What To Do After You Finish Your Book?

By on August 6, 2017
What To Do After You Finish Your Book? - Writer's Life.org

Finishing your first novel can feel like an incredible achievement. It may have taken you months or even years to get to the stage where you feel as though it is ‘done.’ When you started out you probably had no idea how long it would take you, and how much effort would be needed to get you to the finish line - but you did it, you’re there!

Writers should always revel in this moment, pause, and celebrate - it’s a huge achievement to finish a novel after all. However, once they have given themselves a suitable number of pats on the back, many may wonder ‘ what happens next?’

Often we can be so engrossed in finishing our stories that we forget to leave any energy left for what to do with it once it’s done - and often this can be the hardest part!

So what should authors do once they finish their books? Here are some things to think about.

Decide whether or not to self-publish

The decision of whether or not to self-publish is one which all authors must make. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but once you have decided, the rest of your plans will all be influenced by this - so don’t make the decision lightly and choose what feels right for you.

Get a professional editor

Even if you feel you’ve done a thorough editing job yourself, hiring a professional editor is always a good idea and will give your book that final polish.

Create a great cover

If you are self-publishing, you need an eye-catching, appropriate cover that will give your readers an instant perception of what your novel is about. Don’t try to design this yourself - leaving it to the experts is important if you want your book to look professional and worth reading.

Create a marketing plan

Whether you choose to self-publish or not, coming up with some useful strategies on how to market and promote your book, and yourself as an author is so important. If you self-publish no-one is going to help you, but there are so many things you can do. Sending press releases, organising book signings, offering to speak at public events, getting on the radio, creating a great author website and blog - the list is endless, and to give your book the best chance of success you need a thorough plan, and you need to stick to it.

Start networking

Writing organisations, groups, and events are all your friends - get out there and meet as many people as you can in the industry, contact bloggers for reviews, write letters to people letting them know about your book, make a list of useful local contacts who might be interested. Network and build contacts in any way you can.

Become ace at social media

For any new writer, social media can be a fantastic way of reaching out to a new audience and building up a fanbase. Get on all social media platforms and learn how to use them to your advantage to get your book noticed.

As you can see there is little time to rest on your laurels once you finish your novel - and the more time and energy you devote to what comes next, the more likely your book will be a success. So, by all means, celebrate your achievement so far, but then it’s time to get back to work!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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