Being an independent author and publisher has its perks, like creative control and higher royalties, but it also has its headaches. For instance, I have to do the job of about 12 people most of the time. I have to be a writer, editor, graphic artist, publisher, indexer, typographer, secretary, publicist, agent, personal assistant, accountant, shipping manager… and anything else that might arise.
Managing all of the inherent details of such an endeavor is a monster-job, but I have found it difficult to explain to others why a computer crash is such a stressful tragedy for me. My writing directory alone has 31,752 files in 1,993 folders. And this isn’t counting cloud storage and other archives of older files.
In order to manage all these writing files, I have to use a spreadsheet to keep track of all the details, and this can be overwhelming to say the least.
For instance, one sheet in my books document is for keeping track of everything concerning each of my 24 books. The left column looks like this:
My shipping cost
PP BTN URL
eBook PDF Price
eBook PDF Royalty
DTP int file
DTP cvr file
SW int file
SW cvr file
SW book price
GB int file
GB cvr file
GB book price
PP eBook price
PP ebk pg link
Ebook code/bk pg
PP BTN code
To the right of this column is that data on each book, spreading out over 24 columns (one for each book).
Then another sheet for royalty data for each month in the year. This sheet has to include the list price, royalty rate (i.e., 35% or 70%), units sold, with different amounts for different countries, since I sell in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France, Germany, Canada…plus differentiation for sales at Amazon, website sales (both digital and print), sales at Smashwords, Google Books, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, etc., and a calculation for that month’s data concerning sales of each, plus subtotals, totals, and keeping in mind that a month’s royalties reflects sales from two months prior to the actual pay out. I also have to separate the grid to post electronic sales and print sales.
I also have to keep a tax spreadsheet detailing income and expenses, and most people understand how much fun itemizing is for all these details over the course of a year.
Additionally, I have to create the shopping card codes for each books’ webpage, so that any purchase made on my site takes the buyer to the proper purchase page and then links them out to either a download or a thank you and info page telling them the order was received and will be drop-shipped.
And on each book’s webpage, I have to allow for both digital and print sales, and each format of eBook (mobi/prc, PDF, ePUB, Lit, html), and handle drop shipping and followup.
I also have to be a webmaster, designing and continually tweaking pages and codes, while also maintaining my other websites and blogs and forums and Facebook pages and Twitter…and of course I have to manage all my website files on my host provider. Never mind all the pages I have to update whenever there are changes to any book’s cover, interior, information, price or any other detail. That alone can take days.
No wonder I’m having trouble actually WRITING, now. I don’t have time.