You may not know this, I didn’t less than a year ago, but writing a novel is the easiest part of becoming an author. Sure, the manuscript can take years to finish, but that’s just the beginning of a very long process.
Once it’s done, you’ll have to format it correctly, and also compose a great cover letter and synopsis for prospective publishers. Doesn’t sound hard, but try to write a synopsis in five pages or less for a 300-page book! Not to mention, they all want them done differently.
Then you’ll send everything out and wait (and wait, and wait, and wait) for a response.
With or without an agent, the rejection letters come next, spaced months apart. Another few years might pass, so you’d better be patient and persistent. And don’t feel like a total failure. Rejection letters are just part of the package.
Don’t be dismayed either. Your dedication can pay off. You might someday get that long-awaited email or letter that someone wants to publish your book—YOUR BOOK!
If that happens (hooray!), the contract will follow. Everything gets signed and you’re raring to go. Then, as in my case, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, happens for a few more months. That’s because other books are ahead in the pipeline. (FYI – the time between acceptance and publication can take up to two years. Yikes!)
While you’re waiting yet again (you should be used to this by now), it’s important to begin a social media campaign. Be sure you’re on Facebook, create a separate author page, start up a blog & website, join LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads. The list goes on and on. Read up on social media to gain tips. Ask other authors for advice. Brand your name. Rave about your upcoming novel.
And just when you’re convinced your publisher doesn’t even remember you exist, you’ll hear from them more frequently. They’ll do the cover design; assign an editor, and then a separate line-editor. After spending hours (days, weeks) on suggested editing, your book will be typeset. They’ll request an author photo, bio, dedication, and acknowledgements. They may even request a back cover synopsis and an author blurb or two. You’ll finally be busy, REAL BUSY, but won’t believe it can all be accomplished in time.
However, if you REALLY want this, it’ll all get done, and your book will be published. Cheers! Accolades!
After a little celebration, it’ll be back to work—pronto! There are author signings, events, more social media, etc. (I’ve heard marketing is the hardest part of all.)
Not to mention, you’ll still have to find time to write that next novel!