Publishing: More than writing

Many writers think the final step in publishing a book is when an agent finds you a publisher. But that could be further from the truth, because the journey of selling a book begins once a deal is cemented.

For many authors, after a book is published the next step is press. This can take the form of a book tour, interviews with papers, magazines, blogs and maybe morning talk shows. This does hinge on how successful the author is, how well received the book is and if the author can travel. National book tours are rare – but a regional book tour is a very real possibility for successful writers.

Recently, actress, producer, gamer and writer Felicia Day was promoting her recently published memoir in Brookline, MA. I (Editor Joe) was able to attend her tour and have her sign my copy of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost). Felicia took center stage and was prompted with questions to share parts of her story.

She talked about growing up in a military home, being homeschooled and finding a community online. For those unfimilar with Felicia’s work, she’s starred in a couple TV shows (Supernatural, Buffy, Eureka) but found success online with YouTube series The Guild, Co-Optitude and indie projects like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She also launched her own company, Geek&Sundry.

As a fan of her writing, it was super enjoyable to hear her speak. Some highlights include her discussing how each person’s story will be unique and worth completing, how to use outlines, ask for help when things become overwhelming and that it took her two years to write the memoir!

But to get back to the point of this post – book tours are a phenomenal way for an author to interact with fans and gain new readers. Because Felicia was in my area, I bought a copy of her book. I had originally intended to check one out of the library but changed my mind because I knew I would be able to meet her and listen to her speak.

Anyone entering the publishing world needs to realize that it takes more than just a book to be successful. It takes time, interacting with readers, meeting booksellers and talking about the work for months. You have to be prepared to shake hands, answer the same question over and over, and be ready to travel.

And then repeat every step again for your next novel.

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