A New Book’s Life

We’ve been discussing the writer’s journey to a published book. So far, it’s a lot of hard work and hurry up and wait. But the day you hold the book in your hot little hand should make it all worthwhile, right?
Writing Tip for Today: Your first contact with your new book is very exhilarating. For about fifteen minutes. Then, all the concerns of the newly published set in. You begin to wonder how you’ll ever manage all of it. You must be slightly nuts to enjoy the stops along the life of a new book:

  • Congratulations! You’re a published author. The delivery guy leaves a big box on your front steps. You get out the camera and tear open the box. It’s your first look at your baby! You get to feel the cover, smell the paper and ink, marvel at the first copy off the presses. Maybe your publisher sends a card or small gift to add to the fun. Your home is floor to ceiling with your book.
  • Reality sets in. Your in-house publicist has set up a plethora of radio gigs, retail ads, blog tours and maybe TV. You’ve been busy arranging book signings, events (becoming more popular than signings) and having bookmarks prepared. You have a book trailer made. Your calendar is jammed, but you’re having so much fun. Aren’t you?
  • The reviews are still coming in. You cross your fingers and hope that a book club or Walmart decides to carry your title. The in house publicist and you work together to create “buzz” for your book. This means a lot of hand carrying your book, getting it into influential readers’ hands, hope that word-of-mouth spontaneously combusts or goes viral. So far, you seem to be buying more of your own copies than you are selling.
  • At the one month mark, you’re tired. You didn’t get the publisher to spring for that book tour like you’d hoped. Plus, besides all the marketing and promo, your editor or agent wants the next book finished, like, yesterday.
  • At the three, six and nine month marks, different publishers may consider your shot over. In other words, you’ve had as much help as you’re going to get. Now get out there and speak, sign, and sell, sell, sell. The worst case scenario? Your book is declared out of print by the publisher.
  • Meanwhile, your next book is starting substantive edits and your agent clamors for a proposal for book #3. Don’t be a one trick pony. The book you so lovingly held is now clogging up your closets or the garage. You have bought enough of them to circle the earth five times.
  • Congratulations! You’re a published author.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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