August has ceased to be my favorite month… And I’m definitely over it this year. One week done. However, there’s a lesson to be learned whenever you run into roadblocks that come at you in herds, kicking and screaming all the way. I’m still replaying the lessons, and wondering what I may have missed. Then I decided to play it out in print and maybe my good friends can comment and add suggestions to the heap.
I’ve learned that I chase no one, ever. No client. Not a family member. No friends. Either you want me in your life, or you don’t. You chose to leave me behind, and that’s okay… I won’t chase you down and beg you to stay or return.
Before I go straight to the difficulties, craziness, and lessons I might need to learn… I’d like to share some amazing great news, blessings, and benefits that I experienced in August. Good before bad, right?
August is always a slow pay month… I don’t know if it’s vacation time, school starting, or what the deal is, but I always start out August with a bunch of excuses why customers can’t quite cover their billing for the month… And generally end it with a lot of late charges going out to customers, so this month – I opted out of the process. Instead of adding late fees to the end of the month, I changed it up and sent out a message on billings that went out on August 1 – “Bonus Services Available if paid on time!” I got paid on time by 83% of my August 1 Billings. Thank you!!! You guys know who you are. Thank you!!!
Autumn Web Rush started early… There’s usually a rush of new customers that starts up around the 20th of September, and runs all the way through December to get end of year updates, fun changes, and new websites. Well y’all started early, and just in time to get in on some great end of summer deals. But those who still want in are gonna have to call me to get these great prices. 303.968.6863 – Let’s talk! I have one brand-spanking-new, extremely-good, and absolutely AMAZING tech waiting for more work, let’s keep him busy!
So, the LAST of August was a week of “Lord, help me!”
We’ve all been talking about bullet point weeks, so I’m just going to bullet point the highlights:
- Abandoned. Rejected. Kicked to the Curb. That was fun. Not.
- Card payments didn’t clear from an event. Still working on the fix.
- Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Totally burned out on the drive home.
- Computer disaster – saved by the skin of my teeth.
- Revisited a Rattlesnake pit – unintentional. (I can still shoot.)
- Lost a favorite client to the ravages of cancer. RIP.
- Misplaced my keys. Big crisis, only have one key for my truck. Found. PTL.
- Playing hunt and rescue with clients after the disaster down south.
- New Business Startup on delay.. Hold on for the Grand Opening…Delayed.
- Radio Show BUST. We’ll go into that later, but… EWWWW. (Good news, reprocess later.)
- Mountain Weekend Cancelled.
- A cranky writer struggling with his book marketing process thinks I’m a scammer, even though he’s refused to do what I recommended he do to market his book, and won’t do any of his own edits, or beta reads, or final run-throughs. Stressed over this one, but after he sent me what amounted to a new plot and book, I recommended he add personalities and settings and write another book. Perhaps he was looking for inspiration? I can only hope.
So there it is. The “Lord, help me!” Week in Bullet Points.
But I’ll tell ya what. My house isn’t flooded. The roof isn’t caved in or missing from the hurricane. And everybody is alive and well. We’ll survive all of these disasters, too.
Strange isn’t it, how you wind your way through the bullet points, and they suddenly don’t seem so bad after all?
But… I’m the Solution Expert – Want to hear SOLUTIONS?
From the start – you may need to look up above and see what the problem was, because I’m not reiterating problems.
- Dust myself off and get on with the process of living. Abandonment and rejection are not show stoppers, they’re dead ends. If I can’t fix the situation, and there’s nothing left to negotiate, then I have to take care of me, and let those who want out of my life go their own way. Toodles.
- Contact buyers to let them know their cards didn’t clear on the payment accepting method, and ask if they can resend their payments. No biggie. Most are already on their way!
- Rested over the weekend and started over on Monday.
- Rebooted. Updated. Searched for Files. Relocated File Sources – and PUBLISHED. Computer crisis averted.
- Removed the Rattlesnake Pit from my list of places to visit. It wasn’t on there intentionally anyways… So it’s gone.
- Sent flowers to client’s family.
- Found the keys. Added a stringer back to my keys so they’re not so easily lost.
- Reconnected, checked to be sure they were all okay, and reassured clients their sites will be fine until I hear from there, and offered to keep up their blogs – to keep some income coming in as possible, for them.
- Rescheduled the business startup for a better kickoff date, and will be reordering the materials as soon as we have a Grand Opening Date.
- Rescheduled Radio Show for September and will be recording it all new, so I don’t sound like someone speaking through a tunnel. New Microphone was a MUST.
- Rescheduled Mountain weekend for November/January. Still waiting for confirmations.
- Hopefully some inspiration was all my client needed to get over his crankiness.
Solutions sometimes come from content – more information.
You’d think it was rocket science, the way writers react to submission rules when they don’t get what they want. But as a writer who often submits my own writing for publication, I understand the problem. I sometimes get a little cranky about the expectations of others too. But the real deal is pretty easy to understand if you think about it.
As a publisher/editor/agent, there’s a huge responsibility to maintain quality.
At any given time, there are between 20 and 30 books on my desk to be referred to a publisher, edited for previews, or reviewed for marketing programs. If I get the book in anything less than “ready for service” format, it sucks time out of my day – or my assistant’s day (which requires me to pay her by the hour), to prepare it for wherever it should be going next. If you send it to me in anything less than “ready to submit manuscript format” I have a lot of work to do, to prepare it. Whether it’s an efile or a printed file (with an efile – I don’t accept non-digital publications) your submission can require editing or additional reviews
Follow Directions –
This is important. If your agent/editor/publisher tells you to send your submission in a complete file, with chapter divisions and headings, do that. If they want it in 10 pt Times New Roman, do that. However they ask for your file, send it to them in that format, ready for them to do whatever they need to do with it. Most agent/editor/publishers have a specific reason for asking for specific manuscript formats, and if your format is altered from that, it takes additional time to correct it before sending it on. If they feel your project is worth it, they may make the effort. Otherwise they file it in the circular file, and you never hear from them again.
Dime a Dozen –
I once thought as a published author, I was somebody… But then I looked around at the published authors I know personally.
The truth. I’m somebody special, just like every one else is somebody special. There’s nothing about my writing that a publisher can’t find in the next story, or the next, or the next. The only thing that gives me any grip at all is my ability to be grateful and show gratitude for the opportunity I’m given. If I forget that someone else gave me this opportunity to be published… I’m doomed to failure.
If you’re a writer like me, you’re a dime a dozen and the next one is better. Don’t you forget that, ever. And be grateful for every opportunity. Just say, Thank you!
Combination Satisfaction –
When you’re ready to send your work into the stratosphere, whether you’re an author of a novel, or a non-fiction something, or a How To Book that will teach your readers something of value, the great satisfaction is knowing you’re producing the best possible product for your readers. I help with that “stuff” and I don’t work for free.
I don’t claim to be a publisher, or an editor, or even an agent, although there are people who have called me those things, and I’ve done those jobs. My business is marketing, and I know people who know people.
Publishers don’t charge authors.
Agents don’t charge authors.
Editors are generally paid by the author or the publisher, depending on where they are in the process. I’ve paid editors to edit my work, and I’ve been paid to edit a few books. Quite a few books.
My point here is, I don’t work for free. If you want someone who will do your bidding for free, I’m not your girl. I may refer you to someone, or I may even help you find someone, but I’m not going to do most of your work for free, and I’m probably not even willing to do it for 50% of the profits, to be honest. I generally need to be paid at the time work is done, not six months later..