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Balancing the Business Side of Writing with Kathleen Collins

Gone are the days when an author signed a contract and dealt solely with an editor and an agent. Nowadays, authors are required to promote themselves and their books…and write. Author Kathleen Collins [1] shares her insight and methods on how to accomplish these goals.  

Welcome, Kathleen!

While there is a plethora of advice out there on how to write your book and how to get it published, there is much less on what happens after that book gets picked up. Before you become a published author, your time is own. You can work on what you want to work on, when you want to work on it. If you don’t feel like being particularly sociable, you don’t have to be. Things get done at your pace and on your schedule.

All of this changes once you’re under contract.

Your writing time will now not only be taken up by writing, but also by self-promotion, social media, blog posts, and a myriad of other business related tasks. Maintaining a career in writing becomes an exercise in balance.

Firstly, it’s important to know that you won’t always be able to work on what you want to work on. When you’re under contract, you have to work on IMG_2361_(2) [2]the books in that contract, even if that’s not necessarily what’s talking to you at the time. There is no more, “I don’t feel good today, I’ll write tomorrow.” There is only deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Don’t get me wrong, deadlines can actually be a good thing if you are a procrastinator like me. They help me stay focused. That doesn’t mean I like writing when I have a raging migraine, but I do it. Even if it’s twenty words, it’s twenty more than I had the day before.

I am, by definition, not a sociable person. However, once I even started considering publishing my books, I had to start setting aside my own hermit-like tendencies. I made a website with a blog, got a Twitter account and, once my first two books were under contract, I made an author Facebook page. I’m still not as good about spending time talking to people on any of them as I should be, but I’m out there and I’m making connections I otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

The other thing that’s important to know is that you’ll be waiting. A lot. You’ll be waiting to hear on submissions, on titles, on release dates and covers. You’ll be waiting for copy editors and content editors. And then you’ll be waiting for reviews and feedback. If all this seems a little overwhelming, it is. It can be absolutely head spinning at times. But I’ve learned a few things that help.

It is a huge adjustment to go from a struggling, aspiring author to a contracted, published or soon-to-be published author. But we’ve all been there. Every single author out there, no matter how big or how small they are, has been there. Just remember that and find the tools that work for you.

So do you have any thing you do that helps keep you on task that might help someone else? Or do have a question about what happens after the contract? Share or ask away.

Author Tonya Kappes takes the lectern on Monday, March 24th. 


Deaths_Daughter_cover [3]Death’s Daughter [4] – Book two of the Realm Walker series 

Juliana Norris, Realm Walker with the Agency, is an Altered. A fact that she runs up against every time she’s forced to work with human police officers, and their species-ist commissioner, on cases they can’t solve themselves. Which happens more than they would like to admit.

Her gift—the quality that makes her the best Realm Walker in the business, without boast—is the ability to read magical signatures. Whether the gift came from her father, the dark fae god of death, or the mage mother she can’t remember, is anyone’s guess. And when Altered children start going missing with only wild magical signatures as clues, her heritage is the last thing on her mind.

She can’t afford such distractions, and she definitely can’t afford to worry about the fact that her mate, master vampire Thomas Kendrick, hasn’t spoken to her since she saved him from a demon—maybe it’s because she had to stab him to do so. Because whoever is kidnapping these children must be very powerful to wield wild magic. Very powerful, and very dangerous indeed.


Bio: Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about fantasy worlds and the people who live in them. The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband. She is currently hard at work on her next book. To learn more about Kathleen, visit her website [5] or connect with her on Facebook [6], twitter [7] and Pinterest [8].


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13 Comments To "Balancing the Business Side of Writing with Kathleen Collins"

#1 Comment By Linda Phillips On March 21, 2014 @ 7:58 am

Kathleen, I SO appreciated this. It is so timely for where I am right now, waiting, hurrying and scurrying with all the stuff that goes with a debut book being released in October. Posts like this help me calm down and keep b r e a t h i n g!

#2 Comment By Kathleen Collins On March 21, 2014 @ 11:03 am

Yes. Breathing is good. I highly recommend it. And amazingly, if you’re like me, all that stuff you freak out about with book one won’t seem like that big of a deal with book two.

#3 Comment By Carrie Spencer On March 21, 2014 @ 8:57 am

Morning Kathleen…

I’m not published, but even with to do lists, laptops, tablets etc, I just don’t see how you get it all done! =) I’m barely keeping my head above water now! I have a feeling I’d never find the bottom of my laundry pile if I ever did get published. =)

Thanks for a very informative post!


#4 Comment By Kathleen Collins On March 21, 2014 @ 11:04 am

I have a super supportive family. It makes all the difference in the world. They help pick up the slack.

#5 Comment By Terri L. Austin On March 21, 2014 @ 9:24 am

True! Every word. I really liked your tips for coping, Kathleen. Great post! Especially turning off the internet.

#6 Comment By Kathleen Collins On March 21, 2014 @ 11:06 am

Thanks! hopefully it helps someone. 🙂

#7 Comment By Jennifer Tanner On March 21, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

Hi Kathleen,

I’m more productive when I’m under the gun because it forces me to set priorities.

The Internet can be a time suck. I’m a news junkie and it’s easy to burn two hours reading. Going to check out the macfreedom program you mentioned.

Great to have you with us today!

#8 Comment By Kathleen Collins On March 21, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

Thanks Jennifer! I love freedom. Helps me focus and I treat my internet time like a reward for completing my writing time.

#9 Comment By Becke Martin Davis On March 21, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

Thanks so much for a very interesting post! Even though I knew a writer’s life turns upside down once they sell, seeing it laid out in black and white isn’t just intimidating – it’s terrifying!

#10 Comment By Kathleen Collins On March 21, 2014 @ 11:37 pm

But it’s so worth it! 🙂

#11 Comment By Robyn LaRue On March 22, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

I set the timer for all tasks these days, including my feed reader. The platform side of things takes so much time right now. About the only thing that helps is to make my To Do list, assign a length of time, and set the timer. Glad I’m not alone.

#12 Comment By Traci Krites On March 23, 2014 @ 8:29 am

These are really good tips.

#13 Comment By judy On March 24, 2014 @ 10:27 am

nice piece. Makes a lot of since.