When you’re a writer not-yet-published, it seems most of your time is spent learning about craft, how to pitch, how to query, who to query, how to deal with rejec—nope, that word needs a capital—Rejection. You may even learn about what to do when you get The Call. So you finally sold, but now what???
Honestly, you won’t find much guidance on what happens after. It’s like moving out on your own all over again! Why is there not more info out there? Short answer is publishing paths are widely different, but I’m willing to share what I suffer—uhm, learned.
First, it could take weeks for you to get your shiny new contract all signed and official, and expect there’s likely to be some back and forth as you or your agent negotiates. Second, it could take years for your book to publish. Years. I was fortunate that I’m with Entangled, who happened to have slots open so it took only nine months. See? A full-term book-baby, and yes, there were some labor pains (but they’re forgotten once the baby’s born).
What do you do in the meantime? Well first, at some point, you’ll have multiple rounds of edits, several passes and then several more when you count copy edits and the final galley review. This is something I wasn’t aware of, just how many times I’d go through the manuscript. It varies, but it was six or seven for me.
Aside from that, it’s a waiting game during which you’ll be advised to do some promo. What you may not know is you can’t promo something if you have no deets on it. Are you going to publicize that ‘hey, I’ve got a book coming sometime eventually with some cover and some title’? The more details you have, like title for example, the more options are open to you.
While you wait for those details, the best you can do is build a web presence. There are tons and tons of info out there on how to do that so I won’t beat your head about it other than to suggest you choose avenues you enjoy so you can stick with it consistently. That is what helps you build a good presence. Obviously, a website’s a great starting place. Join some Goodreads groups and follow book bloggers before the book comes out. Network.
Some things you’ll likely have to do is fill out some sort of author questionnaire with your bio information, social media links, possible promo opportunities (like local media info), etc. Depending on your publisher, you may need to send info on your blurb and info to help build your cover art and any possible contacts you have to read your advanced copy for a cover blurb. And don’t forget you’ll have to get awesome, professional author pics!
What I strongly suggest while you wait is to learn all you can about promo avenues. Marketing for Romance Writers is invaluable no matter where you are in your publication journey (Summer Camp’s coming up with loads of pitch appointments). Author EMS is another great site to learn about promo, and their workshops are inexpensive and super-informative. And they have an active reviewer database!
I know you’ll be chomping at the bit to get your Author Pages up all over the place, but your hands are tied until the publisher puts your book up with its ISBN. Yep, no one told me about all that either. Once it’s up, you can go to Amazon Author Central to “claim” your book and set up your profile with bio, Twitter feed, blog feed, etc. Go to Goodreads and claim your book in the same manner. Your user and author pages will be merged, though you have two profiles, sort of. Don’t forget Shelfari, though I’m not as familiar with that. It may also be beneficial to become an Amazon Affiliate and sign up at Linkshare (who handles B&N, Apple, and Kobo Affiliate programs) so you make a little more for purchases through your links.
Finally, do not rely on the publisher for all of your marketing. Find out what they have planned for you and augment with what you can afford. There are plenty of inexpensive options so unless you’re loaded (har har!), leave the big spending to them. You don’t even need to hire someone to arrange or add to your blog tour. You can check out your fav book bloggers, since I know we’re all readers, and check their review policies. Check out the reviewer database on Author EMS. Sign up at World Lit Cafe. In the forums, you can find bloggers looking for guest posts and readers willing to post reviews for you for an ARC.
Add your book on Fresh Fiction if it’s not listed. Sign up as a featured author (only $5/mo) on The Romance Studio. Sign up on Manic Readers to add your book/s and author page or pay $2.99/mo for a plus membership. These are free or low-cost ways to use their already-built following to promote. Don’t forget to sign up for Authorgraph, too, another free site—is it weird that I find Evan attractive???
Well, there’s only so much room here so we’ll leave this as a good start. When I realized I should have been prepared for the post-sale steps but wasn’t, I was pretty panicky and it absolutely felt like I was in a Shitstorm. I think if you know ahead of time, this stuff isn’t so bad, though. Please share other resources in the comments if you know them, and if you write paranormal, shoot me an email if you’d like my list of reviewers. I read 300+ books per year, and I followed a lot of them well before making my first sale 😉 And if you’re pubbed, tell us what you wished you’d known before the book came out. I’m in the mood for some horror stories *evil grin*
Don’t miss my blog stops for the release of Bad Mouth, out now all over the darn place, and enter the big giveaway for a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card or an author-signed paranormal book bundle including a hardcover by Darynda Jones and trade paper by Jillian Stone, Cassi Carver, and Kelley Armstrong!!!
Leave a comment by midnight Pacific on Tues, 28May13, and you’re entered to win a free ebook of Bad Mouth (or another digital Entangled title, if you already have mine—bless you for that!).