The Road After Publication
Or maybe this blog should be named the Holy Grail of Publication, Part II. With all the unpublished writers who are trying so hard to become published, no one seems to think much about What Happens After Publication. Writers go to conventions, enter contests, belong to RWA chapters and/or critique groups, have beta readers, network, use Twitter, Facebook, Red Room and a zillion other social networking sites. Everything a person can possibly do to become published.
And then one day, it happens. You’re offered that contract, you land that agent, you get that publisher you were aiming for and you’re caught up in the Twilight Zone. *queue scary music here* Sometime later, your book, your baby, is released, born into the world. People say they love your writing, people say they hate your writing and some people will be indifferent to your writing.
You’ve worked hard, spent many hours perfecting your technique and some smart person loves your work enough to publish it. It is getting tougher to be published, so it is a true accomplishment. Publishing is a tough, competitive business. Manic, in some ways. One day you are on cloud nine because a well-respected reviewer gave you a glowing review. The next day, you’re down in the dumps because you think you can’t write.
Being published is the start of your publication journey. I used to think that having the book come out was the culmination of all my hard work. It’s a big one, don’t get me wrong, but it’s only the first step. Unless you’re a big name writer, the promotion budget for your novel is the cost of the cover art. That’s all.
The published writer is expected to know how to interact with the media and the public and promote the heck out of their novel. And pay personally for all the bookmarks and “swag” items to promote your book. Pay to attend conventions. Pay to go on a book tour. Pay for a web presence. The publisher doesn’t do these things, the writer does. Getting published can be a costly proposition, so you have to choose your marketing efforts wisely because simply throwing money at promotion is not enough and it’s wasteful. The return on dollars spent on promotion is difficult, if not impossible, to calculate.
Another part of being published is that writers tend to be solitary creatures but are expected to be outgoing in public. Writers tend to live in their heads. We like it there. We can control what happens to our story and our characters. The writer is omnipotent in this interior world. But suddenly, writers are expected to instantly grow another persona, an extroverted person who is at ease with people they’ve never met. I’m not saying writers are socially backward but we chose writing because we get to be alone in our heads. That’s what we’re really good at. So polish your social skills and learn to be the universal welcoming committee.
This is when the real work starts. Developing your name brand, writing brand and industry brand should come before getting published but I only determined mine last month by taking an online workshop. Every writer needs to find people who like their variety of writing and will buy their work.
So to recap. Congratulations on being contracted/published!!! It’s an exciting time. Now you need to figure out:
- Name brand
- Writing brand
- Industry brand
- To go or not to go to conferences
- To go or not to go to bookstores for signings and readings
- Learn to be a publicity magnet
- What promotion efforts will serve you best
- What technology will serve you best (ie. Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- What your web presence should look like and the image to project
- Develop an outgoing personality
This is the beginning of your journey. Have fun!
Heart-pounding, mind-twisting romantic suspense
Lies. Spies. And Dangerous Guys
Pitch Dark Excerpt: http://www.jasminejade.com/productspecs/9781419919282.htm
Reviews for Pitch Dark: http://www.brookelondon.com/Reviews.html
Brooke’s debut novel, Pitch Dark, can be purchased online at the following sites:
Cerridwen Press http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-7358-543-pitch-dark.aspx
Ebook is available at http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-6985-543-pitch-dark.aspx
Readers, Brooke is giving away an ecopy of Pitch Dark to a random commenter. Leave a comment or question for Brooke and be sure to either leave your email address in your comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (after you comment) to be entered in the drawing. The contest will end on Sunday, November 29.