Ahh. The life of a newly published author. The glitz. The glam. The huge advance checks. The magic wand that produces the next book....
Wait. What? Oh, sorry. I was dreaming!
In all seriousness, though, what I’ve learned over the past year is being pubbed is a whole new world of the exact same thing. It’s still hurry up and wait--hurry to submit the next book(s), then wait until the editor can get to them. Even though you have an ‘in’ so to speak, editors are crazy busy people (I can’t even imagine everything they do on a daily basis) and while there’s a time period built into the contract it often comes down to that wire. In the meantime, what do you do?
Write the next book. But not too much of it, because you don’t want to get too far and have to rewrite it anyway. This has been the hardest for me. Usually, I start a book and let it rip. It was hard to judge about where the third chapter would end (allowing for editing) since the way I draft means chapter one has thousands of words. Sometimes the whole draft is listed under chapter one. Then I start another one, and do the same thing--polishing the first chapters to a shine, just like always.
The fun part, though, is learning all that happens to the book as it moves through the publishing process. It helps alleviate some of the stress of waiting. The first time I got AAs (Author Alterations) from Harlequin I had NO IDEA what they were or what I was supposed to do with them. Thankfully, other authors were very kind and generous and didn’t laugh (too hard) at my panic. I filled out my first Art Fact Sheet (which Olivia blogged about earlier). Saw my first cover. Held the book for the first time.
Glitz? Glam? Big money? Not for me, no. I put in a lot of hard work and sweat and tears. We all do, as writers, no matter how we publish. But it was worth all of it to hold that book for the first time.
Ami Weaver's debut book is an April 2013 Harlequin Romance release. Visit her on Twitter @writerlygirl or at her website www.amiweaver.com