Life on This Side of Publication: Part Two- To Publication and Beyond!

Last week I shared my experience in query land. Today, I’ll continue with life ‘after publication’…the reality.
Yep, reality, sounds funny, right? 
Think about it, you’ve spent months, even years, living in ‘fantasy land’, then emerge from your writing cocoon in search of an agent or publisher. You’ve either signed a contract or decided to self-publish.  Your book is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as an eBook or paperback. You’ve tweeted it, shared it, posted, and hyped it up. Anticipation has been growing and your future fans are lining up with dollars in hand for the big release day. Now all you do is sit back, relax, tell your friends and family they are  now looking at a published author, and watch the money roll in. Right?
WRONG!

This, my friends, is where the REAL WORK BEGINS! Yep, I said it! W-O-R-K!!!
Did I fail to mention a lack of sleep????
Sorry, I jumped ahead of myself again. Let’s back it up a bit….
Amazon Rank for October 4, 2012 – #16 Multicultural Romance  (Peaked at #4)  and #41 in African-American Literature & Fiction (Peaked at #17) – Paid Books #3181 (Peaked at #1717)
First, there are the days leading up to the big release. The contract has been signed, the publication date announced, and editor assigned. Your version of the final manuscript has been submitted and now you wait for the edits to start rolling in. A dead line is given. Then you’re off to the races! What happens next?
First you deal with your editor, your new best friend and avid supporter because they are now invested in the project as much as you are. You accept or reject suggested changes, they make sure the storyline is consistent, all the facts have been checked, and the character’s names have not changed. Once you both are satisfied with the results (and let’s face it, you’re a professional now and a deadline is a deadline!) the manuscript is next sent to the line-editor. Their job it is to check everything again…line-by-line, every period, comma, hyphen, exclamation point…yep, all the extremely technical stuff that you and your editor didn’t see. And believe me people, regardless of what level of publication you’re at, whether it’s self-pub and you hire an editor, e-pub and you’re working with editors, or even one of the Big Six-traditionally pubbed where thr is a team of editors…there WILL  be errors that make it into the work, regardless of how many eyes look at it…it’s called human imperfection! (I have read three Nora Robert’s new releases this year, all hardback, and every one of them had errors, be it technical, or even storyline, or   what character’s POV we were supposed to be in, and again, this is in books from a TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED BESTSELLING AUTHOR!)
Once your book has been sent through the ringer, you now have the final read, your last chance to (hopefully!) find any errors and point them out. Final changes are made, then it’s off to publication!
Now what?
You now must figure out how to promote your work. Unless you have a Nora Roberts budget and backing from the Big Boys, it’s up to you to push your book. Blog tours, promos on Facebook , Twitter, Google+, websites…the list goes on and on. In the end, you get what you put in. The more work you do, the better the results. The less work you do…you got it, no results. The truth of the matter is, you can sit at your computer and talk about, copy/past, share, and tweet all day long, but in the end it’s up to the readers to choose your work. Just because you promoted in twenty spots does not me your going to get at least twenty sales for the day.  
So what do you do?
 Me and my manager, Lady Kayne of  Major Movement Inc.,  at my first official meet/greet as a published  author! 
You keep talking about it, keep promoting, and sell not just your work, but yourself as well.
But that’s not all! In the mist of promoting, you now must continue to write…because hey, one book wasn’t all you planed on publishing, right? Whether you’re writing a series, like I am, or you’re selling standalone novels…writing, plotting, and planning the next story doesn’t stop. If anything, your new readers will be craving more of you work!
Congratulations! You are now a published author with fans!!! And fans need to be sated!
Good luck with finding a happy balance between being an author, promoter, wife/father, and parent… and if you have a nine-to-five job, you’ve got to work to pay your bills, and manage all of this wonderful stuff in between!!!
But guess what, after all the headache, the sleepless nights as you struggle to keep your sales rankings up on Amazon, religiously check your ranking every hour upon the hour, even at two A.M….it’s all worth it in the 
end! 
MJ
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