After four years of writing, my fourth novel, Siren’s Secret, was bought by Harlequin Nocturne and will be released in November.
What a journey the last few months have been!
Yes, it’s exciting and wonderful and, most important for me, validation that I must be doing something right with my work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attended conferences or taken courses only to panic at the detailed analysis of GMC and the hero’s journey. Incredibly helpful stuff, but often left me panicked that I wasn’t smart enough to get all if it in my story. But I’ve learned that if you are a bookworm, you are soaking up story structure and use it when you write a novel, whether you are conscious of it or not.
So onto lessons learned in having your
first novel published.
1. Expect revisions. I was dumbfounded when I got my first revision letter. For years I worked on how to write. Revising is a whole different skill set. It’s deconstructing your work on a grand scale.
2. Have your social media and marketing in place.
I thought having a website, Facebook page, a Facebook Author page and a working familiarity with Twitter was plenty. It’s a start, but not near enough. My computer skills are lacking and even when I know what I should be doing – like setting up a newsletter signup on my webpage – I don’t know how to do it.
3. Time Management.
In hindsight, the past four years of writing were a hobby – albeit a passionate one – and not a business. Now I am not only writing and marketing but with just three weeks left until my book hits the shelf, I’m on a deadline for finishing the revisions for the contracted book two of the series.
4. The specifics.
I’ve got two wonderful marketing resources to get you started. One is free and the other 99 cents. Visit author Valerie Bowman’s website http://www.valeriegbowman.com/for-writers/ and purchase her e-book, Painless Marketing for Busy Authors, for just 99 cents. Then check out writer Marcia James free information for writers on her website at http://www.marciajames.net/. Request her free marketing information and she’ll send you two 400-word files loaded with information.
5. More specifics.
Do a Goodreads giveaway SIX weeks before your book is published. The best way to create preorder buzz is through them. On your amazon author central page, post excerpts of positive reviews because that is the only way potential readers will see them on that site.
6. Develop relationships.
This takes time but do all you can to meet fellow writers and pick their brains. Talk to someone who’s been through the publishing process and ask them what they did right and what they did wrong.
I hope this information helps someone else about to be published or prepares those not-yet-published writers. If you’re published, please share any tips for the rest of us! If not, what kind of burning questions do you have about the process?
My book, Siren's Secret, is available for preorder on Amazon. It's published by Harlequin Nocturne and will be released digitally on Novmber 1. On November 5, it will be in print wherever most books are sold.
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