So, are there things an author can do while waiting to hear from agents and publishers? Yes!
Build your social media following
- Create Twitter and Facebook accounts under your pen name (if you haven't already)
- Learn HootSuite and/or other social media managers so you can have a social media presence without having to be online constantly...scheduling is your friend
- Follow authors, bloggers, reviewers, and other publishing people
- Follow potential readers
- ENGAGE with them...people will know if you are only online to sell and they often won't be interested
- Retweet/comment on other peoples books, reviews, and posts; they will often return the favor
Once you know your book will be published, you will have to promote your book. Start drafting Tweets and posts about your book. Look at other books posts and discover which ones YOU like and inspire you to look at the book...then follow those examples when drafting your own.
Create 10-20 Tweets/posts to promote your book before it is published, and another 10-20 Tweets after your book has been published.
Try to arrange for potential reviewers, especially if you might end up with a smaller publisher or self-publishing. Getting honest reviews will help with sales.
A lot of people won't buy books if there aren't any ratings or reviews.
Create a website
If you don't already have a website/blog, create one. Now is the time to explore, not after your book is published.
If you haven't created a site yet, you have a lot of decisions to make. Do you want to purchase a domain and create a website? This option could give you more flexibility and make you appear more professional and serious about your writing. [Could this help if a publisher or agent searches for you on the internet?] Or, do you want to use a free blog service? Easier on the pocketbook, but it may not be as flexible as owning your own site.
Whichever you choose, you have to design it and set it up!
Blog, blog.....blog, blog, blog
Show some personality on your site by blogging. If you aren't inspired, here are a few blog ideas (some of them you know, but...):
- Review books, tv shows, movies
- Show a recent baking or decorating project (with pics)
- Find guest bloggers
- If you have started your next book, maybe post about successes or failures of the work in progress
Plot out some giveaway or promotion ideas
Once your book is published, one way to promote your book is with giveaways and promotions. While I am not a huge fan, I've heard a lot of authors say they've had a lot of success with them. Discover what works, what you like, and what you are comfortable with.
This sounds like a chore, but it could be a way you get your friends involved with your writing experience. They may have ideas and suggestions and social media experience that you don't know about.
Once you have an agent or publisher, you may have to toss a lot of your ideas out the window as they may have their own PR methods. If this is the case, all the work above won't be a waste. If asked if you have ideas or comments, you are already prepared with answers. You can show that you are following the industry, trends, and have already created an online presence. You are a professional.