Traditional Book Publishing - Contract to Sales to Career
You’ve chosen to write books, possibly children’s books, and you’ve done it right. You did your homework and learned the craft of writing. You created a polished manuscript and submitted it to publishers.
And, knowing it’s not necessarily the best writer who gets published, but the one who perseveres, you were steadfast and didn’t let initial rejections and lapse of time prevent you from moving forward.
Now, it’s finally happened - all your hard work paid off. A publisher accepted your book and you’re on your way.
But, this is far from the end of your writing journey . . . this is just the beginning.
After your book is accepted for publication, there are three steps you will go through on your writing journey . . . if you intend to make writing books a career.
1. The Book Contract
Once you get a publishing contract, you may want to sign it as soon as you can.
DON’T DO IT!
Be sure to read the contract carefully before signing it. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation. Once you’re sure everything in the contract is okay and you agree with it, sign away.
After you sign a contract, you’ll be ‘put in queue’ and at some point editing with the publisher’s editor will begin. This will most likely involve revisions to your manuscript. This is okay. It’s part of the process.
Keep in mind that the publisher wants your book to succeed as much as you do. Everything they do is to make it better.
After the story is revised, edited, and proofed, it’ll be ready to go. Depending on the genre you’re writing in, if it’s a children’s book, the publisher will have illustrations created. Your book will also need a book cover.
From contract to actual release, the publishing process can take around 18-24 months.
2. Book Promotion
Once you’re in the submission phase of your manuscript, even before you have a contract, you should begin creating an author website and platform. This will help you create visibility for you and your book. And, publishers want to know their authors are capable of promoting their own books.
You need to become a ‘blip’ on the internet radar. To create and maintain this ‘blip,’ you’ll need to post content to your site on a regular basis and use a number of other strategies to extend your promotional reach. This will include using social media.
After your book’s release, you will want to take part in virtual and real book tours, do radio guest spots (online and off), do school visits, and all the other standard book promotion strategies. You can do this on your own or you can hire a book promotion service or publicist, if it’s within your book marketing budget.
There’s much involved in book promotion, so if you can afford it make use of professionals. Just be sure to ask around for recommendations. You want to use a service or individual who knows what they’re doing and who will give you value for your money.
TIP: Book promotion generates book sales.
You can check out these articles for book marketing tips:
Book Marketing – The Foundation
What is an Author Platform and How Do You Create It?
3. A Writing Career
Now, you’ve got your children’s book and you’re promoting it like crazy (this is an ongoing process). This is super-exciting and the beginning of your writing career.
To have a writing career though, you need to repeat the process. This means you need to write and publish other stories. Ideally, you should have been writing a new story or stories when you were waiting to get a contract for your first manuscript.
If you haven’t been writing new stories, get started now.
Keep in mind though that it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality.
You want to write good books. You want to take your time to make sure you create books that will engage the reader. Books that the reader will want to see what happens on the next page.
This will establish you as a good writer.
But, a writing career can also be about more than just book sales. It can open doors and lead to other writing opportunities. These opportunities include: speaking engagements, conducting workshops, teleseminars, webinars, and coaching.
Summing It Up
Writing books, whether children’s books or other, is about learning the craft. And, if you’re taking the traditional publishing route, it’s about submitting to publishers and getting contracts. Then it’s about book marketing and repeating the process.
Keep your focus on your goal and persevere.