The learning curve for a new author is intense, and it doesn’t stop even after you sign a contract.
As far back as the week I finished my manuscript, I was told I’d better start promoting myself as an author. Don’t wait until the book is published, I was warned. Get out on the Internet and social media now.
I took that advice. I learned how to build a website and a blog. I opened my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I began to post and tweet. I even started a board on Pinterest and began pinning novel covers I liked.
And then last week, the big day arrived. I signed a contract for Mind Waves. The long wait was over. I was going to be published. I would just need to work with the assigned editor, choose a cover, and write my author blurb. All new challenges, but I was ready for it.
But wait? What if no one reads the book?
I’d heard how critical reviews are for an author.
My writer friends and the publisher offered advice. Don’t wait for the book to be out to ask for reviews. Many reviewers won’t touch a book once it’s published. Write a press release and approach local media. Join helpareporter.com and look for PR opportunities. Who is your audience? Do you know? You must get creative and think “out-of-the-box.”
But wait, I thought that is what I was doing by writing a fiction novel in the first place? Frowns all around. Never mind.
Clearly, I have a lot to learn.
Here are a few more firsts that I participated in just this week:
- First Edits — I received my first round of edits from my publisher for Mind Waves. I was a little worried about what they might uncover, but I’m happy to report most were easy to follow. A few will take some work on my part to incorporate. But all in all, not bad for my first time out of the publishing block.
- First Signups — I participated in my first party, asking for email addresses. Okay, the party was not technically for me. It was a retirement party for a family member. But still, I drew up a quick sign describing my book and asked for email addresses AND I got a few. As of today, I have about 60 names on my list. A good start. I’ll continue to add more over time.
- First Book Reading — Perhaps most nerve-wracking of all was a book reading I did for some of my coworkers at a team event. I am fortunate to have some super friends in the office, who have been following my progress and were about as thrilled as I was when I finally signed a contract. I shouldn’t have been surprised when they asked if I would do a reading over the lunch hour. But I was surprised and thrilled and deeply touched.
Since I don’t have a book cover, I don’t have much for giveaways right now except my business card. But after some thought and searching on Pinterest, I came up with the idea to make beach glass candy. Turns out, it’s not hard and the finished product is cool (if I do say so myself). I made about 25 samples in cinnamon and lime favors, and they all disappeared.
The reading was more problematic. I wasn’t sure what passage or how much of the book to read. I didn’t want anyone falling asleep. After careful thought, I settled on providing a little background on how I came to write the manuscript, presenting a brief description of the novel, and then reading the prologue. My coworkers asked a lot of questions, and no one’s eyes glazed over, so I marked that down as a success.
Here’s a look at the book description for those who are curious….
Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press!
He has been in her mind.
He knows her thoughts.
He will do anything to protect her.
David navigates deadly brain waves.
Hacks into human minds. Protects the nation’s secrets.
But a powerful enemy wants the woman he loves.
And he won’t rest until David is dead.
Grace is an ordinary girl.
Or so she believes.
But a madman haunts her dreams.
And David may be the only one who can save her.
The ordinary is about to become extraordinary