Putting on my ‘Top’ Hat…

by @AnnieDaylon


shutterstock_150959219 1Ever struggle with wondering if you are doing enough, or if you are doing the right thing as an author? I certainly do.

A while back, I attended a workshop by successful indie author, Jodi McIsaac, who listed twelve hats that an indie author must wear, among them: writer, editor, bookkeeper, webmaster, marketer, distributor, etc. Sometimes my head is spinning with choices: Which hat today? Do I need to update my site? Do I focus on marketing? Do I work on my budget? It’s dizzying!

I have come to realize that I cannot do it all; when I try to wear too many of these hats in one day, my writing (quantity and quality) takes a hit. I have to set priorities.

Recently, I found two helpful posts that deal with making such choices:
What Learning to Say No Really Means by Alexis Grant, and
Fighting Overwhelm: How I am Learning to Refocus My Workload by Joanna Penn.
Both talk about managing workload, about focusing your time, about giving up some things, even things you don’t want to give up.

The key for me?
Deciding the most important thing and doing that FIRST and FOREMOST. Right now, that happens to be writing the first book in a novel trilogy. I am immersed in it, writing every morning for a minimum of three hours.
Yes, I tweet. Yes, I blog. But mostly, I write.


If you are juggling too many hats: stop, focus, prioritize, and choose the hat that best fits right now.

For me the right thing, right now, is the write thing. That’s my ‘Top’ Hat!

What’s yours?


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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

My Goodreads Giveaway Experience

by @ AnnieDaylon


CASTLES-IN-THE-SAND (2) brag medallion



Indie authors have a lot of work to do in terms of marketing. If you are considering a paperback giveaway (as I did for Castles in the Sand), consider doing it through Goodreads. Here’s my experience:



  • In July, I

    • Checked the details on Goodreads:
    • Contacted Goodreads with minor questions (got quick response)
    • Chose the dates (August 1-31).
    • Elected to give away 10 books.
    • Filled in, submitted the Form. Goodreads published the Giveaway almost immediately. (Super efficient!)
  • During August, I

    • promoted through Twitter, Linked In and Email List.
    • set aside a box labeled “Goodreads Giveaway. Into it, I put 10 books, each with a bookmark, 10 mailing envelopes, 10 handwritten notes which congratulated winners and asked if they would rate/review the book on Goodreads.
      • Note: I left space for individual name on each note.
  • On August 31st , I

    • checked Goodreads and discovered that there were 428 entries in the Giveaway.
    • checked my email. The list of winners was there, 5 in Canada, 5 in the USA. (Did I mention that Goodreads is efficient?)
    • made address labels for the winners
    • packaged the books
      • Note: If possible, keep size within post office limits. (In earlier attempts at mailing, I slipped books into corrugated covers. Mistake! Way too expensive! Use paper!)  Each of my books fit through the standard postal slots so regular mail fees applied. Fortunately, I live very close to the U.S. border, so I mailed books bound for the United States in the United States. Mailing costs? In Canada, $3.75/book. In the U.S., $2.53/book.
  • In September, I

    • Read a wonderful email from an excited winner.
    • Received (to date) three reviews on Goodreads, one of which also appears on that reviewer’s website Book Reads and Reviews. (Many thanks to all who took time to rate/review the book!)
    • Emailed Goodreads to thank them for their support and efficiency.
Goodreads: Author's Guide to Giveaways

Goodreads: Author’s Guide to Giveaways

For me the Goodreads Giveaway was an excellent marketing experience, one that I wish I had known about sooner. That’s the thing with going indie; so much to do! As I wrote to a helpful staff member at Goodreads, ‘I wish that I could assemble the minions! Alas, there is only me.’

But, then again, there is Goodreads!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue