This week my [REALITY CHECK] guest Reese Ryan touches on a subject that inspired me to start this column in the first place. After your book is written...then what? As an author, I've learned the importance of being a self starter when it comes to marketing and promoting. As a publisher, I've seen books that deserve to have a huge audience suffer because the author no longer has time or interest in promoting themselves or their work.
To professionals, publishing is a business--not a hobby--and to be a successful, published author, Reese reminds us that you can't be complacent.
What They Don't Tell You: Writing the Story is Only the Beginning
by Reese Ryan
As an aspiring author with dreams of generous advances and bestseller lists dancing in my head, I had several partially completed manuscripts on my computer. I’d started each story enthusiastically. However, as a dedicated pantser who had yet to discover the beauty of plotting, I’d always manage to write myself into a corner where I’d get stuck. I kept telling myself, if only I could finish my story. Then I’d finally be on my way.
Boy, was I delusional.
Typing The End is only the beginning of the journey to publication. It wasn’t the first book I completed that eventually got published. It was the third. That third manuscript was in its third draft before it went through my critique group. A fourth (or maybe fifth) draft got me a contract with my current publisher, Carina Press. There it went through two more rounds of revisions. When I returned that final round of revisions into my editor, I thought that I was done and that my publisher would take it from there.
I was living in a LaLa Land of EPIC proportions.
After revisions, I was quickly ushered into marketing mode. There was a cover to choose and back cover copy to write. More importantly, I discovered what dreamy-eyed debut authors fail to realize. We’re pretty much at the bottom of the food chain; not unlike plankton. There won’t be any billboards, glossy ads, or blog tours.
Not unless the author pays for them.
My publisher provides its authors with some remarkable marketing training resources. They also maintain an active author loop which is invaluable to newbies who are learning the ropes. So, I quickly learned how to send out review requests and coordinate my own blog tour. I partnered with other authors and worked on building my platform on social media.
It’s a constant learning experience.
Still, I enjoyed connecting with fellow authors and building relationships with bloggers and readers. It was a wonderful experience, though sometimes an exhausting one. However, it is the new reality for authors in this wild and wonderful world of publishing, and not just for debut or indie-published authors. It’s one of those things that doesn’t figure into our visions of being a best-selling author. But there’s no crying (tantrums or bellyaching) in publishing.
Writing the story is just the beginning. Yet, it never ceases to be the priority for an author. So, while learning to master marketing, I must also keep writing. It’s a balancing act I’m still learning.
What about you? As an author, or aspiring author, what reality check have you found to be most surprising? How do you balance writing with marketing? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Reese Ryan writes sexy, contemporary fiction filled with colorful characters and sinfully sweet romance. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with a happily ever after.
Bad Boys Gone Good Series Buy Links:
Making the First Move: http://www.amazon.com/Making-First-Move-Boys-Gone-ebook/dp/B00CC68FMU/
©2014. Zetta Brown is editor-in-chief of LL-Publications and Logical-Lust Publications. She is the author of several published short stories and the novel Messalina: Devourer of Men. If you like this post, then stop by Zetta’s Desk or Zetta’s House of Random Thoughts.
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