Monday, September 26, 2022

The Nitty Gritty of the Published Author Life

Erica here today.

Do you remember when Dorothy finally has the witch's broomstick, and she's brought it to the Wizard who told her that was the one way she could get back to Kansas? And then Toto pulls aside the curtain and you see a desperate little man pulling levers and pushing buttons?

That's not unlike the writer life. When you are a wide-eyed newbie, all you want is a peek behind the curtain of publishing. And you feel that once you have that first contract, once that first book releases, you'll be ushered into the hallowed behind-the-curtain-world of wonder and magic that is "Published Writer." 

And when Toto sweeps aside the curtain, you find...

More Work Than You Ever Imagined.

Editing, marketing, social media, proposals, pub boards, writing, writing, writing, deadlines. You need bookmarks or postcards, a website, a newsletter, blog interviews, zoom interviews. There are press releases, publicity tours, headshots, and more.

Let me assure you, I am not complaining, I'm explaining.

Jane and I in class at ACFW

But it is a bit of a reality check. For example, my last month.

  • Book due 9/2. Write like your hair is on fire. Ignore house, husband, and life to polish up ms and get it turned in on time. (Which I did.)
  • Company coming 9/6. This is writing related because a couple of friends were driving to my house and staying overnight so we could leave early for the ACFW Conference the next day. Which means after neglecting my house in favor of my deadline, I now need to clean like a crazy woman, make sure the beds are made up, bathrooms clean, fresh towels, etc. Oh, and pack.
  • Conference 9/7-11. Travel, classes, meetings, socializing. I had new headshots taken early on Sunday morning. I took a 5 hr class with James Scott Bell right off the mark at the conference, and my brain felt a little toasted the rest of the time. :) 
  • Internet TV Interview 9/14. A practice session during the day, then going live that night. 
  • Book Proposal going to Pub Board 9/15. Yay, the publisher liked the new proposal, and the next series is a GO!
  • Book Launch 9/20. Millstone of Doubt released last week. This means lots of time on social media, thanking people for sharing about the book, for reviewing, for photographing your book in lovely settings for Instagram. 
  • Managing the giveaway/prize mailings...every day. Keeping track of group and individual giveaways, blog posts, places I said I would be, online and in real life.

That's a little taste of what happens when you are ushered behind that publishing curtain. I love it, but it can be daunting. I find using a planner and making lists helps, as does working out in advance strategies for getting through particularly busy times. 

  • Put things on the calendar. If you don't write it down, it won't happen.
  • Let the dear husband know when a deadline is approaching and that you need his help with meal prep or quiet time.
  • Do things ahead of time if you can. Schedule blog or FB posts. Review on Sunday what needs to be done for the next week so you don't get caught on the hop by something you forgot about.
  • Work in some down time. You can't go at fever pitch forever. You will break down. Fit in some time to relax, to hang out with a friend, go for a walk, see a museum.

The life of a published author is more than I ever imagined, and way better in lots of cases. It's a job as much as a passion, and I find that preparing for the work helps me conquer it.

Regency London's detective duo is back on a new case--and this one is going to be a killer

Caught in the explosion of the Hammersmith Mill in London, Bow Street Runner Daniel Swann rushes to help any survivors only to find the mill's owner dead of an apparent gunshot.

Even though the owner's daughter, Agatha Montgomery, mourns his death, it seems there are more than a few people with motive for murder. But Daniel can't take this investigation slow and steady. Instead, he must dig through all the suspects as quickly as he can, because the clock is ticking until his mysterious patronage--and his job as a runner--comes to an abrupt and painful end. It seems to Daniel that, like his earthly father, his heavenly Father has abandoned him to the fates.

Lady Juliette Thorndike is Agatha's bosom friend and has the inside knowledge of the wealthy London ton to be invaluable to Daniel. She should be in a perfect position to help with the case. Still, her instructor in the art of spy craft orders her to stay out of the investigation. But circumstances intervene, dropping her into the middle of the deadly pursuit.

When a dreadful accident ends in another death on the mill floor, Daniel discovers a connection to his murder case--and to his own secret past. Now he and Juliette are in a race to find the killer before his time runs out.
Best-selling, award-winning author, Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum. You can connect with her at her website, where you can learn about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at where she spends way too much time!


  1. GREAT post, Erica! And great reminders!!

    1. :) Were you surprised by what happened after that first contract landed?

  2. Did you get any sleep this month?

    1. Not a lot! :) But I'm making up for it now that the deadline has passed. :)

  3. Erica, you nailed it! I often find myself trying to convey to people that being an author involves much more than just sitting down and writing. And you're right, I never quite realized it all before I was published. Yet the list only seems to grow with time/technology. So, I just need to print this out so that the next time someone thinks I have all sorts of time, I can just give them a glimpse of what all is involved in being a writer.

    1. It can be hard to explain to the uninitiated! So. Many. Things. that are now the author's responsibility! :)

  4. So true!! I found myself saying yep and nodding my head. Especially about put it on the calendar and let the husband know when a deadline is approaching.

    Congrats on the new release and proposal approval!!

    1. I hope your husband is as sweet and helpful as mine around deadline time. I couldn't ask for better!

  5. Yes, yes, yes. Everything you say is true!

    And congratulations on your new proposal being approved. Now comes more work...but blessed work, right?

    Enjoy your five minutes of downtime between book series. ;-)

  6. Love it. I am the “uninitiated”, so this is helpful. My first book is headed for the Genesis contest in 2023. Still learning how to edit, which is making me pull my hair out. Congratulations on meeting your deadline and the proposal being accepted. How exciting!

  7. Well done prepping for the Genesis contest! Editing is a challenge but you can do it! Erica

  8. Loved this, Erica! I can relate. That push around deadlines can be exhausting. I hate having my house languish as I keep writing and writing and writing! I'm now in the short pause time before writing the next story. Love the break but it will be over in a heartbeat.

  9. Congrats on getting the new proposal approved! Also, thanks for

    1. Oops, I wasn't finished ha! Also, thanks for keeping it real for those of us who aren't "there" yet.

  10. Interesting post, Erica. I look forward to seeing news about your next series. I am currently reading Millstone of Doubt. I love it so far.

    1. Hi, Sandy! Thank you for reading Millstone! I hope you enjoy it!


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