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Hundreds of Helpful Articles

Hundreds of Helpful Articles

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Things To Know About Being a Published Author

Congratulations! Your book has been published. So what happens now? What should you expect?

There are a certain amount of thrills to having your book published; you get your name on a book, your work is available to all and sundry to read and, perhaps the most thrilling, you stuck with it long enough to see it through.

If this is your first book or you are seriously considering writing one, it is important to be realistic about your expectations.

You Can Quit Your Day Job!

Some authors can and have because they do make a good living out of writing, but most rely on other income as well; even some of the best-selling authors can’t survive on what their book brings in. So why do they write? Simply because they are passionate about their subject or they need to tell a story, and most will have done this while holding down a full-time job – and still do.

Tom Clancy, for example. A best-selling author and his first few books were written while he sold insurance. John Grisham started writing while practicing as an attorney, writing in the wee hours of the morning before he was due in court.  PD James, best selling mystery writer, she wrote her first few books while bringing up her children, caring for a sick husband and working for the civil service.

You see where I’m going – first novels, rarely even second or third novels, no matter how much they sell will bring in a livable income.

Your Book Will be Exactly How You Imagined It

I very much doubt that. Unless you self-publish, and you have enough of a budget to come up with the jacket design and the package that you want, you are bound by what your publishers want. You sign a contract with them; you create the book and both you and the publisher will have some say in the final product. Your editor will have a lot to say as well, trimming your book and altering how it flows. Your editor is paid to make the book sound a lot better, but you won’t always agree with what they suggest.

Be prepared to face a few creative differences!

Your job is to write the book and hand it in – the publisher will take care of the rest. The publisher that accepts you is likely to do so based on the platform you use for marketing as much as for your writing skills. The reality of it is that the editorial process requires a lot of hard work from an author. And you need to do most of the legwork on promoting your book too because the in-house marketing department won't only be working on your book and they won’t be able to dedicate all their time to you.

You Can Choose Your Own Book Jacket

Sorry, no, you can’t unless you go down the self-publishing route. What goes on your book cover is a combination of opinions from the editor, marketing, the publisher, sales reps, even the shop's buyers; often it will look nothing like you envisioned. Most likely you won't even get asked for your opinion.

You Get a Book Tour or a Book Party

You may do but it's an expensive business. There are so many online opportunities for promotion that book tours are few and far between so don’t count on it. Book parties very rarely generate any sales so don’t count on that either. You could throw your own if you want and you do get bragging rights, but that’s about it for now so don’t drop your day job!


Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds