I’ve already blogged about how manuscripts are like babies. Here I go continuing the analogy by asking you to think of your books as your children.
Without sounding TOO weird or getting TOO graphic, it could be said that:
- you carry your ideas around (gestating them, so to speak), before…
- giving birth in a flurry of hastily typed and then re-typed chapters, before…
- you are confronted by the tantrums and the mind games (GOSHDARNIT—I gave you life!).
- Then come the first boyfriends (those beta readers can really break your heart)…
- and the final exams arrive, with grades being handed down by literary agents and publishers and…
- if your child is lucky, they’ll end up at university or in some kind of vocational training before they…
- finally graduate by landing on the shelves and websites of every good bookstore.
The last thing you want is for your child to run in front of a bus or die of malnutrition because all they put in their shopping trolley are Mint Slices and Gatorade. This is why authors are warned to NEVER allow their books to become orphans, not even after they fly the nest.
In other words, top up their bank account once in a while and take a vegetable soup and lasagne around to their share house every other day.
A few ways to make sure you are being a good parent to your book is:
- Have an ONLINE PRESENCE (website and at least one social network)
- NETWORK with other authors, bookstores, libraries, reviewers, etc.
- Let your local MEDIA know about your book (your publisher will help you with this)
- Organise a BOOK TOUR – an online tour can be just as effective
- SIGN copies of your book at your local bookstore
- Make sure your book is available to reviewers (again, your publisher will be able to manage this)
- Hold a GIVEAWAY. Goodreads is a fantastic platform for this.
I’ll go into more detail on the above in future posts! Now go cook some lasagne for your book and maybe a side of chocolate cake!