Even independent authors who are used to running their own careers can’t do everything themselves. You’ve got a life, a family, other hobbies, a grocery list, and episodes of United States of Tara to catch up on. Every once in a while, you need some assistance.
When it comes to the less-than-glamourous aspects of a writing life (sending submissions to publications, assembling a list of press contacts, putting together a few hundred press kits with review copies of your book, putting up posters for your book launch or reading, etc.), get someone to help you! Just mozie on down to your local time bank and make a withdrawal.
What is Time Banking?
Wikipedia says it best:
Time banking is a pattern of reciprocal service exchange that uses units of time as currency. It is an example of an alternative monetary system. A time bank, also known as a service exchange, is a community that practices time banking. The unit of currency, always valued at an hour’s worth of any person’s labor, used by these groups has various names, but is generally known as a time dollar in the U.S. and a time credit in the U.K.
More time dollars = less tedious tasks
So how would this work for an author? Simple. You donate a bit of your time to someone else’s cause whenever it’s convenient for you. Your time donation gets logged in the time bank as a credit. Then when you’re strapped for time, you can spend the equivalent time dollars to get some help.
Many time banks focus on services that go into improving communities, raising families, enacting social justice, supporting ecological sustainability, etc. Not all time banks will accommodate something as self-serving and capitalist as, say, promoting your latest book. But if you can’t find the right service-exchange through an official time bank, you can always create your own system amongst local authors/journalists/poets/librarians/readers, and help one another out.
Check out http://timebanks.org/ for more information.
[Hourglass image from Shutterstock.]