You’ve Sold Your First Book. Now What?

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We are in for a treat, my little ginger scones. Frog on a Dime is delighted to welcome a very special guest blogger–debut author extraordinaire Kris Remenar, author of GROUNDHOG’S DILEMMA.

Okay, Frog on a Dime is all yours. Take it away, my darlin’ friend!

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Congratulations! You sold your first manuscript! After you’ve popped the champagne to toast your sale, you might wonder – what do I do now?

Become “findable” online. You want people to know who you are, what you write, how they can buy your books, and how to contact you. Build your own website or hire a web designer. If the idea of a website makes your throat close, start with an author page on a book site like Amazon or GoodReads. Explore social media options like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Trying to do everything at once is guaranteed to scramble your brains, so take it slow and do what works for you.

Set up book signings. Contact local bookstores to set up a book launch party. To broaden the marketing reach, consider creating signing events with other authors/illustrators. Research events where there will be people with a special interest in your book. Because my first picture book is called GROUNDHOG’S DILEMMA, Matt Faulkner and I will be signing books at the Howell Nature Center on February 2nd during their annual Groundhog Day celebration. If you’re willing to travel, see if you can sign books at conferences for groups like the ALA (American Library Association) or NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English).

Consider school and library events. Check with area libraries to see if they have author events in which you can participate. For school and library events, you want to offer more than just a reading of your book. For younger ones, plan an interactive story time, and for olders, prepare a presentation about your process, or publishing, or ways your book ties into the curriculum.

Overwhelmed? Reach out to experienced authors and illustrators for advice, or ask librarians and teachers what they’ve seen that works. Hire a marketing genius like Kirsten Cappy of Curious City or an educational guru like Deb Gonzales for promotional ideas.

Literary genius Sarah Miller asked me an important question when I was frazzled making multiple promotional plans: “Will it be fun?” After working so hard to get published, don’t forget to enjoy signing the books and interacting with your readers. There is no magic formula to guarantee your bestseller status. Do what works for you, do what makes you happy, and keep writing so you can go through the whole process again soon when your next manuscript sells.

Illustrator Matt Faulkner and Author Kris Remenar

Illustrator Matt Faulkner and Author Kris Remenar

Kristen Remenar is busy promoting and hugging tightly her first picture book, GROUNDHOG’S DILEMMA (Charlesbridge, 2015, illustrated by Matt Faulkner) and her first adult book, DRAW WITH A VENGEANCE: GET EVEN IN INK AND LET KARMA HANDLE THE REST (Running Press, 2015).

 

 

48 responses »

  1. Congratulations! Enjoy every first! It might be nice to have a guest book for your journey too. A blank book will do. People can write you a little note. It makes a great souvenir for you, too. Or you can use to build your mailing list.

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  2. I missed the deadline, but that’s okay, I still wanted a chance to congratulate Kris and Matt on their new picture book! Can’t wait to read it! Great post, Vicky! 🙂

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  3. Congrats on your book! I found this post via Charlesbridge’s Facebook page. I just signed my second illustration contract this year. My first is coming out In Spring 2017 (“The Secret Life of the Red Fox” written by Laurence Pringle, and my second in Spring 2018 (“Belle’s Journey,” written by Rob Bierregaard). My question is, how far in advance do you book your signings and school visits? How early is too early if the book hasn’t even been illustrated yet (or is in progress, like my first)? I have established my web presence already.

    Also, are there any websites where I can announce these book deals, send a press release, etc.?

    Thanks so much! So glad I found your blog.

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  4. Congrats on your book! I found this post via Charlesbridge’s Facebook page. I just signed my second illustration contract this year. My first is coming out In Spring 2017 (“The Secret Life of the Red Fox” written by Laurence Pringle, Boyds Mills Press), and my second in Spring 2018 (“Belle’s Journey,” written by Rob Bierregaard, Charlesbridge). My question is, how far in advance do you book your signings and school visits? How early is too early if the book hasn’t even been illustrated yet (or is in progress, like my first)? I have established my web presence already.

    Also, are there any websites where I can announce these book deals, send a press release, etc.?

    Thanks so much! So glad I found your blog.

    Like

    • Hello and welcome to Frog on a Dime, Kate! Kris Remenar was my guest recently and I will be sure she sees your questions and responds. Congratulations and best wishes to you with your forthcoming books. Boyds Mills and Charlesbridge are stellar, independent houses.

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