Welcome back to Life After Contract where I talk about how things get suddenly different but also exactly the same.
After signing, one of the things that almost immediately happens is your time just drains away. Gone. Like, “Yesterday I had 24 hours in a day, and magically, mystically, today I only have 10. And I’m working my day job for 8 of them!”
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but almost the instant you get a contract, there’s now a million different things you have to do: edit the book, build a platform (if you don’t have one), edit your book, clean up your online profile (or delete a few as you never know how good your fans will be at digging), edit your book, and of course building marketing.
And all of that stuff is really boring. You shouldn’t talk about editing so much, at least not in any way that is actually interesting. The nitty gritty of editing is really boring and, in some cases, confidential. So no talky.
Building or dismantling profiles, well, no one wants to talk about deleting all those very personal posts on the very public blog. So nothing to talk about there.
Other boring writerly things that are suddenly important: Writing a bio, getting author pics, coming up with a plan for marketing, and unless you have a bunch of money to spend on advertising, now is the time to start selling your services to help launch your book, or to start pitching to all those reader blogs. This stuff swallows time in unreasonably large doses, eating away at all the other time, like the deadline bound editing, and the holy grail: writing the next book.
In the light of all those new responsibilities, many of which are grade A not interesting, it’s no wonder writers suddenly stop blogging so much. It is however part of the whole experience. And you can literally spend hours and hours on those tasks with nothing to show, nothing to point to. So yeah, right after the contract is a very exciting time filled with new tasks—some of which a writer may or may not be good at—and the book news is all exactly the same. So there’s not a lot to say.
Blog posts from this time go like this, “I did more writer stuff today. It was boring and confidential, so nope, I can’t talk about it. Some of it has me happy. Some of it has me sad. I’ve been told that I will sell more when I am happy, so don’t pay any attention to the part that isn’t happy. Besides, it’s not even real unhappiness, it’s disappointment that my contract didn’t come with all the great trappings of fame and fortune like those movies showed me—specifically, I’m not JK Rowling yet. PR refuses to work on that for me.”
For those of you reading who’ve been through the weird post contract-suddenly-my-title-changed-to-published-author-and-it-isn’t-like-the-movies, what parts were the hardest for you?