As the hazy, lazy days of summer draw to a close, and the crisp fall air rolls in I relish the change of seasons. Not to mention the lowering of subway platform temperatures to a balmy 70 degrees. Labor Day means launching of September titles, an increase in radio tours, tv tours, renewed outreach to national media and tracking of all the publicists and authors in my orbit. As a working mom though, the end of summer also means the beginning of my other job – über organizer of my home life. Labor Day weekend every year, I sit down with all of the various activity calendars that have been ignored all summer and transfer the pertinent information to a master calendar that hangs on our family center of communications – the refrigerator. And yes, before you all get your knickers in a twist, I have it all electronically as well. Google has 25 colors for coding – it’s not enough. After hyperventilating over the disappearance of all my free time and the amount of money I am going to spend in “carpool” gas, the real planning begins. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my professional life it’s that shared calendars are the way to go – soccer games in blue, author events in yellow, birthdays in red. Frantic call from Author A that they can’t find their schedule (even though you’ve emailed it 9 times) and don’t know what time to be at the event your publicity partner booked? Flip to the calendar. Two co-authors and a three person PR team in different cities and time zones, no sweat – share information via a calendar. Change in a schedule, need to switch a carpool and can’t remember who’s driving that day – it’s in the calendar. Hillary Clinton was partially right in stating that it takes a village to raise a child. I’d amend that to it takes a shared calendar, a village of responsible drivers and a few minivans.
- By Deborah Kohan