One Month After Publication: Ten Things I’ve Learned So Far – Guest Post by Sue Wallman

  • Bookshops can put out your book as soon as they receive them as long as there isn’t an embargo. So although my publication date was 5th May, I was sent a photo of my book on the YA table in Waterstones Kingston on 16th April (my birthday!) by my friend Louise who works there.
  • I was taken aback by the support shown to me by friends. I wasn’t expecting cards, emails, tweets, people coming to London from miles away for my launch. I didn’t need them to gush about the book (though obviously I was pleased when they liked it) – but I appreciated them understanding how much publication meant to me.
  • I knew how important the cover was for a book, but I didn’t realise just how crucial. Lying About Last Summer has a gripping cover (in more ways than one, thanks to the spot varnish!) and this has meant it’s been placed on displays it might not have been otherwise. It’s also looks pretty good on social media.
  • It’s hard to read reviews of your own book – I skim read them, looking for the key words so I know whether someone liked the book or found it lacking in some way. I’ve had author friends who say they don’t read reviews. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read mine but I can see I might get to a point where it’s not very constructive.
  • Opinions are not equal – there are certain people who have said they liked my book and made my heart flip.
  • I haven’t read Lying About Last Summer in its book form and I’m not sure I ever will. I’m worried I’ll find bits I could have written better.
  • Promoting your book can feel like showing off. I kind of have to get over this, but at the same time try not to be annoying. It’s tricky because, of course, I do care how my book sells. I’d like a career as an author.
  • The thought of doing events is still nerve-wracking, even though I’ve done a couple. But I’ve learned that being upfront about payment/terms from the very beginning saves wasted time and embarrassment.
  • Writing and editing the next book isn’t any easier. There’s a new feeling of letting other people down if it’s not up to scratch, rather than just yourself.
  • I’ve never been someone who particularly likes goals or targets, but I’ve always wanted to be published. Achieving this dream has made me feel calmer inside.

Sue’s debut novel, Lying About Last Summer, is available now. For more information about Sue and her novel, visit her website.

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