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Thursday, March 15, 2012

So - You've Found a Publisher!

Yeeha! Congratulations, well done.
That special group you were part of - (by becoming a writer in the first place) - has now become even more select. Now, you're part of a family.

So - what next?
Believe it or not - this can be very important.

Once you get over the initial excitement, (and it will be hard), make a concious effort to try and keep your feet on the floor. Remember, families are made of of different members who each fulfil a specific role. Good families work together, and you can see how that helps them flourish.
Try to approach your new family in the same way.

A publishing house will have an owner - or co-owners - editors - authors - designers and all sorts of other staff who will already be very busy.
Remember, publishers work 12 - 18 months ahead, and although you'll be all excited and cartwheeling around your front room, clutching your new contract, they will be concentrating on the every day business of preparing their imminent releases, preparing artwork, arranging conventions and/or expo's, arranging new outlets, new articles, updating the website and blogs...etc, etc, with and for their already existing authors.
As the new boy or girl on the block, they will do their best to make you feel welcome, but remember, they can't be there to hold your hand every day. They really are very, very busy.

Once you've looked over and signed your contract, filled in your Author Information Sheet, etc etc, there will be a lull in activity. So expect it and don't get lazy.
What can you do in that gap between sending back all your information and completing the final edit as per the editors/publishers guidelines?

Well, there's quite alot you can do besides getting on with your second book!
How many authors do your publishers have? How many new authors? What are the new releases? When are they coming out?
Look into these things, it will help you appreciate why you won't be getting a daily check-up to see how you are. As I mentioned, they really are busy.

Okay, you're part of a busy family. That's great news. If they're busy - that means your new family are thriving and will help you.
So get to know them - become an active part of the team and support them. How?
Put yourself out there! Are they on facebook/twitter? Link in.
Have they got imminent releases? Congratulate them.
Get to know them, and let them get to know you.
If you get any requests from the publisher etc for updates/work/or invitations to take part in something, complete it promptly.

Also, keep busy in other ways. (If you have an agent - they will be busy on your behalf)
If not, think of ways you can support your publisher through your own website, your blog, and other mediums you might be using.
Promote them through those mediums, and involve their input or suggestions into their construct.

By the time it comes to "your turn" for final preparations - you will have demonstrated to everyone you're an active member of the family who works hard to support the team.

Sounds simple I know - but you'd be surprised!

Any way - next time I thought I'd tell you my own story. Hopefully, a personal touch may make it a bit more interesting....?

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