“…and they lived happily ever after. The End”.
“Dear Kenzie, We’d like to offer you a contract… Here are your edits… Here’s your cover…. Your release date is…”
Wow. Now what? Your book, which you’ve worked so hard to write, submitted it to a publisher and had it accepted, bitten your nails to the quick over edits, and approved your cover, is finally available. But what comes next?
Throw yourself a release party, first and foremost. This is an accomplishment, after all. Go out to eat; enjoy some cake and ice cream with friends or family and celebrate a little. And hopefully if you blog or belong to chat loops, you’ve already posted the news, an excerpt, and the cover all over cyberspace and your website. Soak up the applause and bask in any guest blogging comments on your friends’ sites.
And get a good night’s sleep, because the real work begins the next day.
What? Oh…you didn’t know? Aren’t you glad I’m telling you this now?
Your publisher has done their job. Now everything else is up to YOU, the author, to get the word out. Watch for calls for guest bloggers or interviews. Promote your work on any promo days on the chat loops you belong to. Show up at chats with your online friends and rebuild relationships with those you’ve interacted with before, but maybe neglected while you were busy editing.
Sign up for a Google Alert on your title and name, and put quotes around them; otherwise you’ll get hit with any or all uses of the words. One of the groups I belong to is the marketing for romance writers, and the members are very generous in answering any questions pertaining to promotions.
Have some bookmarks made up, or postcards to send out. VistaPrint.com is a wonderful source to find inexpensive promotional items, as well as your local office supply store. I sent my local Office Max a copy of my cover and pay about eleven dollars for one hundred bookmarks.
If your book is coming out into print, look around in the community for places to network. My alter ego placed a few copies of her books in gift shops on consignment. I’m considering doing the same at a local adult gift shop with my own books. I’ll buy a copy of my own work, download it to CD and set the price accordingly. Don’t forget to leave a few of your business cards with the owners. I’ve also set up at local festivals, contacted book stores to set up signings, and set up booths at craft fairs at Fish Fries around my area. If you don’t know who to contact, call the fire station once you see the signs and ask to speak to the person in charge of the booth rentals. Call the local Chamber of Commerce to find out about when the festivals take place. And if it’s too late to set up, go and talk to the vendors. Ask about fees, who to contact, and the hours.
And above all else, don’t stop writing! Because at some point, someone will ask ‘What is your next book about?”