While you're dreaming of getting published and holding that beautiful book with your name printed on the front cover, think about what all that means. I think some people believe all they have to do is write the book and then sit behind a table once in a while and sign a few autographs. They couldn't be more wrong.
As the release date for my book, The Keeper of the Crystor, gets closer, I've been giving a lot of thought to the marketing plan and what kind of image I want to portray to my readers. After attending a book launch party hosted by my publisher this weekend, I realize that there is a lot to selling a book. Not only do you have to be available for those book signings, but you also need to be willing to speak in public, make presentations to schools or universities (depending on your genre) and even teach your craft at writer's conferences.
There's also a lot of traveling involved. Unless you have someone who can afford to fly along with you, this could be a very lonely job. You think sitting behind a computer all day is lonely, try three weeks going from one city to another, living in dumpy hotel rooms and flying with a plane full of strangers. Sounding more glamorous by the moment, isn't it.
My point is this--plan for it. While you're waiting to hear back from that agent or editor, think things through. What will my platform be? Can I really get up in front of people and sell myself and my book? Is there someone who can tag along to make the trip easier and more exciting? What can I do now to make my book sell better? Set up a blog or website? Facebook or Twitter? How can I sell my book before it is even accepted for publication?
Thinking these things through and getting started now will put you ahead of the game. When that agent comes to you and asks, what do you have to offer, you'll be ready. When you give that pitch at the next writer's conference and the editor pops up with a wild question about marketing, you'll stand out in the crowd as being prepared and confident.
So, tell me. What will you do? Do you have a unique twist to your marketing plan? Is there something about you that is different enough to stand out in the crowd? And last but not least, what will you tell people about yourself?