CALLING IN SICK WHEN YOU’RE SELF EMPLOYED

I haven’t posted a blog in several weeks because I came down with a bad case of bronchitis. When you’re self employed, it’s a bummer to be sick. Friends and acquaintances think I’ve got the life. That I can work when I want to and take off when I want to, but nothing could be further from the truth.

When authors are paying you out-of-pocket to get media coverage for their book, you’ve got to work, rain or shine—or getting sick. Publicity is very time sensitive. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that there are tight deadlines. Magazines must see galleys three – six months prior to the book’s pub date. National morning shows and Oprah book author interviews three months in advance. Local TV has shorter lead times. But the cycle in publicity is never-ending. When I’m promoting a June or July book in March, I’m also promoting March and April titles to radio and local TV, and to local newspapers.

So I got up each morning, feeling sicker than I’ve been in years (I pride myself in never getting sick), and pounded away on my keyboard, sending out as many e-mail pitches as I could. Leaving voice-mail messages was futile after three or four phone calls as no one wants to hear a hacking cough over the phone (most media prefers that you pitch them via e-mail anyway and a message mixed with a hacking cough is sure to result in a deleted message).

But all the extra work I usually do went by the wayside. At 4:00 in the afternoon I was ready to pack it in. I had a book review due for THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT, a debut novel by Kelly O’Connor McNees, which will be posted on BookPage’s website on April 1st or sooner (
http://www.bookpage.com/). Fortunately, I read the novel and took notes before I got sick, so I was able to meet my deadline without a problem.

But my friends and acquaintances are right. I do have the life. I love what I do, and the freedom that comes with being self-employed. Although I disagree with Janis Joplin’s definition of freedom—“freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”—what those of us who are self employed do lose is the luxury to take sick days and extended vacations.

Stay tuned this weekend for a special guest posting by bestselling author Kyra Davis of the Sophie Katz mystery series, which includes Sex, Murder and a Double Latte, Lust Loathing and a Little Lip Gloss, Passion Betrayal and Killer Highlights, Obsession, Deceit and Really Dark Chocolate, and a stand alone novel,
So Much For My Happy Ending.

Kyra’s latest book, VOWS, VENDETTAS & A LITTLE BLACK DRESS will be available on May 26th. Check out
http://www.kyradavis.com/ for more information. Stay tuned.

1 comments:

Aw, Susan! I'm sorry you've been sick. Looking forward to Kyra's post and to reading your review on BookPage.

March 26, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

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