Let’s be honest. As readers, we pay most attention to authors when they’ve recently released a new book.
Ooh, shiny new reading material with a pretty cover. How exciting!
And that’s perfectly understandable because even if we scour their monthly newsletters, look them up on social media, and gush over photographs of their dog/cat/boa constrictor, what we’re really interested in is getting our hands on their latest literary offspring.
But what do authors do in between books?
Last weekend, I submitted the latest draft of book two of the Haven Chronicles to my publisher, Burning Chair. The wait is now on for their response and the next round of edits.
Authors do a lot of waiting. We wait for:
- inspiration to write the next book
- news from our editors/publishers/literary agents, usually involving a round of edits to our work in progress
- feedback from beta and ARC readers
- book reviews to roll in
- royalty payments
So much planning. We plan:
- our next writing project
- our social media and blog posts
- the next book launch
- which bloggers and book reviewers we’ll contact and what we’ll say
- our marketing strategy
- how we’re going to spend those royalty payments
We keep talking to our readers and audience. I mean, it would be rude to just call everybody up when we have a book to release. So we keep the conversation going just to let everyone know that we’re still here, toiling away to keep our readers happy.
This can be one of the hardest things to do for an author because short of selling the books we’ve already got out or announcing the release of the next book, it can be tricky to think up topics that our readers would be interested in. So along with the talking, we listen to what you’d like to hear from us.
We keep up the conversation by:
- building our mailing lists and sending out newsletters
- staying active on social media, including interacting with our readers
- writing blog posts around the topic or world of our books
- attending literary conferences (like this one I attended in Chester)
- writing guest blog posts
So yeah, I’m doing a whole lot of all of the above, plus working on a non-fiction book and living life in general. I think it’s going to be a busy summer.