My first book is finally published. Release day has come and gone. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the dough to roll in. Well, I did, and it didn’t. In fact, I was more apt to get bread, (dough get it?), than money.
I thought becoming a published author was all I had to do before I could sit back and reap the rewards of my dreams coming true. I would just continue writing my books, and find a publisher. That’s all there was to it, right? In my dreams! How naive I was! And I’m sure I wasn’t alone. I soon found out that writing my book, and getting it published was just the first part of a long, time-consuming process.
Since getting my first novel published in 2005 I’ve acquired websites, blogs, joined MySpace, Facebook, twitter, Coffee Time Romance, Goodreads, Author Island, countless bookstores, yahoo groups, just too many to list. After a while you forget half of them anyway, and just recently I read somewhere that you’re supposed to pick 3-5 good promoting sites, and build up your following there. Yeah, right! Because you never know which avenues will work for you, and no one can tell you.
One of the most important things I realized in time is that you have to connect with readers. That means more than just popping in and leaving a promo, and not going back until the next promo. Now, I admit that I’ve been guilty of that, and it’s okay to do once in a while. But you have to get to know people. Build relationships so that they see you as a person, and not just another author looking for someone to buy their books. Get involved, comment on their posts, and ask questions. That’s one of the easiest ways of getting a conversation started, and keep it going.
Besides the hours and hours spent on networking, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on promotional items from expensive magazine ads, post cards, magnets, labels, book marks and contest prizes. Not to mention the postage spent on mailing all that stuff out to various organizations. In the beginning I spent more than I took in. But look around, there are a lot of websites that offer free promotion in the way of guests posts, reviews, and contests. Ask author friends if you can be a guest on their blog one day, and tell them you’ll reciprocate.
Since I’ve retired from Disney I’ve slowed down spending money, and limit it to the occasional contest prize, and any good deals I find for promoting. Free ebooks are always welcomed by readers. Join author tours, and blog hops. I have a page of up-coming blog hops so check it out. They’re fun, and can draw a big crowd when prizes are involved. I’ve found that I spend just as much time promoting, if not more, than actually writing.
So, how does one keep up with it all and work a full time job? Because let’s face it, unless you get really lucky with your first few books, or you’re married to a spouse who can support you both, you will probably be working 9-5, five days a week. I was surprised when I found out how many authors still worked full-time jobs outside of the home. Just another misconception that the millions would roll in after my first book was published. It takes time my friends. Dues have to be paid, and success doesn’t happen over night. So don’t up and quit your day job right away. There’s a lot of competition out there and you gain readers one reader at a time.
So write your book, find a publisher, but don’t sit back and wait for the money. Success comes from time spent, friendships made, lots of networking, a little money, and perseverance.
To date I have 20 ebooks published. Bishop’s Angel is my latest.
After ten years of sacrificing everything for his country as a Navy SEAL, Bishop is looking for salvation, and something more permanent in his life. Angel, a pretty kindergarten teacher, thinks she’s just what he needs. Their chemistry is instant, and explosive, only Bishop has trouble letting go of his commitment to his country. It’s up to Angel to prove there’s room for her in his life.
Written by Tory Richards-www.toryrichards.com