Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Real Question: What Happens Next??

"Party Aftermath," Photo Courtesy of ChefMattRock
Thank you SO much to everyone who took the time to visit my blog last week and congratulate me on my two-book deal with Strange Chemistry. I'm still riding the high of watching my Twitter and Facebook feeds explode with congratulations, and half of me still thinks someone may pinch me and wake me up at any moment.

The other half of me feels like the party is winding down and I'm starting to be surrounded by empty bottles and half-eaten bags of chips. A lot of the hard work is really just beginning. And because this is my first book deal, I really wish I had a psychic to tell me how everything is going to pan out from here.

In lieu of that--do real psychics even exist?--I am turning to you, my published and soon-to-be published writerly friends:

What is the biggest piece of advice you wish someone had told you when your manuscript first found a home?

My head is swimming with the proposition of creating a real-live author website, with looking into blog tours, with setting up a writing schedule and figuring out how to balance writing my sequel with marketing (and living my real-live life!).

How important is an author website? When should you start doing blog tours and interviews? Do you want to interview me? (I'm tons of fun; I promise!) Do you keep a writing schedule? How did you keep your head above water????

P.S.- Here's Strange Chemistry's official announcement of my book deal: Strange Chemistry Acquires Lisa O'Kane!

(Don't think I will ever get sick of reading that!)

10 comments:

Turbo said...

The biggest piece of advice I'd give is to savor each milestone as it comes - there's only one first sale, one first call with your editor, one first edit letter, and so on.

And fortunately, you have a whole team eager to help you succeed, and we have a great process for developing marketing and publicity plans. :)

-Mike

Kathryn Rose said...

I'm with Mike about savoring every milestone. That is so important! I would tell myself that not a lot will change after the ink has dried: I still have my insecurities, crutch words, and a cat and a dog who couldn't care less that I have a book coming out. Through all of this, it's important to know that having a book deal won't solve everything, you know? :)

Carol Garvin said...

My fiction isn't published but I remember when my first NF article was accepted and the thrill of receiving my first cheque. (I made a copy of it and pasted it into my scrapbook!)

I think it's good to note what Kathryn has said... that your everyday will still be what it is. So it becomes important to claim the time you'll need to meet new commitments and deadlines. i.e., sit down with your family and explain/discuss plans for a scheduled writing time. Be flexible, but determined to fit it in every day.

Discuss your concerns about a website with your agent or publisher. You're already visible online so the next step may not have to be a drastic change.

One step at a time, LisaAnn. Never fear... you're up to it. :)

Tara Dairman said...

The one piece of advice I wish I'd had was to keep working on new stuff while you wait for your editorial letter. Maybe it will be different for you because you're on an accelerated schedule, but for most people it takes months for that letter to come (no matter what your editor tells you!), and I wish I'd known to go ahead and just commit to my WIP, instead of thinking "Oh, I'm going to have to put it down any day to start edits, so I may as well not really dive in."

On a more positive note, "celebrate everything good" is a great piece of advice. Do something fun to mark each milestone and help cement it in your memory. =)

Congrats again!!

Bethany Crandell said...

Mike is a genius.

It's really easy to get caught up in the busyness of this exciting time, so make sure you take time to pause and savor each little bit as it unfolds.

And then, when you're done enjoying, market the heck out yourself. :)

Courtney Schafer said...

The "enjoy the moment" advice is excellent. I'd even recommend making a "feel good" folder, as described in Dr. Radhika Nagpal's article about how she survived her tenure-track years: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/07/21/the-awesomest-7-year-postdoc-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-tenure-track-faculty-life/. Put in it any gushing emails you get from agent & editor, plus your first terrific reviews, any reader emails, etc. Then whenever you hit a low on the publishing rollercoaster (and we all have low times!), go read those emails.

Similarly, I'd say: if you don't already have some bulletproof healthy methods to handle stress (whether that's exercise, yoga, chilling out to music, whatever) - find it now. You will need it, especially later on when you've got to face the infamous second novel. (If your 1st does well, you'll worry that you can't repeat the success. If your 1st doesn't sell well, that's a whole other realm of stress. Either way, it can be startlingly hard to focus your mind where it needs to be: on your work-in-progress.)

On the practical side, if your deadline for your 2nd novel allows it, I highly recommend setting aside 3 months around your book's release (the month prior, the month of, and the month after) in which you don't expect to get any new fiction writing done. That way you can guest blog and tweet and promote and obsess over your Amazon ranking to your heart's content, without any stress/guilt about not making progress on your next book. Once those 3 months are up, then it's nose to the grindstone...but until then, go a little crazy if you can. Your first book only comes out once. :)

alexia said...

I don't have a book deal yet, so can't answer that. But I'd be happy to interview you at some point! I've always thought that I'd do a pre-order bloghop contest or something about 3 months before the book comes out, and then one of course the couple weeks surrounding the release date. I've toyed with writing an e-book novelette with the same characters that are in the book to give away for free as a carrot for the pre-sales. And for my middle grade book with horses maybe doing some kind of donation to an equine rescue program for every 10 books sold or something. Ah, so many fun ideas :)

Yolanda Renee said...

LisaAnn,
I just read your last three posts and I am over the moon thrilled for you! Awesome news, yes, do enjoy it, but now the hard work begins! :) That's the truth, it doesn't get easier, but the journey is never dull!

However, you seem to have a great team behind you and you'll do wonderfully!

I would love to host you on your book tour - would love to help reveal your cover and give aid where ever I can!

Congratulations!

Melinda Braun said...

I am so excited to hear how it goes. My big problem is that it's very difficult for me to market myself/ put myself out there. And I know that is a huge part of being an author these days. I guess I'm just going to have to practice until it feels normal? I can't just sit in the basement and doodle to my heart's content...

Altha Fidia Oktora said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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