I wrote my first novel about a decade ago. I had a long dry spell, but when I got back to writing, I started really churning the books out. One after another after another. I just couldn't stop. Surely one of them would strike a nerve with a publisher somewhere?! Though I didn't send them all out to every publisher under the sun, I DID finally hit the right publisher with the right story. I am living proof that lightning CAN strike at the right time.
Once I signed my publishing contract with the Writer's Coffee Shop (which in and of itself took some doing and some time as well as advice from a lawyer and agent friend), I thought wow, I'm finally going to be a published author! End of story. No...not at all...it's just the beginning.
When I dreamed of being a published author, I thought all you had to do was find an agent and/or a publisher and then you shipped your book off to said publisher and waited for the final product to hit the shelves. That was my naive unpublished self. The truth of the matter is, there are a lot of things that go into being published and the publishing process as a whole. Here are just a few:
I'm a writer, right? No one cares what I look like! I sit at home by myself, typing away at my computer, creating whole new worlds for other people to enjoy. But in nearly every book you read, there is a small picture of the author somewhere. As a mother of two young girls, I had NO good pictures of myself...at least without anyone hanging on me or from me. I had to have a photographer friend come over and take some shots of JUST me. That was very strange for me, but the publisher needed a good shot for the publicity stuff they will send out as well as for the book itself.
I wrote the book, put a big fat "The End" at the end and now I can walk away, right? Wrong! I have gone through the book at least four times myself, trying to change words here and there, make corrections, and say things better. And that was BEFORE I handed it over to the publisher and AFTER they said they wanted the book. Now I hear that I will get a three person editing team who will also be going through the book. Their initial evaluation will take 3 weeks! I am nervous about the results, but anxious to see what they have to offer in terms of changes and advice.
Before this book "Wrong Place, Right Time" has even really started through the publishing process, I had to fill out a long marketing form with a variety of questions about myself, the book, the area in which I live and so on and so forth. It took me over a week to fill out the questions to my satisfaction. I wanted to be thorough so the marketing people at the publishing house could do their job to the best of their abilities.
I know that before the book comes out and especially after, the author is one of the main publicity tools. Sure, they will put out press releases and advance copies for reviews, but the biggest part of the publicity wheel will be me. That will include interviews I can do, appearances I can make and whatever else I can think of or they advise me to do! I know publicity is going to take up a huge chunk of time and while I look forward to seeing what it can do for the book, much of it makes me nervous as well.
My book isn't to this point yet either, but the Graphics team has contacted me to let me know I should start thinking about ideas I might have for the cover. I am curious to find out whether what they come up with will match the pictures in my head...or be even better than I thought.
I can write an entire book with ease, but going back and summarizing the whole thing for a blurb on the back or an even smaller blurb in a press release is just plain hard. I think summaries that I have to write are going to take me longer to get perfect than the entire book.
My book "Wrong Place, Right Time" is slotted to come out December 2014. That gives me PLENTY of time to get through all of these things and then some. Some days I want it to come out tomorrow. Other days I am glad there is time. In between working on all of the little details, I have started a new book as well. A writer's fingers can never stay idle because the mind never stops plotting!