The Organizing War

organizeWriters always seem to be busy. Most of us have to work a second job to keep the bills paid. Granted I’m “retired” but I also have a 100 acre farm to look after, which means my time is usually at a premium. I’ve discovered the more books I write, the less I seem to stay prepared for impromptu marketing opportunities. And this is an important thing when you’re an Indie.

So what’s a busy person to do? It takes time to organize all our writing stuff. Not everyone has the skills to adapt specialized software programs to their uses. But even a simple Word document can save you oodles of time when it comes to promotions.

Admittedly I probably spend too many hours on Facebook. Scanning the posts, I laugh, cry, and occasionally find opportunities for free marketing. Why not? There are dozens of pages that WANT you to post your book links. Some require the ASIN, others want the ISBN, and most want the actual buy links to the pages. If you have multiple books this can be a real pain to get everything needed for a promo.

I put together a Word document with all my books’ information. That way should a free marketing occasion arise, I’ll have all the info to quickly post the book and get back to writing—like I should be doing! You can keep it as simple as you want, or you can make it fancy. The most important parts are the buy links and the AISN.

Here’s an example of one of my books:

The Hall
Pub date: 3 Oct 2012
ISBN: 9781456514075
The Hall trailer:

Some websites want you to add a synopsis (back cover blurb) or even a book trailer if you have one. There really is no end to what you can add to your document. The important part is keeping it together and readily available. I put an icon on my desktop so I didn’t have to go wading through my files to find it. Once opened, I can copy and paste the information into the fields of the website or Facebook page. Each time you release a new book, just remember to update the info in your file. I spent about an hour collecting everything for 10 novels.

Another handy use for this is if you write a series of books and want to release one about the same time each year. Having the publication dates can help keep you on track not only in the writing process, but editing and overall completion. You can put marketing reminders in — when to start pimping your new release; or keep a listing of the sites that you submitted to. I’m sure there are other programs like Excel that can do the same job, but I’m a simple kind of writer and the more tech I have to contend with the more frustrated I get!

This is one simple tool you can use to keep track of your books and everything the world needs to know about them. As Indie authors, our job is not only to write books, but to market and promote them as well. Anything we can do to speed up the process will hopefully give us more time to crank out those masterpieces.

For more on organization, check out Kat’s article about being prepared by having your book covers at the ready, and Melissa Bowersock’s post about tracking your online appearances.

Author: K. Rowe

K. Rowe is an experienced and prolific multi-genre author. She draws from over twenty years of active Air Force service. Kathy lives in eastern Kentucky with her husband and a zoo of farm animals. Among her many duties she finds time to offer services as a publishing consultant for new authors. Learn more about Kathy from Facebook, and her Amazon author page.

23 thoughts on “The Organizing War”

  1. I started doing something similar a few years ago and let it get away from me. Blurgh. Now I’ve got to play catch-up with 20 titles. Excellent advice, Kathy! Wish I’d kept it up. 🙂

  2. I have a folder for twitter links I want to use in promoting (review links, etc.), a folder for twitter handles of some of those I follow regularly, a folder with my social media links, and a folder for book marketing (my photo, book photo, excerpts, etc.) It is so much easier when I need to pull things out. I usually have all these pages open and can easily access them at the top of my computer screen.

    I am glad that you are sharing this information.

  3. Great post, Kathy, especially the tip about putting a direct link to the file on the desktop. I have a all the information I need, but it’s a bit all over the place. I’m definitely going to get organized and put it all in one place.

    1. I had mine all over the place- usually in each book folder. So I decided that I should put it together in one tidy place. Been very helpful so far.

      1. Ungh…the multiplying folders syndrome. I have it too. I know it’s time to re-organize my files when I have to resort to the Search function to find something I know I wrote not that long ago. 🙁

  4. Fabulous idea, Kathy, thank you! I started doing this, but…yeah. Keeping it updated got away from me. Good reminder to have it at the ready. The one I did use was not in Word but in a simple text program (Text Edit, in Mac-land) so Word wouldn’t make code hash out of my links. I keep the document in a folder on my desktop – the wise, wise KS Brooks’ idea – with a book cover photo and a headshot. And the blurb. And all my social media links.

    1. A great idea, Laurie; just adds another layer to Kathy’s excellent post. Think I’ll start while I only have one book under my belt!

  5. Like you Kathy, and others, I’m an organized person, so within my file folder on my flash drive (I switch between 3 computers), I have the initials of my book and the word ‘media kit’. So for my book Wilderness Heart is the file labeled WH Media Kit. Since I also write under a pen name, I also keep track of me in a file for each name with all my online presence platforms with logins and pswds because
    I can’t remember them all. Great post.

  6. What a good idea! I’m going to start an info sheet for each of my books. It’s so easy to forget, in between promo spots, how much I have to jump around finding whatever info is needed. Thanks for the great idea!

  7. What a good idea. I know where to pull all my links, but it is time consuming. Thank you for the tips, I will get organized and be a happy writer.

  8. Well, it seems that many of ya’ll have some sort of organization, but have gone lax on it. Glad I could be the proverbial kick in the pants to get you updating your list!

  9. I love this, Kathy. Makes it all so simple! For those who work on several computers, I find the free version of Dropbox helpful, as I’ve been known to lose flash-drives or frequently forget to take it with me when I travel.

    1. My brother “encouraged” me to use Dropbox. I tend to put completed ms’s up there, but for the most part I work on one computer and have my 500GB back hard drive as well. Yes, flash drives tend to sprout legs and walk off! At least I don’t think the dogs have gotten on yet.

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