Growing as an Author
For many years, you call yourself a writer. That is what you do, write from dusk to dawn, and continue writing through a new day. Oh, there are bouts of submitting your work in the hopes of discovering publication, but most of the time you are the writer.
One day, who’s to say when it will happen, you receive an email that opens your slitted eyes. Your hands shake as you read the most beautiful words in the universe… please find enclosed a contract for your book. Many things happen in a matter of seconds. You’re dancing for joy, screaming at the top of your lungs, commenting “it’s about time,” and ready to affix your signature so that you can return that contract before someone changes their mind.
Before you sign, you need to stop and understand the implications of what you are about to do…
You have just changed from a writer to a fledgling author. As a fledgling, you have much to learn. You are about to enter a fast paced world where frenetic appears slow. Sure, it’s easy to say “I’ll get to setting up those social media accounts and working them, as soon as my book is published.” but this is a sooner rather than later situation as you soon discover. You’ll want to celebrate so you rush to sign and return the contract, without noticing how much you have to accomplish before your book is published.
After slogging through your editing phase, where your thoughts seem to center on wondering if your editor is related to Quasimodo, you are now biting your nails in excitement. Your book will soon be published, but one little thing keeps you from fully enjoying that moment. Or maybe it’s many voices keeping you mired inn reality.
You, the fledgling author, have of course joined your publisher’s author group on Facebook. Yeah… yeah… you’re getting around to making a fan page, setting up your Twitter feed, and creating your blog. Those are things you do after you’re published. Maybe you’ll get around to all of that as soon as your second book is ready to be published. After all, you’re going to be concentrating on setting up appearances, interviews, and maybe getting on a talk show.
That is what real authors do. Right? After all, you’ve seen real authors doing this for years.
So, there are some sales for your first book. A lot of pretty nice reviews too. Instead of setting up your social media accounts, you’re busily finishing your second book. Once you submit, you look at those pesky social media sites you have been putting off setting up. Ah, they can wait for another day. It’s not like anyone will actually buy one of your books because of what you say or do on them. You are now an Author and as such, you’re far too busy to be bothered with promotion.
You receive a second contract offer and sign immediately. You already know the ropes, so you push through them as quickly as possible. Must return to the third book as fast as possible becomes your mantra. When asked about your social media accounts, about branding your name, you put off everyone with a “Soon. I’ll deal with that soon.”
Your second book releases but no one buys it. It languishes, even though it’s far better than your first, and you can’t figure out why. Despite offers to join groups that utilize social media to promote books, you refuse everyone. Can’t they see you’re writing your next book? Why won’t they let you get it done?
Once you finally finish your third book, one that will set the world on fire, you offer it to your publisher. To your astonishment, a contract is refused. Undaunted, you offer this book to many other publishers, bragging about your other two books. No offers are forthcoming. You don’t understand why no one is giving you an opportunity to publish this fabulous book that is far better than the other two.
What you have done is ignore an important part of being an author in the twenty-first century. You expected your books to sell because they were great. Not once did you consider that other authors would get sales because they spend a good part of each day promoting their novels on social media in addition to booking into events to sell their product. The excuses to do that kind of promotion soon fell by the wayside as you focused solely on producing more books. You never branded your name, nor did you garner interest in your work.
Social media is the way today’s authors become known. They don’t just promote their books, they gather fans by being available, by connecting with people. It’s a whole new world of promotion and you, as an author, must be part of it or you will perish under the heavy weight of never becoming known.
About the K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.
Find out more about my books at these social media sites: