Get back to work

Hey Miss Snark,

Everyone keeps talking about submitting to agents, but what about the morning after? Once a girl has found her agent-guy and his part of the submission bargain begins, what do I need to be thinking about while I wait for that million dollar deal (yes, I am laughing at myself)?

Should I just sit back and wait for Stella, my muse, to bring me my second book on a silver platter, or should I start thinking about promotion?

People talk about getting the word out to distributors, but what is the best way to do that? And with what?Can you tell me how the NYT gauges who is a best seller and who isn't?

My book is women's commercial fiction. Should I be starting a mailing list? To do list? S--t list?I know this is kinda like planning your wedding on your second date, but hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

While your first novel is making the rounds, you work on your second one. Don't even think of calling a distributor. Don't even think about finding out who they are. If you are desperate to do something other than write, become a dog walker.

When your first novel sells is when we will let you start working on promoting it. You'll have a year between sale and publication and that's soon enough to get started.

Right now you don't have anything to promote.

The New York Times calls certain 'select and secret' bookstores to see what's flying out the door. Do not even think about this even after your book is sold. You have no control over this. You have control over how hard you work to promote your book but not the results. It is not a quid pro quo. You can work your ass off for nothing. You still have to do it cheerfully.

Get back to work. Or walk the dog. Killer Yapp wants a quick lap around the reservoir.


Mark J H said...

Actually, that 'New York Times' response prompts a further question in my mind, if Miss Snark deigns to answer it: It may be a myth, but in the UK record companies used to be said to bulk-buy (using teams of buyers in 'disguise'!) CDs at the stores which generated the music charts.
Have you ever heard mention of publishers bulk-buying books to get a book onto the bestseller list? I wonder how much it would cost an author to try to inflate sales in this way. If somebody got a big advance - this is very hypothetical - of, say fifty grand, maybe spending ten or twenty grand on books would pump up sales enough to reach a bestseller list? So many people only look at the books which are on the bestseller list, this might then generate enough interest for some kind of a snowball-effect to occur? or not. probably not.

Bethany said...

Wow, deja vu. Hasn't this question been answered before? O.o

someone paranoid said...

you know, most writers I know are booking their own tours, having me make pitch calls to reviewers under the guise of a publicist, just about anything under the sun to get it out there. I say fuck the muse and get to work,
"Every day is a hustle/another job to juggle/another day another struggle" - Biggie Smalls Poet Laureate 1999