Today I look at applying just-in-time planning to the book promotion process, another way a (former) dayjob has helped with writing.

Those of you who have been following this blog for advice on self-publishing (and if you are, you should really be following someone who knows what they’re talking about instead ?) have read how I use skills from my dayjob to help with my writing. Now I’m going to reach further back, before my time as an IT consultant, to when I was a student engineer in the automotive industry.

I was originally going to provide an update on how I’ve been faring against my project plan for book promotion. I decided against this because: 1) I’m down to the nitty-gritty now and my tasks are getting hyper-specific and 2) I haven’t been doing a good job at some of the things I said I would do (haha, I suck!) But while I was looking at the tasks I still have left to do as I gear up for launch, I realized how much I still have left to learn. Part of this is by design. There’s just so much information to absorb when it comes to writing and publishing your own book. I decided the most efficient way to ramp up my knowledge was to take a page from one of my earliest jobs and learn everything “just-in-time.”


Speaking for myself, there’s only so much that can fit in here

What is “Just-in-Time?”

The concept is actually just-in-time manufacturing. Also known as the “Toyota Production System,” for the company that developed it, just-in-time is essentially a management system designed to only supply materials for a process (e.g. parts for a car) as they are needed, rather than stockpiling large amounts in advance.

The benefits of this system:

  • The amount produced more accurately reflects demand
  • Decreased waste
  • Fewer goods/parts sitting in inventory

Now obviously, this strategy is meant to apply to manufacturing logistics. But I’m choosing to adapt the philosophy. So I’ve only been learning how to do things (e.g. how to format an e-book) shortly before I actually need to do them. The key thing is to at least understand how much time it will take to actually perform the tasks. So if it takes a week to format an e-book, I would not plan on learning about it a day before uploading.

In an ideal world, I’d probably have everything down pat before I even set out to write my novel, but hey, I’m saving that for the sequel.

Things I’m Still Planning to Learn, Just-in-Time

This will give you an idea of what tasks I’m planning to do as I get down toward the bottom of my project plan:

  • How to run giveaways
  • Designing my first author newsletter
  • Speaking with a librarian about getting my book into libraries
  • Speaking with a teacher about getting onto school reading lists
  • Learning about working festivals and conventions from a fellow author

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I’m not talking much about the Writing and Publishing sections of my project plan?