Nuts & Bolts Indie Author Tools – The Master Book File

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If you are an indie author or self-published author your life is filled with lots of moving parts. You don’t just write books or stories, you sell them, market them, promote them, give them away, publish ebook, print, and audio versions.

You are often a one-woman show that wears all the hats. Your life and walls are littered with post-it notes, notes scribbled on envelopes, desktops, in digital files, physical files. And you are probably constantly saying, “Where did I put (fill in the blank)?”

I know I do.

At some point I had enough. I could never find anything, but less did I have anything at the ready and at my fingertips.

Until…

I created a Master Book File.

Okay, this is not my original idea. I picked it up from one of the writing gurus as I skipped merrily along the path of self-publication. Sorry, can’t remember who. If you’re out there and reading this, feel free to pipe up.

Although, my master file is fashioned after my needs as opposed to whatever the original prescribed method was.

What’s in a Master Book File?

The short answer is: anything you like. However, I will tell you what I keep in mine:

  • A separate folder for each book (I have several). This includes the most recent ebook mss, print book mss and digital files (pdf, epub & mobi); book description, keywords, and categories
  • A separate folder for book promos (for social media, including images, blurbs and buy links)
  • A separate folder for interviews and media
  • A separate folder for author bios and pics
  • A separate master folder for keywords and categories for every book/story
  • A separate folder for current book covers
  • A separate folder for email campaigns
  • A separate folder for research
  • And then several documents on various things, such as notes, future ideas, links for possible promo or marketing opportunities, etc.

I also back up this file regularly to an external hard drive because, you know, redundancy..

From disorganized to having things when I need them, at my fingertips

I’ll admit my Master Book File is not sexy – it’s not even pretty. But it saves me time. It gives me one place to put everything book related and one place to look for things. It helps me to drop a quick promo on social media or elsewhere if the need arises, and gives my brain one less thing to worry about.

If you don’t have something like this, you may want to give it a try. It’s been a lifesaver for me. And even if you aren’t a writer the idea may still be handy for you – it’s certainly basic enough to adapt to other creative/business mediums.

How about you, do you have a system for all your stuff. What is it? Does it work? Want to share it in the comments? Feel free.

Annie

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