to get done. This year, she also updated some of the old covers to get them a fresher look (the e-books are all up to date, but paperbacks take some time), came up with the couples challenge (which is a lot of additional back-end work for her as well), and don’t forget our most recent project – the Wife on Wife podcast. She gets the questions ready, edits the audio after we record, uploads it to platforms, etc.


An indie author really has to do it all: write the book, publish it, market it, understand the business, and more. I am very lucky that my wife does a lot of this for and with me because if not, I might not have ever published. So, if you like my books and want to leave a comment, might I suggest, “Thank you, Natalie!”

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3 Comments


tanya2876
tanya2876
Apr 09, 2023

Wow that's a lot!! 😳

Thank you Natalie!! 😊

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Nicole Pyland
Nicole Pyland
Apr 09, 2023
Replying to

Yes. Yes, it is. Lol

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Thank you Natalie!😊



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