Great Online Workshops For Authors

This week, I spent a few afternoons watching online workshops offered by the Creative Academy (CA), (the workshops are free by the way, although donations are appreciated), and I found some really helpful ones for authors.

I’ve been focusing on audio books and Amazon Ads lately, which has made the process seem less daunting than I originally thought. All of CA’s workshops are archived (many come with handouts and useful links) to view anytime, so if you’re looking for something to do during your Christmas break, this is a perfect opportunity to sign up (again at no cost) and browse through their catalogue of workshops. You can find all the workshops past and future, under their Events tab, but I recommend taking their orientation video to fully learn about the many resources that are available.

Thanks to those videos, part of my marketing plan for 2021 is to create audio versions of my books. As was said in one of the videos, the audiobook world is still fairly new, the way ebooks were back in 2011. There are more opportunities to sell them than I imagined and production costs don’t need to be as expensive as you might think.

There are also a number of new workshop releases called Expertpalooza, where firefighters, police officers, a librarian, a small plane pilot, and Olympic athlete, to name a few, provide insights about their professions. Looks like I’ve got plenty to keep me busy between now and the new year.

Since it was recently announced that British Columbians will not be permitted to go visit one another on Christmas Day and throughout the holidays until Jan. 8th, it looks like I’ll have extra time on my hands.

I also plan to spend these last days of 2020 working on a new book and to continue editing my urban fantasy. I have to say COVID has allowed me to indulge in one of the most productive years I’ve had in a while, especially since retiring in June. Still, I’m looking forward to more get togethers in 2021, as long as I don’t over commit. With luck, things will feel much more normal for all of us by this time next year.

Planning the Rest of the Year

My biggest 2020 events have now passed…The publication of my 6th Casey Holland mystery, retirement from the day job, and the birth of my first grandchild. As far as I know, nothing major’s coming along over the next four and a half months, which means this is a good time to start making plans for the rest of the year and into 2021.

The problem with this idea is that our COVID world is only a few months old and not likely to disappear soon. Uncertainties are everywhere and planning is trickier than usual. Under normal circumstances, my fall craft fairs would be booked and paid for by now. These days, such events are up in the air. One of the fairs is planning to host their event online and it will be interesting to see how that goes. One was cancelled and I’m still waiting to hear on another.

As far as my casual job goes, which is to facilitate Port Moody Recreation’s creative writing workshops, the rec center is still trying to figure out how to make it work. Registration normally starts in July, so I and my three co-facilitators usually know what our schedules will be by now but we don’t.

So, I’m going to focus on what I can arrange, which mainly involves more writing and promotion work. As mentioned in last week’s blog, I have idea for a new series that requires a great deal of thought and note making before I write the first word. And there are always household projects waiting for attention.

At some point, the cold rainy weather will set in and the yardwork will stop and I’ll switch to indoor sorting. I have bins filled with the kids’ old schoolwork that needs to be sorted and some of it recycled. I’ve also started collecting new recipes which will be fun to try.

On some levels, I’m also preparing for a COVID relapse in case things go south in our area. In late May, we bought a freezer for the first time in my life. It’s not huge but should I or the people I live with get sick, we want to be able to feed ourselves or provide food and meals for family members, should they became ill. I’ve also stocked up on hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, which are plentiful in the stores these days.

I’m thinking about starting Christmas shopping early. My mother used to have her shopping done by the end of August and wrapped by the end of September, but that was before the dementia took hold. I used to think she was nuts to do everything so early, but retirement and COVID is changing my perspective.

I’d prefer not to shop online, so maybe I’ll start while the weather’s good and everyone else is outside. Needless to say, there’s lots to plan for. Who knows what the next four and half months will bring, but I’m going to hope for the best and plan for the worst.

What are you all doing to plan for the fall, personally or professionally? Do you find it difficult to make plans right now, or are you looking ahead as well? Meanwhile, here’s the latest baby Ellie photo. I’m blown away by the changes in just a few days.

Baby Ellie, 8 days old.