5 Things Writers Need to Know Before Publishing Their First Book
Originally from Goodreads.com
Posted by Cynthia on March 13, 2017
Many writers dream of becoming published authors: to have their words read by millions of readers; to hold their manuscript in a book form; to see that book in bookstores and libraries; to get glowing reviews on Goodreads or in theNew York Times.
They think that once they hit "publish" on a self-publishing platform or hand their final, edited manuscript over to a publisher, their work is done.
In reality, many writers quickly realize how much more they are expected to pitch in on the marketing front. They realize that books don’t just magically appear in bookstores, and that readers won’t drop everything and read the book the second they first hear about it.
To help you avoid surprises, here are five things writers need to know before publishing their first book:
1. Bestsellers are not created overnight.
When you see a book shoot magically up the best-seller list in the first week it is published, understand that it took many people many months of work to put it there. It takes traditional publishers so long to get from acquisition to publication because they are setting the stage for the release: writing the marketing & publicity material for the sales reps to use with the buyers, mailing out media review copies, securing interviews and reviews, putting together the advertising creative, and more.
As an author, you’ll need to have the patience and foresight to plan out a complete marketing campaign. This can start as soon as you finish the manuscript: establish your online presence, start building a mailing list, and introduce yourself to the local publishing community.
2. You will need to be an extrovert.
Book promotion means you will need to balance talking about yourself and your book and talking about other things people care about (for example). You will need to engage with your readers. You will need to sign books. You will need to charm booksellers. And you will need to tell your story over and over again, answering the same questions, remaining positive and friendly throughout.
Remember that you wouldn’t be a published author without readers, so work hard to make every interaction a great one. Also know yourself well enough to recharge your batteries between events, and let your publicist know to be selective with the types of interviews you do.Quick tip: Ask the Author is a great way to engage with readers, as it allows you to select which questions to answer, and when to answer them. [Read tips about using Ask the Author here.]
3. Not everyone will like your book... and that is ok!
You might think your book will only find it’s way into the hands of readers who will think it’s life-changing, but sooner or later someone will not like your book. No book is for everyone, and the most important thing to realize about a negative review is that it’s just one person’s opinion. Don’t take it personally. Instead, leave it alone and then get the beverage of your choice, and look up your favorite book on Goodreads. Chances are there are many negative reviews of it!
Respect personal preferences, and never try to change someone’s opinion about your book. If you’re worried you’ll get affected by reading reviews of your own book, don’t read them (yes, it really is that simple!). If you suspect it violates our review guidelines, flag it so our team can take a look at it.
4. Read books, not your own reviews.
One way to avoid reading your own reviews is to stay occupied by reading other people’s books! This is the best activity to engage with readers on Goodreads and build a following [read more about building a following here].
Share your passion for reading and show off your talent for writing by reviewing books on Goodreads. Start by reviewing books you loved in childhood, move on to books that inspired you to become a writer, and then tackle the current best-seller list for more recent titles. Remember: Goodreads is a community for readers—these are your people! Connect with them, and trust they will discover your own work that way.
5. Keep writing.
If all goes well, readers will devour your work and immediately want more. You need to have something ready to share with them, whether that’s a short story or a preview of the second book in the series. Keep the same writing schedule as you had before your work was published. You might transition from being a writer to being an author by publishing your first book; publish more than that and you have a career.
What do you wish you had known before publishing your first book? Share it in the comments below!
Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you! Regards, S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al. In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers. "Some secrets should remain that way." Shattered Lies is a Finalist in the 2016 Wishing Shelf Independer Book Awards.
Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Book Awards for Women's Fiction. Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.
Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category. Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards. The 2nd, new book cover design for Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 2016 Authors dB Best Cover Contest. The first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest.
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2017 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.