Novel Marketing

Novel Marketing

204 Focus, Pruning and Why Novel Marketing is About to Change

September 02, 2019

In this episode we are going to talk about  why pruning your life might be the most important move you’ll ever make.
Show Notes
How pruning works in nature.

* Here in Austin we have a tree called the Arizona Ash Tree. These trees are pretty, and grow very fast which makes them popular for new subdivisions. The problem is, they grow too fast. They have a bad habit of splitting in two or having major limbs break off after a while. This is really bad if your car or house is under one of those branches. It is not uncommon for a homeowner to call them Arizona Trash Trees after it destroys their car.
* The solution is to cut some of the healthy limbs off the tree from time to time. This forces the tree to put the nutrients that those limbs were taking and put them toward the remaining limbs. You have to take active measures to keep the tree from getting too big.

Reasons Pruning Can Be Helpful:

* To Increase the structural strength of the remaining plant. Like in the Ash tree example.
* To increase fruit production. Pruning is also used with fruit trees. By cutting under performing branches, the remaining branches produce more and better fruit. This is why domesticated fruit trees produce so much better fruit than wild trees. The same applies for flowering plants.
* To improve the aesthetic shape of the tree. If you want the tree to look just so, pruning is the only way to make it happen.
* To cut off diseased or unhealthy limbs. This can even apply to humans and is why so many soldiers had limbs amputated before the discovery of penicillin.

Ok, so what does this have to do with books and with the Novel Marketing Podcast.
Thomas’ Story of Pruning
Earlier this year, I had a mental breakdown.
I calculated my responsibilities and I had 20 titles with various companies and organizations:
I was:

* CEO, Author Media Hosting
* Podcast Co-Host, Novel Marketing
* Keynote Speaker, Thomas Umstattd Sole Prop
* Literary Agent, Steve Laube Agency
* Instructor, Author Media Courses
* Vice President, Christian Writers Institute
* Podcast Host, Christian Publishing Show
* CEO, Castle Media Podcast Production
* Podcasting, Publishing, and Marketing Consultant
* Podcast Host, Liberty Buzzard
* Podcast Host, Creative Funding Show
* Author, Courtship in Crisis
* Organizer, Austin Entrepreneur Meetup
* Board Member, Way Makers International
* Organizer, Austin Christian Writers
* Product owner, MyBook Plug-ins
* Organizer, Austin Board Game Designers Meetup
* Co-Organizer, Austin Podcasters Meetup
* Blogger,,

Not to mention husband and father.
This was too much! Like an Arizona ash tree I was about to split! Someone asked me a few months ago how I did everything and I almost told her: “By failing at most of it most of the time.”

So over the last several months I have been cutting down my list of responsibilities. My inspiration was a 700 year old tree that I saw in Switzerland. It had recently been pruned back to its nubs and yet was bursting with new growth. There is a photo of it in the show notes.
I am not where I want to be, but I am closer.
I stepped down as the:

* Podcast Host of Liberty Buzzard and Creative Funding Show
* Organizer of Austin Entrepreneur Meetup
* Literary Agent, Steve Laube Agency
* Board Member, Way Makers International
* Organizer, Austin Christian Writers Meetup
* Organizer, Austin Board Game Designers Meetup

I also:

* Put my book Courtship in Crisis on retirement. People can still buy it but I am no longer accepting press i...