The time right after you finish writing your book is the most crucial period. This is when you start editing, polishing the manuscript, building a fan base, sending press releases and news tidbits, and reaching out to people. Most first-timers make the mistake of thinking that PR is only for after publishing a book. I can’t tell you how wrong this is.
You’ve finished writing the manuscript.
Here’s what you do…
(1) Find yourself an editor
(a) My piece of advice: Do plenty of research before you hire an editor. You’ll want an editor who is familiar with the genre you’re writing in. For instance, if you’re doing a thriller you might want to look for someone with experience in editing mysteries.
(b) Editors are very expensive. For Kidnapping Dana Marie, I paid $1000 for an edit. Be prepared to pay. Also, there are different levels of editing. Development, Substantial, Copy editing… to name a few.
(c) I’ve seen some sites and blogs on the internet list how-to’s for contacting editors. Personally, I’d say just email them. Be polite, respectful and tell the exactly what you need done. Editors are only people and there isn’t any format or formality you need to use when addressing them.
(2) Marketable blurb and About Me
(a) After you send your manuscript off to an editor, it’ll take some time for them to go through it. During this time, work on your author bio and book’s bio. There are tons of sites on the web that explain how to write your bio and book blurb. Be prepared to rewrite several drafts.
(b) Author Photo. You’ll want something that is professional and people can easily recognize. This photo will follow wherever you go for years.
(a) You definitely should have a website. And yes, it’s necessary. One time I was trying to find information about a new author who just published a debut novel. The author didn’t have a website or even a social media page. It was irritating when I wasn’t able to find any information on them and they lost me as a customer.
(b) There are a number of sites and resources to use when creating a website. I used Wix.com to make mine and it seems to work fine.
(4) Social Media
(a) Have at least a Twitter or Facebook page. That should be enough, but remember the more social outlets you have the more ways your fans can reach you. It depends on how much time you want to be on the web updating, tweeting, and connecting with fans. At this moment, I only use a Twitter page which is enough for me.
(5) Press Releases
(a) It’s important that you start writing press releases before your book hits the shelves. Write several different versions so that you’re not sending the same one over and over again to different news places. It’s more professional. Also, newspapers aren’t the only places you can send releases to. Try magazines, online news sites, well-known blogs, etc.
There is definitely a lot to do when the book is about ready to be published. It’s not the starting line but the finish line that is hectic. If you’re like me, then you do things at the last moment. I’m a last minute girl. Honestly, it pays more if you do work then play. Writing a book is a huge achievement and you should pat yourself on the back.