10 Things Every Writer Should Do after Publication
Who doesn’t love a top 10 list? I’m no Casey Kasum but this week I’m bringing you the top 10 countdown. (If you’re too young to understand that, go Google him, ya durn whippersnappers!)
Image courtesy of Static Ravicorp
Have all your links ready to go. Links to your Amazon pages, your booklist on your blog, your Goodreads page, links for where to leave reviews, links to any posts about your books, links to your author page, links to your link, links to your BookBub, links to sign up for your newsletter, links to your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, and Pinterest. You should have more links than the entire Zelda franchise. If anyone asks you for a link you should be able to hand it to them immediately.
I actually find it much easier to keep a word doc, per book, with all the pertinent links. Yes this means adding some links that are author-specific and not book-specific, but if it means having everything in one handy document instead of several, then it’s worth the extra copy/pastes. That way I can copy and paste them everywhere, one at a time or in a batch. Remember the more links you have the bigger of an imprint you will make. And the quicker you can hand them out, the faster you can start funneling views and sales to your work. It also works really well if you keep the long and short version of your blurb with these links. Basically anything that relates to your book other than the story itself should be bundled together.
For me this is the most painful part. I love talking. I even kinda like editing. (The first three times or so.) But marketing hurts my brain. And when my brain hurts, I turn to the experts. Thankfully I happen to know a brilliant woman, Heidi Angell, who always has advice!
Most of of this is stuff that should have been done before you published but a lot of it can still be done now. So look at what you’ve already done, and find out what you still need to do. If it helps do the same as Heidi does and mark it on your calendar for when you should set up different marketing events.
No one likes having to nag. However, some people do need a friendly reminder that they had a timeline. Contact the people who agreed to be your ARC readers, make sure that they have the links of where to leave reviews. (This is why having a list of the links is so important because you will be handing them out to everyone.) Add in a thank you if they have already posted the reviews. This is also the point where you’re going to have to start possibly culling some people from your ARC group. It’s also the time where you should start prioritizing your ARC list. The people that responded quickly and enjoyed your work should be moved to the top of the list for future projects. If you shuffle your list every time you’ll have have a trustworthy group of people that enjoy your work. And that is worth its weight in gold.
Check everything twice. And then do it again. (Did you notice that this was number seven in disguise and I had actually listed eight twice?) You’ve put in a lot of work to get this done. You’re probably starting to burn out. And that leads to mistakes.
Now that everything is finally out there, take another look at it and make sure it’s all correct. Make sure your links work properly. Look over your graphics to see if they all look good, especially if they got resized. You should have run through it all before you hit publish, but things happen. Give it one more once over to make sure everything came through ok.
Made by me
Chances are very high you didn’t do this alone. Your editor. Your publisher. Your beta readers. They all helped to polish up your book. If you haven’t said it yet, and even if you have, thank them. Hopefully you’ve also used ARC readers, now that you’ve made sure they posted their reviews thank them as well. Even if they didn’t leave a review yet. Being appreciated goes a long way. Studies have shown that employees that feel appreciated do better work. The same goes for people we work with. Anyone that has helped you on your path to publication probably deserves a sign of that appreciation. And if you need them for help with your next project they are more likely to help.
Not only does this help others, it helps to remind you of how many people you had on your side during your work. And that is something you should be proud of as well.
This is the super fun part. You’re right. I’m lying. This is the tedious part. But if you made a list of links and checked to make sure each one works like I told you, it can be a quick and tedious part. Any place you have your works listed needs to be updated now. Any secondary market or review site, like Goodreads, needs to get updated too. The back matter of any of your previous books needs to be updated to show your new books. Even the back matter of the book you just published might need to be updated so that you can share a link of where to leave reviews.
Think and talk about what you’re going to do next. Do you guys remember Chumbawamba? Probably not. Because they were a one hit wonder. They focused so much on one song, one work, to the point that people got tired of hearing it. And they burned out fast. If you want to be more than a one-hitter yourself, you need to let people know that more is coming. Even if you don’t have anything concrete yet, you still need to let people know that you are going to continue. “Yeah I’m thinking for my next book I’m going to write a story about this side character that my readers said they all liked. He’s an interesting guy so I thought it would be fun to share his story too.”
Readers like having an author they can follow and who is going to put out more work in the future. They are more likely to invest in you, and by invest I mean buy your books and take the time to read and review, if they think they have a future with you.
Have an elevator pitch ready to go. An elevator pitch is a short description with a hook to catch someone’s attention and get them interested.
Imagine what you would say if you were reading the book and someone came up and asked you about it. Let’s use Andy Peloquin and Blade of the Destroyer, as an example. “A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? The Last Bucelarii–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature.”
Short, sweet, to the point. It doesn’t have to be perfect or precise either. It just has to convey the idea or feel of the book or series. To be fair, I haven’t even finished reading the book. But it doesn’t matter. I’m not giving a synopsis or a blurb. I’m pointing out the unique aspect of the book so it will stand out to the people I’m talking to and help them remember it later. If you can follow this pitch up with a business card so much the better.
Prepare a press statement that you can hand out. A press release? What? That’s crazy. Yeah, well, so are authors. And you’re a published author. So let’s do this!
Much like #3 and #6 you want this to grab attention. First off make sure you’re sending it to the right people. Send your press packet to people that talk about books. Look for other authors in your genre that are looking for additions to their newsletters or want to do newsletter swaps. Hunt down bloggers, booktubers, book clubs, and reviewers that are accepting submissions. You’ll want to give them your blurb, short and long versions, your cover, any advertisements you’ve gotten or made, review quotes, your author pic, an author bio, and your links.
Still think I’m crazy to suggest it? Fine, I am a published author and we’ve already established authors are crazy. But the helpful folks over at Self Publishing Advice Center happen to agree with me. Which is why they put together these helpful tips.
And this is the most important piece of advice, that’s why it’s number one.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first, your fourth, or your sixty-fifth. You published a book! You did it! All that work. The sweat, and tears, and long nights. The editing. The rewrites. It’s all done! It’s out!
Take a night out. Have dinner with friends. Go see a movie. Whatever you want to do to celebrate, do it. Make it a thing. Make it a big thing! Make it a small thing. But make it real. Your brain, and your hands, deserve the break. So toast yourself with your favorite beverage and shout it to the world.
You are a published author!
Have anything to add, any hints or tips of your own about this subject? Please share them in the comments below. The market is always changing and if we want to be successful we have to change with it.
And always, keep writing.
Rebekah Jonesy is a work from home wife. A voracious reader, she decided it was time she made her own contributions. Her books are contemporary romance with a variety of kinks thrown in. Understanding that human sexuality is as complex as the people are, she strives to show the reality of love as her characters work to find their happily ever after. Outside of the literary world, she is a mad scientist cook, gardener, Jill of all trades, and military spouse.
advance reader copies advance reader copy Advanced Reader Copies advanced reader copy advanced readers copy ARCS author book promotion book marketing book promotion Book promotion ideas book reviewers book sales book sales links building a book press kit building a press kit celebrate double-check fiction writing free book promotion how to build a book press kit how to build a press kit how to market a book how to market your book How to promote a book how to promote your book link social media accounts links marketing pitch plan planning an elevator pitch preparing links press press kits promote your book Rebekah Jonesy sales pitch sharing your book sharing your work showing gratitude social media link social media links social media share links thanks to market to market book updates writing writing advice