You’ve typed THE End on your bestselling manuscript and today your author copies arrived. You opened the box and held that book with your name on the cover in your hands for the first time. You gaze down on it with parental pride and dream big dreams about what your baby’s going to do. The feeling never gets old.
Every good parent knows that’s not the end, it’s the beginning. You want to be the best parent ever. So, you read all the books you can find on raising children. Too soon however, you discover that all the books you read on childrearing were written by people with no kids. You’re in up to your neck and it’s sink or swim. What do you do now?
Start swimming—dog paddle for all your worth. Because it’s up to you now. Agents, publishers, and well-meaning friends and family will all have ideas and lots of advice. They may be as sage as Solomon and offer the best advice in the world, but it’s up to you to git r done. After all, it is your baby.
Treat that book like a newborn. Corner everyone you meet to tell them about how it’s the best kid in the world. Show them a picture of your darling. Post pictures of you holding it on social media. People may start avoiding you on the street, but they know your name now. And they know about your baby.
It will probably come as a shock, but some will actually buy the book. One of today’s marvels is that phones, amid all their other functions, are now libraries too. People can check your book out and read it for free (with a library card of sorts) and you still get paid. People who don’t like to read or don’t have time can listen to your book.
People want your book—they need your book, right? Go out there and with the zeal of the people who come to your door, convince them life is better with your book. Be your own pop-up ad. It’s okay. Everybody knows authors are weird so have fun with it.
Promotion isn’t easy. In many ways, it’s harder than writing the book in the first place. You want to know what’s harder than promoting your book? Nobody reading it.
When I took my first advanced course in EKG interpretation, we were taught that what the patient looks like is the best guide to their condition. We learned this little bit of fun advice. If the patient’s pink, there’s time to think. If they’re blue, it’s up to you. How’s the book looking? Is it in the pink? If not, well…you know.