Can you manage a newsletter AND a book? (video)

Viewing time: 4 mins. 44 secs. 

The Write Question is a weekly video podcast all about writing. Today’s question looks at whether writers can manage writing a newsletter and a book. If you have a question you’d like me to answer you can email me at, tweet me @pubcoach, or leave a message for me at the Skype account, The Write Question.


Have you ever wanted to write a book AND a newsletter? That’s the topic I’m addressing today in The Write Question. I’m Daphne Gray-Grant, the Publication Coach. 

I have a question from Jen Vermet, a writer based in Chicago, Illinois. Here’s what she asked by email:  “I know you wrote a book (CONGRATS!) while also writing frequent newsletters. I launched a newsletter myself, and I am trying to decide my cadence. How did you make sure that your newsletter helped you write your book rather than take time away from writing it? I know there is only so much time in the day and writing my book is my ultimate goal right now.” 

Thanks for your question, Jen. Many people seem to believe we have only a limited amount of time for writing every day. But finding time for writing is a bit like finding time for children. If you have a second child, it doesn’t mean you won’t have enough time — or love — left for the first. Somehow we can always adapt. 

I think the secret to making things work — in terms of writing, at least — is to identify which project is more important to you even if the difference is ever so slight. 

This is because I’m going to suggest that you work on the more important project first. It’s pretty clear that, for you, your book fits that category. If that’s true, then try to identify some first-morning time when you can work on it. 

When I wrote both of my books, I always worked on them from 6 to 6:30 am, five days a week. Now, I’m a morning lark so 6 am was fine for me. I don’t suggest you do the early morning thing unless your body feels comfortable with those hours. If it doesn’t, find another time that will work for you and make writing your book your priority for that half hour. 

If you can write 300 words — the length of a long email — in that time, five days a week, you will have 78,000 words inside of a year. That’s more than enough for a book. 

Just make sure the time you chose is going to be mostly protected from the demands of others. That’s why I like 6 am. No client meetings at that time and my phone doesn’t ring then, either. Another alternative might be lunch time. Can you go to a nearby café or library and work uninterrupted for 30 minutes? If so, that would be a great habit to build. 

But the bottom line was, I never saw my newsletter as something that was in competition with my book. Instead, I visualized them at complementary efforts that I wrote at different times of the day, in support of each other. 

Sure, they were on the same subject, but that helped me. The research I did for my newsletter could also be used for my book. In other words, I got a gigantic twofer! 

Also, be aware that if you’re looking for a conventional publisher, many of them will expect you to have a newsletter. They’ll see it as a key part of your book marketing plan. Newsletters allow you reach potential readers regularly, and in a friendly way. The bigger your email distribution list, the more publishers will be interested in hearing from you. I include a link below on the benefits of newsletters. 

So, in a very real sense, the success of your newsletter will be intrinsically linked to the success of your book. I hope that makes you feel better about spending time on both of these projects. 

Finally, let me wrap up with a quote from Greek-American author and businesswoman Arianna Huffington: We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” 

Jen, don’t  think of writing as a task that TAKES time away from you. Instead, visualize it as something you choose to do. You can work on your book for 30 minutes a day and on your newsletter for one to two hours a week. You will have time for both tasks! 


If you’d like to learn how to stop procrastinating and make writing a happier more fulfilling process for yourself please take a look at my latest book Your Happy First Draft. I don’t sell it in bookstores or via Amazon. The only place to buy it is on my website, link below. 


Why your book marketing plan needs a newsletter 

Your Happy First Draft 

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