In a conversation today, another writer confided that the publishing world is weird: there’s a lot of waiting and then everything has to be done at once. As the final weeks tick down before the launch of my book, A Peculiar Curiosity,this statement has never been truer.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of back and forth between my publisher and me, as we nailed down the final proof. When you work with a traditional publisher, they handle the formatting issues, and the copyediting but it is up to the author to view the final proofs for approval. This is where the author has to make time immediately available to view the proofs so that they can be sent to the book publisher for final formatting and printing. There is a lot of back and forth during this stage, which requires the publisher, editor, and author to be available to each other. All this has to be done quickly because the book has to clear through the proof stage and be available for early ordering so bookstores can have your books in time for your launch party/ book signing.
If this wasn’t hectic enough, squished into these final weeks before a release date are the behind-the-scenes business emails to bookstores, asking if they will host you for a book signing and carry your book in their store. It can be a challenge to juggle all the dates, help them figure out the ordering information, especially since I’m with an American publisher and I’m dealing with Canadian bookstores who haven’t at first understood that my book is available for them to order from a Canadian supplier. Then there is the making up of advertising for the event, and widely circulating that on social media and around the city as necessary.
After this comes the negotiations of events, which may or may not involve dealing with liquor licensing, as well as considerations on how you are getting to the events,( I have to take a ferry) and booking accommodations, be it with friends, family, or at hotels.
And let’s not forget all the promotion of your book. This includes not only social media posts but also blog posts, exchanging blog interviews and blog tours, getting out in the community and talking about your book, offering yourself up to give talks at writer’s groups or at schools and libraries, speaking in groups about your subject matter, teaching some classes… whew, it’s a lot of work to put yourself out there for readers to find you.
And of course, life has to be lived. I am also an editor. I have clients’ books and stories to edit and of course, I have my next story to polish up, because as we know, you can’t just stop at one. I’m also an art teacher and I have students. And then, there’s the house and yard, the pets, and occasionally the adult children that still need nurturing and a husband I love spending time with. Well, you get the gist, right?
I guess I wanted to let all the writers know, that even when you think you’re done and the final stroke of ink has dried on the page, and you can now put that book to bed and work on the next one… well, the truth is, you can’t. It’s like giving birth. After it’s done, you don’t just walk away; you have to raise that child up. So this week marks the beginning of raising my first baby, A Peculiar Curiosity. Now, I just hope that in the coming weeks, I can find the time to conceive my second baby. At least, as the saying goes, “I’ll have fun trying.”
So how about you, writer? Have you released a book? Were you surprised at the amount of work waiting for you at the finish line (or is that the starting line?) How did you manage this amount of work in your life? I’d love to hear your experiences.