1. Master the art of writing a query letter, which is infinitely more difficult than writing the book itself. Writer’s Digest offers Ten Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Query Letter. Janet Reid’s Query Shark site gives examples of what turns agents off in actual submissions. Then there’s the whole question of whether you should seek an agent or go directly to a publishing house. Di Bates has a good discussion of Literary Agents on her site Writing for Children. One thing is certain, unless you intend to self publish, your query letter will open or close doors for you.
Word count: 474 Reading time: 1-2 minutes
2. Develop a web presence. Or should you? There’s a question for a search engine! It seems logical that if you want people to be interested in your work, it’s probably best if they can find you. It is sometimes suggested that this step should precede step 1, that agents and publishers are people too.
3. Familiarize yourself with the basics of contract law, or at least develop the tenacity to wade through legal documents. Even if you self publish you need to understand what to expect under the T&C’s (terms and conditions) of your contract.
4. Prepare yourself for editorial input. Allow time for more revision.
5. Before the book is published, assemble a press kit and gear up for what Jill Corcoran calls Book Marketing and Sell-Through.
6. Be prepared for a book launch or even a book tour. Start researching these events well before your launch date. If your publisher doesn't support these events, look for inexpensive ways of hosting your own.
7. Investigate the possibility of a blog tour which is a less physical way of creating buzz for your work but also very time consuming.
8. Between all this – start working on your next novel because if people like your voice, they’ll want more and you’ll want to deliver.
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