Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ten Things to Consider AFTER Your First Book Deal...

1. Don't be scared of working with your editor! You'll do fine!

2. Be prepared to take what you consider the most special parts of your book...OUT!

3. Concerns? TALK TO YOUR AGENT! He/she knows the business and they will tell you if you're concerns are justified or you're freaking out for no reason. (I would fit into the freaking out for no reason category).

4. Don't be afraid to ask your publisher LOTS of questions-- if you don't ask, you won't get.

5. Your publisher may change your release date several times--this is totally normal, especially for a debut.

6. Know that you have NO control over the cover art...but be happy when your publisher does ask for your input and gives your book a fabulous illustrator (Omar Rayyan!) and if they don't, have a nice piece of cake (preferably chocolate) and tell yourself, they know what they're doing.

7. Bear in mind that Barnes & Noble, along with Indie stores, do NOT pick up every book, even from big publishers! There is nothing you can do if they decide not to carry your book in their brick and mortar stores, so don't worry about it--it does not mean your book won't be successful at all, but be joyous when they say, YES, we want this debut author's novel hanging out by our Starbucks counters!!

8. Don't fret if you start on a one book deal (becoming the norm these days), but be merry when they buy the sequel six months later--off a proposal no less! That means they like you, they really, really like you!

9. There are a lot of things out of your control in publishing--in fact--most things. Before giving yourself a facial tick, take a step back, inhale a deep solid breath, and realize no matter what's in store for you, you made it...you did it...you're a first-rate writer--YOU!

10. Now write another book. ;)

26 comments:

  1. You made me cry, Hil. I pray everyday that "Prophecies" and the series it begins will be there some day.

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  2. Victoria, it's amazing how things change on a dime! I had no agent or deal and mounds of rejection, then all the sudden I got my agent, 2 months later a deal! Publishing moves slow for sure, but every once in a while it's lightning fast!!! You'll get there!

    xoxo -- Hilary

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  3. This is super inspiring since I feel a bit more prepared for when the day comes that I'll be freaking out about every little thing you said, minus step 10 =] Thanks so much and congrats on the deal!

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  4. Thanks, Hillary!

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  5. Congrats on your book deal...you inspire us all who await the day when someone picks up our work and thinks it's worthy! Maybe someday the publishing world can be friendlier for us lowly little writers!

    Monique

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  6. Congratulations on your much deserved success. And thanks so much for this post. It makes the business less scary for this unpubbed.

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  7. You forgot number 11 !!!!!

    Become good buddies with those other authors that are pubbing thru the same house. You have no idea how it'll save your bacon!

    OH, and POSSUMS ARE OSSUM Rats drool!

    :-D

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  8. Thanks for putting things into perspective in such a fun way.

    Jacqueline Jules
    www.jacquelinejules.com

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  9. Donna Milward8/12/2010

    Lol!

    Thanks for this Hilary! I've heard about some this stuff, but I like your perspective. It feels a little more reassuring. Congrats on getting published. May you have great success, and I hope I'm right behind you. :)

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  10. What a great post. Thank you, Hilary! I especially like the one about B&N not picking up every book -- it's the same situation here in the UK with the big chains.

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  11. Funny and great list. Hopefully, the facial tick thing will let up in a couple of months.... :O)

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  12. Okay, so i'm wondering how do you know when/if your book will be picked up by the big stores like B&N and Borders?

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  13. Samantha, I think freaking out is part of the process, at least the first time around! There is just so much we as writers don't know!

    Thanks, Rena!

    Monique, I think you will be suprised! Everyone I've met at my publisher is just the sweetest, nicest person! It's nothing like they portray in the movies! At least not that I've come across so far! :)

    Piedmont, being scared is 1/2 the fun! Ha, ha! ;)

    JKB, I heart you, despite the possums!

    Jacqueline, no problem! Anything to help my fellow writing peeps!

    Donna, I hope you are too! :)

    Hey, Talli! See, I never knew that! I've heard the UK Publishing world is very different than the US. It's all so interesting!

    Diane, ha! I developed the facial tick when I was querying agents! ;)

    Rose, I think that goes back to asking your publisher questions. My publisher was so kind to me! They said they were sure it would be picked up, but they were still waiting on the order. So of course in my warped little head that meant they'd changed their mind and weren't ordering! Ha, ha! The VP of Marketing emailed me the minute she heard the order came in, which I thought was really nice. I think they've realized that I'm nuts!! Ha, ha!

    xoxo -- Hilary

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  14. Hilary, what great advice! Thanks. =D

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  15. Oh Hilary, you are indescribably awesome. There are no words ...

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  16. This was very helpful since I have some of these concerns. :)

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  17. Ah, thanks for the tips, Hilary! Especially number 10. :)

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  18. Great post, Hilary :) And congrats on all the great things coming your way!

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  19. This is an excellent list for writers to see. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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  20. Thanks for the insights. It's interesting to see how much you still don't have control over even after getting a publishing deal. Thanks for showing how to keep it in perspective.

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  21. Great list, Hilary. Can't wait to read your book.

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  22. If you're worried about brick-and-mortar stores not carrying your book, go into a local store and talk to the person on charge of signing events. When I worked at a bookstore, this was QUITE common. Bookstores love local authors because they draw in customers. (It's weird how many people would rather buy a book by someone who might live next door instead of the guy who writes his books in England.)

    Anyway, tell them you want to do a book-signing some weekend, let them know that you plan on selling x-copies (be realistic, though. Don't make them order 20 books if you can only sell five or six.), and then they'll order the books from their warehouse.

    This is also a great, easy way to self-promote...and this way you'll KNOW someone's buying it :)

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  23. Ohhh I hope I get to worry about these things one day! I'm so happy for you, and can't wait to read about your rats!

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  24. #2 is very sad. :(

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  25. Hilary thanks for the insight, and congratulations on selling a second book. :)

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  26. Shesh, I was reading your post, swatted some kind of bug, it made some kind of AWFUL smell on me. I had to go take a shower before I could leave a comment. How's that for devoted reader?

    Great post, Hilary! I think making connections with people all over the place helps get your book in stores. One of my friends who's books were not in B & N when the series started are now there...I made a point of requesting a few copies be shipped to the store for me, now I've noticed her other books that have been released were automatically on the shelves. I don't know if I had anything to do with it, but hey...maybe I did. :) If your book doesn't show up on my B & N shelf, I'll be requesting a copy to be shipped to the store....

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