As authors, we wait. It’s a part of our lives.
The first wait usually entails sending out “baby” out into the cold, cruel world of beta readers or to our critique group. We wait for the responses, for the red ink of edits, for the inevitable single person who says, “I don’t get it.” That wait is usually far less painful than others, since we’ve committed to having the best book possible.
The next wait takes a lot more patience. We wait for our dream publisher to get back to us. That can be anywhere from a few hours to never. Oh, yes, I did say never. It has become more and more popular for a publisher not to respond when they’re not interested in your book, because of the sheer number of submissions they receive. If you find yourself in this conundrum, assume after six months that they aren’t interested and move on.
Once we have that covered contract, we wait again. For the cover artist to create a book cover that will instantly attract millions… uh, a goodly number of fans. Cover art is the first hard piece of evidence that you will have a book at the end of the pre-publication process, and we usually can’t wait to get it out into the world, so others can get an image of what our book is all about.
The next wait is the editing. This is probably the most important part of the pre-publication process. Your editor will take time to go over your book, seeking out those tiny details that will turn your book from good to great. Remember that while you’re ghosting your inbox, searching for the first round of edits to arrive.
While in the editing wait, it might be a good idea to start seeking promotional groups that will assist you with getting the word out about your book. There are a myriad of low cost to expensive blog tour groups, offering everything from a basic cover reveal to a full on tour, complete with reviews posted to Amazon and Goodreads. It’s buyer beware with these groups. Do a lot of research about them. See if your book is a right fit, as in do their tour hosts have the type of audience you’re looking for.
The next wait is probably the most excruciating that you’ll endure. We wait for reviews, and we fear what the reviewers will say. One way to get past that is to remember that a review is an opinion. Don’t focus on the bad points, cheer for the fabulous reviews.
Well, do focus on the bad points, there might be something there you can do to change that person’s opinion in your next book. Just don’t obsess about that 1 star review, and never engage a reviewer in a conversation about their poor review. Ignore it publicly, even though you’re weeping over it.
One last thing… a great way to help the wait move faster is to start work on your next book.