- Tina Wheeler
Juggling a Hybrid Schedule
Updated: Feb 3
A Roadmap to Success
Decide How Fast You Want to Take This Trip? (One car is not better than another.)
Identify the type of vehicle you’re driving:
Have Best Selling Author Goals + writing workaholic = Race Car
Have Midlist Author Goals + Juggling a full life and writing = SUV
Have Hobbyist Author Goals + Cruising along = Convertible
Identify Where Your Desired Goal + Stress Tolerance + Productive Time Intersect
Warning: If any of these will remain low, do not trade in for a race car.
Avoid running out of gas by pushing you (your vehicle) beyond its limits.
Choose a Final Destination
Five Year Goal – Ex: making a list, income level, # of books per year and/or desired
What will it take? Break into yearly goals
Choose genre(s) and pen name(s) – Narrow is easier to manage & builds bigger fanbase
Map Your Trip
First, consider any contract restrictions and publisher expectations such as books per year.
Pick a lane
Self-Publishing + Small Press
Self-Publishing + Small or Large Traditional Presses
Small Press + Large (Big 5) Publisher
Short Story Under 10,000
Novelette 7,5000 – 19,000 words
Novella 10,000 – 40,000 words
Novels 50,000+ (category romance starts at 55K)
Select story size based on goals and time allowance. Novellas are easier if you’re
pressed for time.
Hybrid Pubs say they are both – tread carefully – costly
If you go this route, pick one that will teach you how to do it yourself.
If you have the money, you can hire a book shepherd, but it’s cheaper to network, watch webinars, and YouTube videos.
Choose which publisher has priority and work the others around their expected output.
Choose number of books/novellas/short stories per year to reach your goal
Plan your production schedule
Will you write more than one book at a time?
Fitting in extra projects - weekend/after meeting a daily goal/specific weeks
Do you need to schedule revision only time?
How many chapters or words do you need each month?
How many words, scenes, or chapters can I write each working week?
How many hours per working day do I need meet that goal?
Chunky Method (average your words per session)
Word tracking apps like WriteTrack.cloud
Spreadsheet, planner or calendar
Prepare for your writing space
Designated/decluttered writing space
Keep needed resources like name books or writing thesaurus handy
Create and Save Helpful Tools (Delete old files you don’t use)
Charts/outlines of your book or characters save time
Templates for eBooks/printed self-pubbed books/art fact sheets/expected items
Checklists (book production, marketing, booksigning packing lists)
Saved front and back matter for self-pubbed books
Use Time-Saving Self-Pubbing Resources
Vellum/Atticus/Kindle Create for formatting
Draft2Digital for distribution (Upload to Amazon yourself for bigger payout)
Limit Your Go-To Resources – Too many people claiming to be experts
My Resources for Learning Craft and Publishing industry:
Your Writing Community
Tina Radcliffe’s newsletter – tinaradciffe.com
YouTube How To… videos
Christian Publishing Show
Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula
Author Support Network Facebook Group
Write For Harlequin Community Facebook Group
My Writing Resources:
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi Writing Thesaurus Series
Laurie Schnebly’s Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams
Cheyenne McCray and H.D. Thomson’s Writer’s Secret Weapon
Focus Your Advertising on What Works
Brand – what readers expect from your book – expectations build an audience
Newsletters – You control it. Export copies of your emails and save.
Newsletter/BookBub/Social Media Builders – Booksweeps, AuthorsXP
Websites – More important if you sell wide. Amazon has Author Central.
BookBub – Free notices sent out to followers for new releases
Social media – Limit to where your readers are and what you do well/hire help
Go - Write
Trigger your mind with routines
Designated writing space and time
Carving out more writing time
Hire help if possible
Take it with you – print chapters, writing & recording devices, pen & paper
Changes at Home
Toss out anything you don’t use – less to clean
Ask for consumable gifts
Cook less – make double batches/freeze or trade, delivery programs, double
Clean in chunks as you go
Get a Roomba
Enjoy the Ride (Recharges your batteries)
Stay connected with friends
Reached Your Destination (met your goal)
Pick another destination, tweak your roadmap, and go.
Remember Persistence Pays Off