Good morning all!
So what does an author do once they've gotten a release date for their first book? Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I watched 24 hours of "War and Remembrance" on DVD.
Yes, hubby was out of town and since the kids are teens, they have no interest in spending time with mom, (unless they need a ride someplace) so I had plenty of time to myself to watch the sweeping miniseries. I saw "Winds of War" last week, and I have to say, the changes in cast from one chapter to the next were a definite upgrade. If only they would have gotten rid of Robert Mitchum....
But seriously, what do you do once you have that magical date? You market your fanny off. I'm in the process of finding someone to make pens and book marks for me with my release date. Book marks are very popular among authors in the RWA, but really, how many book marks can you have? For me, pens make more sense because, well, pens get used. A pen was the reason I wound up selling Partylite candles for four years. So I'm hoping to get a good price on pens, which I will then air drop over the country! LOL!
Marketing is huge, and it's not a part of the writing life that anyone tells you about because, well, it's not a part of the writing life that anyone has a set formula for. Sort of like query letters. It's hit and miss. The only sure thing for good sales is to get the word out. Tell everyone. Send out constant emails. Blog endlessly. Call your local radio stations. (www.1029thehog.com Bob and Brian have said they will help me move product. So I've emailed them the date. Now we'll see!)
No matter if you're with a big publishing house or smaller press (www.thewildrosepress.com for all your romance reading needs) getting the word out about your book is first and foremost, your responsibility. No one, but no one, is going to love your book more than you do. It's your baby. No one is going to brag about your baby more or with more feeling than you are. So don't depend on a publisher or an agent or an editor to get the word out. Get out there and pound the pavement. I've already got a promise for a book signing at my local Starbucks once "Dream" is in print. And we're still several months away.
Get out there. Shy about starting a conversation about your book? www.cafepress.com They have a great shirt that says, "Ask me about my book." It starts the conversation easily. Don't be shy. You've done something amazing, you have a book in print. Tell people!
Meanwhile, it's back to work on getting a partial of "Chance to Walk" for an agent, and working in "Izzy" for my critique partner. Let me tell you, once you get that first sale, it all starts moving in fast motion, especially if you're serious. I didn't use to think I had more than one story in me. Now I have a new novel cooking and ideas for at least two more. Just having someone say, "We like your work" is all a writer needs to burst out and write.
Now my friends, go forth and be brilliant! Write your fingers off! you can do it!