Having your book published is an exhilarating and proud experience, to know that your art is out there for thousands to see, read and discuss, is a wonderful realization for any author. Having poured your blood, sweat and lots of tears into your project, getting it published is a milestone to be celebrated. However, once you’ve corked that champagne bottle and clinked those glasses, posted about it on every social media app, and called up your mother and the extended family, what’s next?
Do not shy away from celebrating and being proud of yourself! Your labour has borne fruit and you deserve to taste it. Meanwhile, these celebrations are on, you might also want to look into building connections, publicizing your craft and making sure that you reach the right audience. You can do this elaborately through a well-structured plan. Use up all your creative juices to make sure that this process is a fun and informative one for you as well as the people you will end up interacting with through the course of it. Do not shy away from grabbing opportunities that will put you out there, exposure and socializing are pivotal post-publishing.
Here are some things you can do once your book has made it out of the docs and into the shops!
1. Build Connections That Will Uplift You
Be it your readers, friends or even fellow authors, it is important to build a circle that will stand by you and support your craft. Reach out to people, there is countless way for this in today’s day and age. Go live and chat with readers on social media, organize meet and greets to connect offline and get a better understanding of your readership, and go to author’s meetups, events and other gatherings to interact with like-minded creators who won’t hesitate to give you a shoutout.
2. Send Out Your Book
It is a wonderful idea to send out copies of your book to garner interest and gauge the general response to it. Send copies to influencers and people who are renowned for book reviews, honest feedback and have an active viewership to increase and initiate conversation around your book. Do a few giveaways for your followers, generate excitement and communication among them, and let them tell their friends about it, this will create a chain of information that will circle back to you and your book.
3. Get Reviews!
Another step is to get reviews on sites such as Amazon and ask people who have read your book to drop an honest review for you, good reviews can attract more readers and act as testimony to the quality of your art, a good review is often the tipping point that pushes a reader to buy a particular book.
4. Take Fan Mail Seriously
Having published a book it is expected that you are going to receive mail from readers, this is another opportunity you can bank on to socialize and go that extra mile to build a better relationship with readers. Take their mail seriously, read through, and respond personally to as many as you can, especially if there are children involved, not only will you make an impression on someone early on in their life, but you will also become a part of something they cherish as a happy memory from better days, they might even grow up to become loyal readers for your future projects. Responding to letters personally shows that you care about those who support you and that they are not just another number to you.
5. Promote Your Work Shamelessly
Promoting your work at any and every platform is the best way to make yourself heard, if you make an appearance at four out of five events, people are bound to notice. Make time for advertising, do not just rely on social media ads and posts, go out there and make yourself known. If there is a store launching your book, go to that book launch and speak to individuals, contact your alumnus and see if you can perhaps deliver a workshop or a talk about your book and interact with the students, students are an integral part of many readerships, they promote books like no one else if you can get your idea across to them, watch them take it and make it a trend. Do not stop there, contact your local newspaper, a podcast, a radio station, or as many mediums as possible, to ensure you do not leave a stone unturned when it comes to spreading your words.
6. Make It Accessible
Make your book accessible to everyone, it should not just be available to the conventional readership, get your book to be transformed into an audiobook, to be transformed into Braille, to be available at Free Libraries, to be available at school libraries, changes like these will incorporate not just readers with money but will also encompass students, persons with disability and the underprivileged for whom even leisure reading is a luxury. This will demonstrate a sensitivity that is not often found among our mainstream media unfortunately, and this model will allow for an inclusive and diverse readership which is a good thing for you!
7. Create Your Own Digital Space
Finally, make sure to create your own digital space, this is not limited to social media profiles, create a website, a blog, a podcast or even a YouTube channel, whichever allows you to better express yourself. Having your own website can boost not only your sales but also your reputation, make sure to include announcements about your latest project, a little about you, and a lot about your work.
Being a published author can be an overwhelming experience, contrary to popular belief, your journey does not end when you get published, it is merely the beginning. This journey will be hectic, scary, and full of ups and many downs but it is going to be extremely rewarding. Ultimately, something that you require before, while and after publishing a book, is a strong support system, a team of people that have got your back regardless, this may be your friend, spouse, editor, agent, or anyone, but you have to remember that you will not and cannot do it alone, so make sure to ask for help, embrace the insanity you are about to witness and get to work.