I know a lot about some things – but frankly, my knowledge about publishing a book was pretty non-existent before I began this writing adventure. And as I prepared to sign that contract, after Skyping with the publisher in what felt like dream, I went looking for tips from others. I looked for guidance, not just about what makes a good contract, but what to do after signing it. And as I perused what I could find, I came up with three good pieces of advice.
- Remember that it takes a really long time after signing the contract to actually get your book on a shelf. HOLD YOUR HORSES. Looking back – though my friends and family have been so tolerant – I should have waited a few months before letting my little secret out. To prevent those kind friends of mine from having to ask, “um, is it out yet?” My timeline was about 13 months from signing the contract to my expectation to the book being available; and that’s shorter than many.
- Write write write. I started a blog, knowing full well for an “unknown author” it was more about practicing my writing. I crafted new posts, and have held true to my hope that most every blog would straddle between past and present Oregon. And I have a few faithful, regular readers. What more could I ask for?
- Start a new book. At first, this was overwhelming. I had no idea what else I would write. But after signing the contract, it took me another three months to finalize my manuscript. And then the election happened. At that point I knew that I needed to stick my head in another story. Thankfully, my Note in a Bottle post was the inspiration for something new. A novel. And as I hone that, and attempt to get it out the door, hoping for a publisher – if and when I get that contract, you just might not hear about it for awhile. Just so you know.
But now – it’s time to plan the party! Big thanks to so many friends and supporters! Please do come join me Thursday, October 12 at 7 pm at Cafe West Linn in the Willamette neighborhood of West Linn. Special thanks to Andrea of Cafe West Linn, and Mike of Pete’s Mountain Winery for their support. Let me know if you think you might join us by RSVP-ing by Facebook invite, Eventbrite, email or the old fashioned way. And if you can’t join me then, there are other readings scheduled – check them out here.