Thursday, April 26, 2012

Got a Book Deal? Now What?

Do not lick your editor. Maybe your agent though....

I posted this a long while back, but have been asked about this a lot, so here is my list of things to consider after you get your book deal, with some new additions. Please feel free to add anything I might have missed and you don't have to be published  or traditionally published to contribute! This list is for all!

1. Don't be scared of working with your editor! You'll do fine! Generally, they are very nice people.

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). If you don't have an agent, don't worry! Ask your friends. Check forums, author websites. The information is out there.

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 if they don't, have a nice piece of cake (preferably tiramisu) and tell yourself, they know what they're doing.

7. Keep 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 and this happens to authors all the time.

8. Don't fret if you only get 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 did're a first-rate writer--YOU!

10. If you're publisher wants you to speak somewhere--DO IT! Suck it up and say yes. I was terrified the first few times, but it gets easier and you will get BETTER! Speaking engagements can be thrilling! They are a fantastic way to connect with readers and to land more speaking gigs, which can be very lucrative! :)

11. Remember QUALITY, not quantity. It's not a race! Put out good books and the deals with come!

12. Ask ALL your friends to help you with a blog tour and return the favor!!!

13. Walk into indie stores and introduce yourself! DO IT! They will be happy that you did. Don't be shy. Tell them you're an author. Give them an ARC! They may order your book and do a whole lot more. Indies are GREAT!

14. When you get your first royalties statement, don't freak out about returns! Even bestselling authors have returns--lots of them! It's a normal part of the business!

15. Sleep is for suckers.

What would you add to this list?? :)


  1. Claudia Mills4/26/2012

    I love the urging to go into Indie stores and introduce yourself. It's hard, because many of us writers are bashful or hermits, but it's a must do into today's market! Great post!

  2. Thanks for the advice, Hilary. I like #15 the best. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing. I didn't see the list the first time. Hope I have reason to use it some day.

    1. You will, lady! I know it to be true!!!

  4. Anonymous4/27/2012

    Hi Hilary! Great tips. That cat picture is too cute. My husband said he was going to do that with the brownies I made, so that they were all his. LOL.

    1. It's really a great tactic! That cat's a smart cookie! ;)

  5. This is such a great list! I'm bookmarking it in the hopes I'll need it one day! :)

  6. Thanks Hilary, I have a book on how to tell if your horses healthy. I'm doing research on self publishing versus the traditional path. There's no need to reinvent the wheel, just do and emulate the people that have already had success.

    Your 15 point list has given me some ideas. although I think I have number 15 down, success does not sleep in.

    1. Yes, Orville! No matter how you publish, so much of it carries over! Good luck with your book! My mother is a horse NUT!!! :)


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