The Month After the Book Launch

So you've written a novel; now what? In this series, debut author-to-be Crystal King describes the traditional publication process from start to finish: the lead-up, what to expect along the way, and how building her social media platform has made a difference. In this installment of "On the Path to Publication" Crystal talks about the month after the launch of her debut novel, FEAST OF SORROW.

Nothing is different. 

Except that it is. 

I feel the same. I still second guess myself despite good reviews. I still think that at some point all these readers will discover I'm an imposter and that I can't really write. 

I cried a little when I saw my book on the table at The Muse & the Marketplace. After twelve years of attending, finally, my book was on that table!

Other things that have changed include:

  • I'm busier than ever. My social media has exploded and even I, social guru that I am, struggle to keep up.
  • I have a pile of articles that I want to write, have been asked to write and that I should write.
  • I like doing readings and events! If you want to see where I'll be next (Queens, NY, Salem and more Cambridge, MA next), head here.
  • I am more obsessed with my Amazon ranking than I should be but am learning to let go of that a little bit. I can't really know what's real until I get my first royalty statement (in October, I think?). What the numbers show are all wrong. For example, my Simon & Schuster author portal is showing me I only sold 23 print books last week (Kindle is much higher) but I know that I personally sold that many at readings, so clearly not all bookstores are reporting.
  • I am promoting my book, a LOT. Working with other authors, planning new events, networking wherever I can. All the giveaways have me going to the post office a lot to ship books to all corners of the country and occasionally, across the pond. 
  • I'm constantly shocked at how many people like the book. Reviews less than 4 stars are blissfully rare. How did I manage to write a book that good?
  • I have been listening to the audio book and WOW. Simon Vance is the narrator and he really makes the book come alive, despite not pronouncing the main character's name (Apicius) correctly, sigh. He uses a medieval and modern pronounciation, not the Latin that it would have been, with a hard "c."  Listening to the book is strange...I wrote that? I know the whole story by heart but it's like hearing a book someone else has written. So cool. 
  • I have met, at least virtually through email and social, a whole bunch of authors that I've admired for years and THAT is super exciting. I think that the networking has been, by far, the most favorite thing of all this book stuff. I love meeting new people.

Now I'm working on finishing up the draft of book two. I have 9 chapters to go and a lot of polishing that needs to be done. My agent has the synopsis and first 12 chapters now...I'm crossing my fingers she likes it and thinks we're ready to go back to my publisher with it. Then I suppose we're in the "rinse, wash, repeat," stage of it all, right?

But what this last month has mostly shown me is that I LOVE BEING AN AUTHOR. Really and truly. Yes. I made it.

About the Author

Crystal King is a 20-year marketing, social media and communications veteran, freelance writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. She is the author of the FEAST OF SORROW, about the ancient Roman gourmand, Apicius. Crystal has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet writing center. A former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her MA in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in media res. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at her website: crystalking.com

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The Writing Life

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Fiction Publishing