One of the women in my writing group, Carole, has received the response that all unpublished writers dream of, the big fat "Yes, we want to publish your book." We're all thrilled for her. She'd just about given up submitting her query letter, having grown tired of the standard rejection letter, the one that says "your manuscript doesn't match our needs at this time." That's a very pleasant statement, but too vague to be helpful. Was there some aspect of the book, as described in the query letter, that made the agent think it might be a hard sell? Was the query too weak? Too wordy? Or were they actually impressed by the query letter and honestly weren't looking for that type of book at this time?
No matter now. She's done with the rejections and ready for the successes. Now it's time to start marketing herself.
One of the nice things about writing your first novel is that you can take all the time you need. No one's pressuring you with a deadline, no editor's tapping their watch and asking how much longer. But that's all about to change. She's currently waiting for the editor to send over her comments and corrections so she can get cracking on the rewrite. Other published authors in the group say they have roughly one to two weeks to input all the changes. That's really not a lot of time, especially if you need to redo major plot points or character arcs. But the thrill of being published will no doubt give her the adrenaline rush she needs to get the changes done.
While she waits for the edits, she has to figure out how to create her online platform. Her daughter is currently designing her web page, and it looks fantastic. Once that's finished, Carole can start blogging and getting the word out about her upcoming release. Then come the writer's conferences, the book signings, and the blog tours. Once you get your book published, it's amazing how much of your time is spent not writing a book.
It can all be a bit overwhelming, but a fantastic aspect of the writing world is how supportive other writers are. They're more than happy to answer your newbie questions, offer tips on overcoming stage fright at your signings, and lend an ear when you voice your concerns about the current state of the publishing world. So as Carole counts down the days until her book hits the shelves, she knows that a whole team of fellow mystery writers is ready to cheer her on.