“Slow down and smell the roses” may be an old cliché, but it is ever so relevant.
You’ve finished your book, now what?
This is the ONE question that determines your fate in the publishing industry: you only get ONE chance. Optimize your opportunities.
The following is a normal scenario from a new author:
I’ve finished my novel. Let’s publish! I’m a good writer, so I don’t need editing. Can’t afford it anyway. I “know” Photoshop, so I’ll “take” an image from the Internet, doctor it up, and voilá, I have a cover. Spine? Back cover? Whatever… Maybe a blurb? I don’t know how to write a blurb, so I’ll skip that. Bio? I’ve never written a bio. I don’t know how to talk about myself. Where to begin… Author picture? Selfie.
The following is a normal scenario from an experienced author:
I’ve finished my novel. Update website and all social media. Start interviewing editors and cover designers. Find an editor. Work with editor 3-6 months. Meanwhile, market, market, market! Find cover designer. Work with designer 3-6 months. Meanwhile, market, market, market! Find contests. Submit. Win. Find podcasts or radio interviews. Talk, talk, talk. Meanwhile, market, market, market. Find genre specific blog groups. Write, write, write. Meanwhile, market, market, market. Build credentials. Find a back blurb writer. Meanwhile, market, market, market. Schedule professional photographer. Meanwhile, market, market, market. NOW, LET’S PUBLISH!
If you don’t give readers a reason to read your book, they’ll just go and read someone else’s. There are millions of books published globally every year, 236 million per year. You have to do something to stand out. And that takes time. Ingram suggests you start 6 months before your launch. Check out your competition.
Advice: slow down. The market changes every day. Amazon changes its algorithms regularly. Research the market and determine your niche. You get ONE chance. Make sure you think ahead. Enter the market when you think all is in order, and THIS is what you want to premier to the world. It takes 9 months to produce a baby. Parents usually take special care of that fragile baby when it is born. Your book is your baby. Plan its life. Invest in it. Pave a way so it can be successful.
Slow down. Look around. It’s all in the details…
Image from Curious Little Snail by Ashley Young: a STEM book for grade school children that encourages them to “slow down and smell the roses.” Available on Amazon.com.