An Author's "In-Between" Time (and Book Giveaway!)

         My initial idea was to tell how a typical author spends their time between books, their "down time."
But when I thought about it, the reality of what most authors do to maintain a career in publishing ruled out all of the following periods:  

a.  After the first draft is done 
This isn't down time, though a short celebration is in order.  Now it's time to edit and polish, which is often harder than writing the first draft.  

b. After you edit and polish--the book's ready for the world!
This isn't down time unless the book's already contracted and you can send it to your editor. (The work resumes when galleys arrive, but by this stage there isn't usually much to do on the text.)
If it's not under contract, it's time to write a proposal for your agent, or hunt for a publisher on your own--or Indie publish, which opens another can of worms!   
c. After you send it with a proposal to your agent  
Not down time because you're either working on marketing materials, interviews, media contacts, your website or newsletter, or returning to an incomplete manuscript and/or starting a new one.

d. After you Indie-publish 
Don't stop now, because much of the work has just begun. Unlike "Field of Dreams" it doesn't work to think, If I write it, readers will come. Un-uh. Indie publishers have many hats to wear, and marketing is a big one. 

e. d. After a good sales uptick   
You'd think that would be a good time to take a break and indulge in some "real" down time, right? Experts say the opposite is true. To stay on a readers' radar, you need to put out more books! Fast! 

Question: IS there such a thing as downtime for today's author?
In the past, writers wrote. Publishers marketed and sold books. Today, writers are expected to do it all, no matter who publishes the book. Yes, a big publisher will ease the burden, and prior success paves the way for easier marketing with each new book. But every author I know spends time on marketing and promotion, whether they've got a big name publisher or Indie publish.    
Note: This is why you can be eternally beloved by an author simply by taking a few minutes to post a good review of their book on Amazon or GoodReads or even Facebook. We need and appreciate the help in spreading the word!

So what is down time for me?
Like any professional in any field, I take breaks often. I hope you do, too. Productivity experts say output and quality of output increase when people are able to take breaks from their work. 

I have favorite ways of relaxing and I'm sure you do, too. (Leave a comment below to tell us what yours are--you'll be automatically entered in the giveaway.) I have more, but here are my top three guilty pleasures. 

a. Watch a period flick. I love these! Recently I watched, "Ekaterina," a Russian series subtitled in English about Catherine the Great's rise to power. Really well done.

b.  Watch a Mets game. I'm a former New Yorker and a long-ago pitcher for Girls' Little League! I love baseball. My husband buys me for my birthday in March so I can watch the season's games. Sometimes I think I'd be better off not watching, because
              a. I could be writing!
              b. Though I'm usually not loud or demonstrative, put me in front of  a Mets game and I'm a different person. (Mike says he knows how the Mets are doing from the other side of the house. What can I say? You can take the girl out of New York, but....)

c. Read a great book.
Non-fiction doesn't count! Real down time requires fun reading. For instance, I picked up a new copy of Northanger Abbey at Half-Price books for a few bucks and read it (for the third time) just this week.  It's my favorite Austen novel. Of course, when I read Pride and Prejudice, that's my favorite. Mansfield Park is a favorite too. The fact is, whichever book of Jane's I'm reading is my FAVORITE!
Leave a comment telling your favorite way to relax and you'll be entered in the giveaway!   
A copy of any of my books * (Not the trilogy, but a single book from one of them)

And a  set of lovely French-Toile scented drawer liners

*Print copies to US residents only,  E-books everywhere else. \

So--what's your favorite way to spend "down time?" Even if you have to steal away to get it?

Leave a comment to enter,and CONTACT EMAIL so I can notify you if you win. 
Drawing ends on 9-28.