I got the manuscript template from my publisher this week. Getting my work transferred into it makes it feel somehow more real – it’s not just going to be a manuscript for a novel that I’m going to throw out into the world and hope gets selected… this is already accepted. My to-do list starts with finishing the book and then moves into the editing stages before it is going to be ready for publication. I’m hoping I’ll be done with step 1 (writing) by the end of the year. Step 2 will take several months and then it’s off to the races, right? Sit back and wait for the money to roll in?
Not so much.
The work doesn’t end when the book is in print. In fact, that’s where a lot of the hard work starts – promotions and marketing, getting your name out there and your book sold. And if I want to do this right, I’m going to need to have a plan in place, a plan that starts now even before I’m done writing it.
Why is that, you ask? Because, dear reader, my publishing house is not your usual run-of-the-mill book publisher. I’ll be in charge of my own marketing, my own promotions, scheduling my own book tour (based on my budget and calendar), and whether my book sells or not rests solely on my shoulders – I will have no one else to blame.
So while I get the benefit of editors and proofreaders and typesetting and having my book published under a house, I also have a lot (if not most) of the responsibility of a self-pubbed author. I like to look at it as the best of both worlds, I am in control [I wouldn’t be with a traditional publisher] and I have a team to support me and educate me along my journey [I wouldn’t if I were self publishing].
Seriously, what is better than that?
Here is the start of my Master List of DOOM – what I’m going to need and when approximately – so that I can start getting my brain organized. The last thing I want is to not have prepared for the end and be scrambling to catch up and get my name out there.
The list includes:
– Marketing Plan
– Press Kit
– Vanity Photos
– Book Tour Plan (what I can afford for travel, dates … don’t forget the cons I already attend each year)
– Cover Art (found the artist I want to work with, her stuff is gorgeous and she did one of our other authors)
– Promotional Plan
– Reviews (pre-release)
… and such. It’s not a complete list. Luckily I think my need for control works well with my non-traditional publishing house and my OCD will make this process less of a headache than it seems at the moment. I actually feel a lot better just having written that all down.
Planning for the end result makes for more success, right?
Yeah, sure… we’ll go with that.