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Four Months Later – A Countdown to Publication Follow-Up
Written by
Marci Nault
September 2013
Written by
Marci Nault
September 2013

Right before my book, The Lake House, launched I read a blog on this site about how your life doesn’t change when you become a published writer. Though I completely respect what the writer shared, I have to admit I was saddened by her words. It wasn’t that I believed my life would be drastically different after my novel hit the shelves, but in the anxiety of being a debut novelist her words scared me. 

It’s been four months since my novel has been on the shelves and my life has definitely been different. First of all I realized, like many debut’s, I was naïve and in some ways I was happier for it. I had no idea that most debut authors with big houses barely ship seven thousand books before launch. That twenty-five percent of those books will then be returned. It’s why so many authors are told to stop thinking about the present book and focus on the next project. I was lucky enough not to be in this situation. My print numbers were large and even though I wasn’t shipped to Barnes and Noble because of the dispute with Simon & Schuster (which I’m happy to report has been resolved and my book on their shelves) The Lake House was in airports, drug stores, grocery aisles, Walmart, Costco and Sam’s Club and of course the amazing independent retailers.

I’ve been incredibly blessed with this novel. In the first months of publication, I Googled my name and book title daily seeing new and exciting ways my book was making its way into the world: I’d been a Chicago Tribune, CBS, and Cape May Herald Best Summer Read. Romantic Times picked it as a featured read for summer. Reviews came in that touched my heart from bloggers and readers and bookstores made it their choice pick. Oh there was the occasion bad review that hurt like hell, but those were few and far between. 

What I learned in that first month, after the publicist I hired for thousands of dollars pretty much didn't even follow-up with me the day after her time was up, was that if I wanted this book to be a success I needed to keep fighting for it. This meant that I had to put myself on the line every day, ask for what I wanted (not something I tend to do), and get out there and work for it.

I went on local television, set up my own book tour, sent emails to reviewers, asked for newspaper interviews, used my platform of www.101dreamscometrue.com to get on radio stations, offered to speak at large conventions for free, and stayed on top of large book clubs that had expressed interest.

I sent weekly emails to my people at Gallery Books to let them know where I would be and when. I’ve worked just as hard at publicity and marketing as I did on the book and have even devised a way to use my new “fame” to help others to pursue their dreams. 

It’s been an incredible journey. At times I’ve forgotten to stop and experience the moment. It’s not until a friend talks about all that’s happened and congratulates me that I realize that this book is already a success no matter what happens from here, but I don't plan to stop.

The best part of this whole journey, I have incredible friendships with authors I’ve admired for years and debuts I’m honored to have met.

Is my life different? Yes! Have I changed as a person? Absolutely not!

So my advice to all the authors out there waiting for publication or about to debut – fight for it. Get in there, roll up your sleeves, don’t complain about what the publishing industry doesn’t do for newbies, and realize that you have the opportunity of a lifetime and it’s a blast.  

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