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I love summer. I love the kids being home from school. I love the weather. I love that the pace slows down. But early summer for me this year will be busy. I have a deadline. I need to get Stay of Execution to my editor the first week of July. And as of today, it’s not finished. With this much work ahead of me, it’s time to go dark.

Since the publication of A Guilty Mind, I’ve spent more hours than I want to count on marketing. I’ve done guest interviews and guest posts on other blogs as well as having some other authors appear on mine. I’ve done a mini-review tour. I’ve met some really great writers (so lucky!) and learned more than I expected about the publishing business and how to market a book. Although I would love to say I’ve achieved bestseller status (I did have one day in the top 100 for crime novels – hooray!), that hasn’t happened. Yet, I can’t complain. I’m still selling books every day. In fact, other than the occasional blip, sales may not be skyrocketing but they are steady.

As I said, marketing has taken hours. The research alone takes time. Engaging in conversations with other writers through Linkedin or FB or Twitter takes time. Some of what you try works and some doesn’t. In truth, part of the reason I think it takes so much time is that what works is a moving target. I’ve appeared at more than a dozen book clubs but my last one scheduled is June 30th. On top of that, my freelance writing assignments take time. Family obligations take time. Darn those piles of laundry! Writing my second novel has taken a backseat to promoting the first. It’s time to focus.

My last scheduled guest post ran on Friday on the blog of Southern Writers Magazine. (The topic was writing conferences and the value in finding one to attend.) I have no more plans to guest post until July. I have not taken any freelance assignments due until after July. I plan to focus on SOE for the next several weeks and get it DONE! My goal is to publish my second novel before the end of the year.

To help me focus, this blog will go dark for a bit. I will be commenting rarely on Twitter, FB, and Linkedin. I won’t be able to keep up and read my favorite writing/author blogs. For several weeks, I will be a social media drop-out.

So, to all the writers who are in the same boat, trying to balance writing with marketing and whatever else is going on with jobs, families, etc., I wish you the best of luck and happy writing. We’re all in this together!