I don’t think I could sum up in one blog post how much I’ve learned from becoming a published author. It’s impossible to do so. When my debut novel was published, I was in a daze for most of it. I was swept up in a whirlwind of agents, editors, publishers, other authors, and new readers (who terrified me! What if they didn’t like my book?!).
I wonder if a lot writers believe the hard part is writing the novel and finding someone to publish it. I know I did. All those years of writing, entering contests, getting rejected … I thought that was going to be the hard part. When I received my contract, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, ‘Yay! Hard part’s over!’
I was wrong.
The hard part had only just begun.
Because it doesn’t stop. From there, you have the editing, the formatting, choosing the cover design, the endorsements, the marketing and promotion …
There is no magical, invisible team that comes to your rescue in this. Even if you do have a team at your back to help you with all of this, you as the author are still responsible for spreading the word. For getting people interested in your work.
My point? Not to discourage, but to encourage. As a writer, prepare yourself for all of this by getting a head start. You’ll be happier, trust me! If you’re reserved like me, then it might be hard for you to get the word out there. But the more connections you make, the easier things will be.
I was so nervous last year when I had to search out endorsements from authors. I was told no by several, but yes by some. This year, it felt even harder for me to do this for my upcoming release! I’m still nervous about it. Because, as an author who also works five days out of the week at an outside job, I know how difficult it would be to put aside time to read a novel by someone I barely know and come up with a favorable endorsement for it. In the meantime, you’re working on edits with your publisher, waiting on your cover design choices to select from, and hoping beyond hope the word is getting out about your book so people will buy when it’s released!
So, when is the hard part over? When do things get easier?
I think the hard part is never over … but, in the end, it’s all worth it! Because, at the end of the day, your book is published! And people LIKE IT.
Be prepared. Set your goals. Get ready to work hard. Because while the entire process can be laced with stress, having the novel you’ve been working on for a long time published is the best feeling in the world. 🙂