Procrastination only hurts you and your projects – End of the Day for July 8, 2014

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I’ve been sitting in my computer all day, so rather than spend any more time tapping away on a keyboard, I decided to speak today’s entry into my iPhone using Siri. Sure the accuracy of voice dictation isn’t 100%, but at those times whiny ou simply want to enter a few words in your device, voice dictation connection work quite well. Give it a bit of post-editing and you can save a lot of time and a lot of strain on your fingers by talking to your computer. So, now, on to today’s entry. –Douglas

Today was quite a mix of all aspects of my current career. Not only did do my usual work of blogging and creating and editing videos, I also ended up doing some marketing work for Rosanne’s book, The Promise. I have decided that promotion, of both my work and Rosanne’s needs to take a more prominent place in my day-to-day work. 

When you self-publish, it’s up to you to do all the associated work of a publisher. Not only did you write the book, you also have to create the cover, create the ebook, create marketing materials.  You also have to do all the “grunt work” like mailing out flyers, setting up interviews and podcasts and a variety of other tasks that used to be performed by — well — someone else. For that, your publisher received a tidy portion of each book sale.

The Promise Book Cover

What happens today, though, is authors often ignore or avoid these aspects of book publishing and as a result the book doesn’t sell very well. I have to admit that we haven’t been the best at this aspect either. So much other work gets in the way and that gives us so many different ways of procrastinating on work that really needs to be done. It is a common — if troublesome — problem for all writers and publishers.

As with all my work, it’s by doing things myself that I learn more about those tasks so that I can teach others how to do them better. I knew I needed to immerse myself in the marketing side of book publishing, and in the process I learned some important lessons, which I tried to start applying today.

The work today was mainly about doing some basic research on Oregon Trail Visitor Centers throughout the country. Since The Promise is a fictionalized tale of a journey on the Oregon Trail, it only made sense to focus on these institutions — along with museums and other historical organizations. Still it does require quite a bit of “grunt work”,  such as locating the various centers and museums, finding their the mailing and email addresses and figuring out who you need to talk to at each location. Then comes the work of collecting all the information in some document where you refer to it, use it to create envelopes and mailings as well as sort it in a variety of ways. That, though, us easier for me, as the it engages the technology side of my mind and I have spent years developing computer methods for organizing information. Tomorrow, and each week from now on, I will be dedicating a certain amount of time to marketing for all of our projects, just like I should have been doing earlier.

The best part about this is all this research can also be used in online methods of marketing. I’ve come up with several ideas on how to use them the information I collected to create more content for The Promise website to attract more viewers and, hopefully, more readers.

No matter what project you working, there will always be work like this that has to be done. All of us would be wise to remember this and get down to the business of hand rather than simply letting it lie undone. We’re only hurting ourselves by inaction when we could be creating great benefits to us and our projects. People need to know about your ideas, your products, your great works. You need to always be telling people what you do and how well you do it. Use the tools at hand to make this even easier and it will help you to tame the procrastination that we all fight with every day.

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