Author Lessons to Learn 1. - Agents suffer along with us -- truly they do, even when they don't show it. It's their job not to show it. So taking some time out when your book comes out to let your agent know you appreciate all his/her hard work is a good idea. It's so easy for us to focus on all that's not going right with our book launch when we look around and see the "it" books getting all the juice. We need to remember every book launch is still a miracle.
Author Lessons to Learn 2. - It won't hurt to write your editor/publisher/publishing team on pub day to thank them for their efforts bringing your book to life. Even if they don't write you first -- or at all -- people doing their job are happiest when appreciated!
Author Lessons to Learn 3. - Buy books in every bookstore where you do events. If you don't want to go home with a bag of books, buy one of your own books and give it to the bookstore owner to raffle off or for him/her to give to a reader who might be a great big mouth. Give more than you take.
Author Lessons to Learn 4. (And publishers.) - Booksellers really really read Shelf-Awareness, EVEN the ads. This week a bookseller shared that my event happened because she read my ads in Shelf-Awareness, and I also found out that Seduction will be included in a terrific newspaper's summer reading list because the editor saw the ad in... yes... Shelf-Awareness.
Author Lessons to Learn 5. - Buy other authors' books when you go to their events. Even if you aren't going to read it. Even if you are going to give it away. Even if you aren't interested. Not just for the author but for the bookstore. It's karma and just plain good manners.
Author Lessons to Learn 6. - If you are doing blog talk radio shows -- listen to one episode before you accept. Some are amazing -- Cyrus Webb, I'm talking to you -- but some are poor excuses for the host to get you on the show so he/she can draw readers to listen to him/her talk about his/her own book and you are just the patsy.
Author Lessons to Learn 7. - Find out if your radio interviewer has read your book or you are going to have to do that part of the job on air. It's okay if they haven't but its always better to be prepared for what's coming.
Author Lessons to Learn 8. - Ask your editor or ask your agent to find out what the house's goals are for your book before it comes out. Get some sense of expectations so you are prepared.
Author Lessons to Learn 9. - Put everyone you hire for your book in touch with each other, or at least share the plans!! As "marketing" I bought ads for a clients while at the same time the person she hired to do "social media" was actually buying ads for her too but not calling them ads. So the client didn't realize she was getting twice as many ads at that site as she needed.
Author Lessons to Learn 10. - Save yourself some grief. Check with the publicist you hire to see what other books he/she has coming out at the same time as yours. Since I do marketing -- and we can handle any number of books at the same time -- it never occurred to me to tell authors about this -- but PR and marketing are different. If the publicist can only torture the editor of a magazine about one author, will it be yours or the one he/she's had for 10 years who is 10 times as big as you?
Author Lessons to Learn 11.- Please post reviews, ratings at Goodreads, Amazon, BN.com etc of the books you read and liked. They matter for algorithms, they matter to publishers, but most of all they warm an author's heart and stoke his or her soul.
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