Whoa There! Reining Myself In.

I cannot believe it's fall already. This year has been flying by, and I've been swept up in a sea of publishing this summer. It just so happened that I ended up with a lot of stories ready at the same time this year, so for awhile there, I was releasing a new book about every two weeks. That is a lot of work, let me tell you, and I don't even promote my books aside from a general press release, blog post and the accompanying FB updates and tweets that go along with it.

It's been a wee bit crazy, to say the least. I'm doing my own covers, and I still do my own formatting though I did buy a software package called Jutoh that has made ebook formatting far more quick and painless than it used to be. If I could find a program like that for print books, I'd be insanely happy. I'm putting another anthology together now and it's going so well that I'm excited to get the submissions call up for the winter one, though I have no idea when I'll have time to work up that cover and theme.

The problem with momentum is that it feeds on itself. I don't know about you, but for me, working on all these different publications and all the different *aspects* of publishing spurs ideas for me - it makes me think about what's possible, and what I could be doing. Then I see what other people are doing (especially people with more experience than I have) and I start planning to add things like round-robin stories and writer's workshops and independent consulting and short stories in print and those CD stories I've been wanting to do since last year and...

And I have to tell myself to *stop*.

The reality is, I'm already working under a serious backlog. I have six covers waiting to be designed or redesigned at the moment. I have a novella that still needs to be formatted and published in print. I have the anthology to finish up, and the next one to put a call out for. I have holiday stories that need to be written now if they're to be out in time for Christmas. I have flash fiction that needs to be bundled, formatted, and published (either for free or .99). And if I don't pick up the pace on my serial stories, I won't have the individual stories done in time to publish anthologies for December, as I'd originally planned.

In addition to all that, I'm behind on my bookkeeping again, and I need to switch my accounting over from financially tracking every single sale by venue to tracking income from each sales venue as a whole, because now that I have over 20 books up, it's not even remotely feasible to keep track of how many copies of each book sells per month per venue in my accounting software, because I can't import the different reports from all the sales sites, and I simply don't have time to enter all that by hand every month (it gets more time consuming the more books I publish).

In light of that, I also need to choose a program that will import those sales reports from different venues and aggregate them for me, so I can still have decent data on which books are selling best where and when.

Basically, I have all the issues of any other small press to deal with aside from royalty payments (which thankfully, I don't have to deal with unless something by one of the 2 authors who publish with me sells on the BSB site, which happens extremely rarely). That's in addition to my own writing/blogging schedule.

I'm not complaining. Really. I love all of this, and I don't even mind working on a backlog as long as I can keep moving forward (which I generally do). I take time out for myself and household stuff evenings and weekends, so I don't work non-stop. That way lies madness.

But every so often, I think of how much more I *want* to be doing, and it's frustrating to realize that I simply can't. Or won't, if you prefer. I'm just one person, and I work 40 hours a week at a job that pays the bills. Even when I'm at the top of my game, I still can't do everything I want to do with the time and energy I have leftover. That's just how it is.

It's annoying, to be honest. I've had to throttle back several times this year when I caught myself making plans to do something that would be really cool, but would also be more work than I can manage by myself. And I'm not quite flush enough to hire help just yet, though I think I'll get to that point eventually. I want to be able to contract with two each of cover artists, editors and book designers. Why two? Because I tend to burn people out. I don't intend to (and I feel bad about it), but when I get on a roll, it's full steam ahead.

The day I can hire an accountant I just might weep for joy...

Until then, I'll just keep pushing everything along as well as I can, and reminding myself that there are plenty of other authors/small publishers in my position with even more on their plates. After just three years, I'm still at the start of my game. If I'm playing it right, it should only grow from here.

Scared reading this? Tired? Just remember, I am where I am because I put myself here. The beauty of publishing yourself is that you control the pace. Don't let my perpetual state of chaos scare you off - do it your way, and you'll be just fine. Even if your way is a bit chaotic too.

Chaos is fine - as long as it's *your* chaos.
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