So, you wrote a book, now what? Well, that is only the beginning of the journey. The first step out of the Shire. What is there besides publishing? I’m glad you asked hypothetical person! While this is no means extensive, the list below should give you a good starting place.
1. Research publishing options.
Publishing is different since the advent of the internet. Now anyone can publish his/her own works with basic computing skills. I outlined in previous blogs the pros and cons to independent and traditional publishing, so I won’t go into details about that. For the sake of this blog I recommend budding authors to do extensive research into both. Both are legitimate ways of publishing, but both have strong positives and negatives.
2. Find beta readers.
So, you wrote a book and you are proud of it. Why wouldn’t you be, you spent countless hours, on it. If you are going to sell it, other people have to find it enjoyable too. Finding other people to test read your book is a must. These people have to be honest and give well-rounded feedback.
3. Formulate a marketing strategy.
This was my first huge mistake starting out. Everyone told me to come up with a marketing plan, but I didn’t really know what that looked like practically. I was on every social media platform (except Tumblr) and constantly self-promoted. Don’t do that. Find one thing you are good at and stick with it. If that’s videos and you have an engaging personality do that, if it’s blogging do that. Sure, you can share your stuff on social media, but trying to manage all platforms will overwhelm you.
4. Read what other authors suggest but be prepared to go your own way.
Do your research on what other authors suggest. However, what worked for one person may not work for you. Keep that in mind. There isn’t an exact science to finding success as a writer. There are things that generally work better than others, but you need to find what works for you.
5. It will take (a lot of) time.
This is a big one. Prepare to wait, work hard, and wait some more. It is likely a several year process before you find success as an author. However, you must persist. If writing is truly your calling, then you know how incomplete you feel when you don’t. This isn’t a place for instant gratification or success. Those who have found overnight success are flukes. You might as well hope to win the lottery. However, with hard work and practice you can make a name for yourself.