October 10, 2021 was celebrated as National Mental Health Day. It also happened to coincide with my birthday, which seemed appropriate as this was a birthday where I could certainly affirm that I had indeed initiated changes that would help to keep me on course for the new goals I had set. My key takeaway this year as I turn a year older is - know when to ask for help. As new authors, one of the challenges we face is trying to juggle other careers and family while writing. Add to that budget constraints and the publishing process can begin to seem overwhelming. It will be important to know what tasks to allocate to others so that you are not left feeling drained and flustered.
The 3 easiest tasks to defer to someone else are:
Revising and Editing. This is undoubtedly a step that’s almost as important as writing the book itself. It’s at this stage that authors check the structure, syntax and flow of their text. There are benefits to having someone else undertake this task. A third party is less emotionally attached to the manuscript so is likely to be more objective when recommending changes. These services can be costly, so if you’re on a budget, sites such as Upwork and Fiverr are worth considering.
Formatting your layout. Each publishing program has its own formatting requirements. Understanding margins and bleeds, for example, may require an immense investment of time to master. Consider finding a graphic designer who can help with this. It is worth the investment, especially in time saved.
Marketing. Developing your brand and the right campaign to establish a strong online presence can be time consuming. Marketing is an area that includes more than just social media posts but also includes networking for book launch options, podcast appearances and requesting book reviews. A marketing professional that already has established avenues that you can benefit from will certainly make the task easier and get you faster results.
Nurturing your mental health is sometimes as simple as enlisting help for tasks that would free you up to take a break or focus on more pressing activities. There are many options for budget conscious authors through websites such Fiverr and Upwork. Check-in with other authors who may be able to refer you to professionals that may better suit your budget. Or consider a barter arrangement. For example, offer to assist with crafting blog posts in exchange for marketing support. Whatever that looks like it’s worth asking for help to get the job done.