I’m thrilled to have author Ann Montclair guest blog about her experience of publishing her first novel. Writing the book is just the beginning. I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Over to you Ann.
Thank you, Amaleen.
My first novel, a contemporary romance titled The Billionaire’s Bauble, was released December 21, 2011 from Soul Mate Publishing. When I signed my contract to publish the book, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. My publisher quickly added tasks: I needed to write a blurb, a dedication, an acknowledgement page, develop a tag line and pen a short author’s biography. Okay!
Once I started looking at other published authors, I realized I needed to accomplish a few more things: I developed my web site upon which I placed my biography, my head shot (thanks, hubby), an excerpt from my book, and my contact information. I began blogging and added that to my web site. Then I created a Facebook account, a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, and a Linked-In account to which I frequently posted. I also wrote and contracted (with Musa Publishing) two more romance novels and began revising those.
So, I had my ducks in a row. The Billionaire’s Bauble came out just in time for Christmas (what a gift!) and I could relax. Merry, merry, Ann Montclair!
Once the book was available, I began guest blogging, updating my website, and creating more presence on the web. I made an Author Page at Amazon, Savvy Authors, and Author’s Den.
Forcing myself to stop thinking about characters, settings, and plots, and start thinking about sales (gulp) was the hardest transition in this process called “becoming a published author.”
Marketing is a bear with very sharp teeth. I had to know my genre, my heat level, and identify my target audience. I needed to start tagging my book and reading and reviewing fellow author’s books. Add to that an increased presence in my online social groups: Soul Mate Authors Group, Musa Authors Group, and Western New York Romance Writers of America. They ask questions, and I ask questions; we share what we know, and together we figure out the nuts and bolts of publishing books. Encouragement and advice are essential for success. I thank them profusely.
I am also sure there are about a bazillion other things I could and should be doing, but I am naive to them, so I await instruction. (Comments, anyone?)
After all is said and done, writing The Billionaire’s Bauble was just one step, albeit my favorite step. Finishing the novel was the step that made me feel satisfied, fulfilled, and hopeful. I always wanted to write a book, and I did it! The rest of it was a shocking surprise, but a good one.
I find I actually enjoy learning about the business of writing, just as I loved learning the craft of writing. Figuring this whole thing out has become a daily puzzle that is honing my intellectual and social skills in new ways. I have met many new and interesting people along my journey, and I appreciate the way fellow authors, editors, and publishers have reached out and shared, have brought me into the fold with gentle but persistent guidance.
Inspiration is but one piece of the novel writing and publishing process, and while I don’t mean to scare prospective writers, I do want to share that drafting the book is only the first precarious step—and it is far from the last.
My advice: buckle up, writers, this bronco ride has just begun!
Thanks, Amaleen, for inviting me to blog on your site! If anyone is interested in my novel, blog, biography, etc., etc., please visit http://www.annmontclair.com