Congratulations! You have now received a publishing contract. Your manuscript will finally be in print, and in the public eye. Now you have the contract, you can just leave that manuscript behind you, and move onto the next one, right? Well, not exactly. Technically, while you are waiting for a decision concerning your manuscript, you should be writing your next book. I always say to authors not to waste the days waiting for a response; continue to write the next book.
Once you are happy you have understood all the details in the contract, and you have signed it, the journey to becoming a published author has begun.
And just when you thought you had finished with the manuscript, you will need to visit it again, as it will need to go through edits. Yes, more edits. This can sometimes be frustrating to the author as, in his or her mind the manuscript is complete. They simply want to move on to the next book, and get this one out into the market. However, editors might spot issues in the story that you are not aware of. Remember, the aim of the publishing house is to sell books, and to make sure your manuscript is so intriguing to the reader, they will come back for more. So you will have to revisit the story numerous times until it is polished enough to proceed onto the production stages.
Once you have signed the contract, it is important for you to stick to the deadlines. If you don’t stick to deadlines within the contracted timeframe, the publisher has the right to terminate the contract. This is why it is important, when you are writing a book, to give yourself a goal of when you will finish it by – even before you receive a contract. That way, you get used to the habit of sticking to deadlines and not procrastinating.
Keep in mind that, once you have signed the contract, you have limited control over the book. For example, you might disagree on changing the title, but if the publisher thinks that their title is more marketable, that’s the one they will go with. They have invested in your product and, yes, they want to see a return on that investment, so they will go with what sells.
Once your book is finally out on the market, it would be nice to say that your work on this particular manuscript is done. However, now you will need to get involved in the marketing: so get used to doing interviews, putting the book out there on social media and building your readership. If you need to do a course or research on marketing, I would advise you to do that before the book is out. I know some people can be introverted but, as an author, you need to get out of your introverted shell, and learn to interact with people – especially your readers. Show them some love; they are the ones who will be buying your product.
I would also suggest that you don’t become obsessed with reading the reviews once your book is out on the market. I remember once a client did that, and I had to tell them to stop and work on their next book! At the end of the day, people will have different opinions. Not everyone is going to take to your story, but you will have people that will love it. What matters is that you believe in yourself as a writer.
Once a contract is signed, this truly is when the real work begins, but it will be rewarding to see your God-given dream and talent come to fruition, and you will now be walking in your purpose.