Debriefing Your Published Work

I’m still recovering from my daughter Alyssa’s wedding, and find myself debriefed by all sorts of folks who weren’t there for one reason or another. She was an absolute beauty and I’ll no doubt be posting more pictures than you want to see. But for now, here’s a peek at my only daughter on her wedding day.

Writing Tip for Today: We rehearsed and still a few things went wrong during the ceremony–namely the recorded music ended up being played from a CAR CD. Memorable! And when you are published, you’ll no doubt find errors, places you coulda shoulda woulda written better. What’s a first-time author  to do?

  • Is My Baby Ugly? Like the mother of the bride, an author gets nervous about how the reviews will be, whether the book will “take off” (or not), and whether the book will make back its advance. Yet when you sign off on the galley proofs, you’ve given away your baby. At some point, you just have to let go. The public may or may not agree, but to you that baby will always be beautiful. And rightly so.
  • Booksignings, Anyone? By the time your book hits the shelves, you’ll be well-aware of how quickly promotion techniques are changing. The booksigning, along with the bookstore, may go extinct, leaving you with mostly “virtual” or Internet marketing. Remember, though, word of mouth is still the most powerful promotional tool you have.
  • No Used Car Salesmen. If word of mouth is a powerful sales, tool, it’s also a good way to bludgeon to death your customer if you go too far with hard sell techniques. These days, authors run contests and give away far more than a mere copy of a book. Jewelry, themed gift baskets,  and vacations might work for some, but in my little opinion,  they relay the feeling that the author is a little desperate. While it’s true readers can’t buy if they don’t know about a book, authors shouldn’t have to hound their audiences. I believe in keeping my attitude simple: If I am sincerely cultivating relationships with real people (not only just potential readers), then my book will sell itself. Be truly interested in what your readers care about.
  • Be Proud! Your first book may or may not be your best. In spite of errors, a few places you’ll do better at next time, you’ll continue to improve your skills. In the end I had to laugh that the music had to be played from our car’s CD player.  My beautiful and only daughter was breath-taking, and I was very proud of her. No matter how many little things go astray with your first book, you should be very proud too. 

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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