Burning the candle on both endsI have been a very spastic blogger recently and I apologize. I’ve been berating myself since I managed to reliably churn out blog posts on schedule the whole time I was half-dead with whooping cough a few months ago but these last few weeks I’ve been wildly inconsistent. Part of that is because I had a huge stash of pre-written blog posts to fall back on during The Days of the Whoop that I never got the chance to replenish. The other part of it is that, while sick, I didn’t feel like doing much of anything and blogging was the low hanging fruit. Whereas now… I’m just plain old busy and haven’t had a chance to write much of anything.

But since I strive for as close to complete transparency as possible around here, I thought I’d tell you exactly what’s keeping me so busy. Sort of a snapshot of the life of a real seller in the trenches, if you will.

Firstly, I have been trying to use every spare second that isn’t needed for the day to day operations of my company on getting the new edition of The Trading Assistant’s Assistant done. This new edition is so long overdue, it depresses me and, do or die, I am getting the thing out this year if it kills me! I feel like it’s been “almost done” for two years now but I only have so much time to work on it between other things. Once it’s done, I can devote my extra time to getting the three other almost-finished eBooks ready to go. I would love to have all four books out by Dec but I’m not promising anything other than I’ll do my best.

But, Oh! The irony. One of the main reasons I haven’t been able to work on the Trading Assistant book is that I am a bit inundated with Trading Assistant clients at the moment. This often happens at the start of summer. Everyone has a little more time on their hands and maybe they found some stuff they wanted to sell during Spring cleaning and I get more potential client calls than usual. Usually, I reject a vast majority because it’s people with total junk but this year’s crop actually brought me several excellent clients with not only a large quantity of items but also very big ticket items.

It’s been an insane amount of work (and shout out to my massively awesome husband who helped me with some of the listings late into the evenings or I never would have gotten some of the contracts done on time) but it has also been profitable so I really can’t complain even if I am feeling a tad overwhelmed. But the client items just keep coming and, while I have contractors to help with some elements of my company, I still do all the eBay stuff myself with the aid of only my overworked underpaid intern. You know, the one that’s married to me.*

*=Not to undermine the wonderfulness of said husband, because he is awesome and fantastic for helping me with my stuff when he would be well within his rights to go watch TV, but I’m sure even he would admit that he knows little about eBay or running a business. And while he’s definitely learning, sometimes he has… different ideas than I do. For instance, he thinks a customer should be happy that they got an item quickly, even if it’s not the item they actually ordered so he doesn’t believe in double-checking the orders he packs. Customers would get items somewhat willy nilly and lots of orders were sent to the wrong buyers with much drama and expense on my part to fix. He also recommends things like, “Just send the client a random amount of money and they can refund you the extra later if it’s too much” as if that were a thing that would work, ever. (I believe my response to this was somewhere along the lines of “When YOU run YOUR company you can mail people random amounts of money and tell me how that works out for you!”) My point is: I am very grateful for his help (between the two of us, we listed just over 500 items in 3 days like beasts) but I have to watch him like a hawk and sometimes he gives me a heart attack. But he’s getting much, much better and I still wouldn’t have survived the last few weeks without him. Though I told him if he mixed up one more damn order he was sleeping on the couch because, seriously, get it together.

Besides the merry chaos of researching, photographing, listing, shipping and customer/husband wrangling for all these TA items, my company is launching a new book very soon. It’s part of our most popular series so it’s sort of a big deal and the sooner it’s out, the better for sales. We had some big tech issues with it earlier in the month (it’s a digital book and the most complicated one we’ve done so far) so that’s been many late hours and screaming and wanting to throw all computers out all windows. Luckily, we just sent the final proof to the author last Friday so we should (hopefully!!) be able to release it on time. Of course, nothing ever works as planned so who knows.

While mostly everything I listed above is for my company, things have also been keeping me busy on the personal front. I have a new play premiering in late 2012 that I’m very excited about and I’ve been running around working out the details of that. I’ve also been working out some stuff for several different projects both of the prose and theatrical persuasion. (Is that vague enough for you? The publishing industry is painfully slow and it’s maddening not to be able to talk about stuff until it’s finalized. All I can really say is: Stuff is happening. I’ll tell you all about it later.)

And, as happens everywhere, older relatives keep getting older and nothing ever really goes to plan. All of which makes life interesting, I suppose! But this year isn’t even halfway done and it’s already thrown me some massive, life changing curve-balls.

Of course, if you’ve even watched me play softball, I still swing with my all regardless. I’ve never met the pitch I didn’t like. 😉

So, that’s what’s been keeping me busy lately. It’s really just the usual day-to-day stuff that’s always going on over here, just in a higher quantity than usual.

How about you?