Welcome back, Arrowheads! Today as Part 3 of the You’re Not Selfish for Wanting a Profitable Author Career series, I’ll be discussing the time log of the “lazy” work us authors actually do in order to write, edit, publish and market our books, and why it’s not actually lazy work at all.
What Work Do Authors Do?
Actually Writing Our Books
Personally, my writing speed is sporadic for books. The first took a year and a half, while the second took seven years. I ran a poll on Twitter a while back asking how long it usually takes for authors to finish their first drafts, and most said from six months to a year per book. Writing a book takes a lot of time commitment, but a lot of people don’t see that.
Self-Editing the Book
So far I’ve proofread through Speak Your Mind (280-something pages) 5 times at the time of writing this post. At around 7 hours per read, that equates to 35 hours. For each round of self-editing, it takes me about an hour to go through and correct the mistakes, so now we’re up to 40 hours. That’s an entire week’s worth at a typical 8 to 5 job.
Oh yeah, and this is before applying beta reader or editor feedback. I’m also not a prolific author who pens multiple books a year, so imagine how many hours they spend editing.
Writing/Formatting Blog Posts
For Authoring Arrowheads, I post on Wednesday and Friday each week, and will occasionally post on other days (like this Monday series 😉). This equates to 104 posts minimum for a year if I stick to two a week. These posts take from twenty minutes to an hour to write and finalize, which if I’m calculating from an average of 40 minutes per post, that equals out to 4,160 minutes per year, or 69.3 hours.
Participating and hosting blog tours are author tasks that require even more time blogging. Blog tours involve prep time to plan the tour; announcing the tour and creating a Google docs form; waiting to hear from participants; preparing and sending out ARC copies; creating graphics; sending out graphics, social links, purchase links, author bio, and book descriptions (plus creating giveaways if you opt to do that); answering author interview and/or character interview questions; writing guest posts; following up on your participants posts and engaging and sharing their posts to your platforms; etc.
I don’t know if I can provide an accurate account of time spent on blog tours, but please don’t assume it’s easy. It’s not.
Social Media Marketing
After blog posts are published, it takes an average of about ten minutes to post the blog post links on social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest. Multiply 104 posts minimum to that, and that equals out to 1,040 minutes per year, or 17 hours.
Ah, but hold on! A large amount of author endeavors (especially for many self-published authors) comes in the form of promoting other authors’ books. Like I mentioned earlier, the novel I’m editing right now takes seven hours on average for me to read through at 280-something pages. I’d say that’s a good average amount of pages for the books I read. So, 7 hours times the number of books I’ve written reviews for this year (20 at the time of writing this), equals out to 140 hours. But, that’s not on a steady stream of reading. Some of the reviews I’ve posted this year were old reviews, and most were not posted until March, when I started reading regularly again. I have a feeling that to represent a full year of continuous book reviews, that would equal about 220 hours per year, taking off time for some shorter stories that are less than 50 pages.
All this does not include extra marketing endeavors such as planning ads on Amazon/Facebook/Goodreads, planning and prepping for book signings, attending and/or speaking at conferences, creating a book trailer, creating miscellaneous videos for a YouTube channel, or building and maintaining friendships with fellow authors or readers.
Don’t tell me authors don’t work.
Can you relate to this series? What other author endeavors do you take part in? Feel free to share in the comments!
Next week I’ll be closing out this Monday series with Part 4: Final Words. Thank you for stopping in the past few weeks to read these extra posts. I hope you’ve enjoyed them! 🙂