You have conceived an idea. You have painstakingly written this glorious masterpiece. You have foregone relationships and perhaps lost touch with family members for a long period of time while locked away as a recluse. You submit your baby to a publisher. Your book is published and is now on the bestseller list.
Not quite. There are some things that you need to know early as an author that can make or break your novel. Most publishing houses today do not have the money or resources to spend on promoting every author that graces their doorsteps. They pick and choose which manuscripts deserve the most attention and run with them. It’s not that yours does not rank with the best. It very well could. Most of the time, though, it all comes down to money, time and resources.
That’s where you come in.
You have invested a lot of time and energy in your project. There is nothing worse that can happen to an author than to have his or her manuscript get published and then sit on the shelves in warehouses or book stores and not move. The more movement you have sometimes depends on how much energy you’re willing to devote in the early stages.
A book has to have momentum and fervor around it before it’s published. The buzz has to be strong for it to succeed.
The good news is that you’re probably already doing some of the movement now whether you realize it or not. There are at least ten things you can be doing before your book ever hits the shelves, and most of them are FREE. Let’s take a look at the list:
1. Networking: (FREE)
These are your friends, family members, colleagues and people in the business of publishing. You have to talk to them and let them know that you have a book coming out. Ask them to tell everyone they know. Prepare a specific letter asking them for help on spreading the word, carrying a copy of your book wherever they go, making sure your book faces outward in the stores, etc.
Get creative and don’t be shy. This is your best and first line of offense. Don’t forget to thank them for all of their hard work, either.
2. Print Business Cards: (FREE / Low Cost)
This is your calling card that you must drop wherever you go. It lets people know who you are and they can carry it with them in their wallet or day timer. It has your name, title of your book, Email address and Web site (if available) right on the front for easy access.
You can print them yourself if you feel you can do a quality job or there are Web sites devoted to free business cards. A good place to start is vistaprint.com.
3. Print Bookmarks: (FREE / Low Cost)
See business cards above for same details. With these, though, you can drop them at bookstores and libraries. Send them to your networks and let them distribute. Pass them out at sporting events, meetings, gatherings, etc.
Most everyone reads books and lose their place. Let them see your work when they do.