Friday, September 12, 2014

Top FIVE Things I Learned AFTER My Debut Novel Came Out

YAY! You're what?


After the exuberance at signing my first contract ebbed a bit, I set my sights on what it would be like following the novel’s release. I didn’t worry too much about the logistics of it, but I had imagined that over time, I would become pretty well versed on how things would progress.

I wasn’t.

Partly because there’s a lot to learn and experience, but also partly because, for everyone else involved, it’s not their first time to the publishing watering hole and they don’t know how much (or in my case, how little) you know about the after party. While it’s only been two months since Wanted:  Dead or In Love (Merit Press) came out and even shorter since One Smart Cookie (Omnific Publishing) was released,  I’ve already learned A LOT since then.  Here we go:

5. YOUR PUBLISHER WILL PROMOTE YOU, BUT…you have to promote yourself.  A LOT. Your publishing house has tons of authors on their lists, with more books being released each season, so keep on tagging them in your tweets and status updates and it works to doubly promote them and you. It’s a good thing.

4. YOU HAVE TO FIND YOUR OWN WAYS TO GET THE WORD OUT – no one wants a blowhard that says “Buy my book, buy my book!” all the time, so think hard about alternate connections to your books and make it fun. Run promotions that get readers involved. Make connections with librarians, appear at functions near your home (so it’s not too expensive)….just get out there and be visible and friendly, not pushy.

3.  GIVEAWAYS CAN GET YOU NOTICED…but if you offer a gift card along with your book, many people will enter for the money, but not your book. Something to think about.

2. YOUR FRIENDS ARE EXCITED FOR YOU, BUT MIGHT NOT BUY YOUR BOOK. And that’s okay. Not everyone is a reader. Try not to get too disappointed and don’t hold grudges. (But hopefully they won’t mind if you don’t buy their kids’ Boy Scout popcorn either…) Just kidding!! Okay, maybe not. See how hard it is NOT to be disappointed? J But to my wonderful friends, family, and fellow scribes who have supported me by coming out to my book launch events, purchased my novels, or spread the word, you’re the best!! I can’t thank you enough!

1. SALES TAKE A WHILE TO ACCRUE. While there will (hopefully) be a nice spike when your book first comes out, it takes time for word of mouth to build. Keep buzzing about your book because you might think everyone has heard, but many haven’t. Everyone needs reminders and fresh news about your book and appearances. Slow and steady wins the race. 

So there you have it…and the learning curve doesn’t stop there. What was something that surprised YOU about the publishing business after your debut came out?



Kym Brunner dreams entire novels in her head, but needs about a year to write it all down.  She wishes there was an app for this. She's addicted to chai tea, going to the movies, and reality TV. When she's not reading or writing, Kym teaches 7th grade full time. She lives in the Chicago area with her family and two trusty writing companions, a pair of Shih Tzus named Sophie and Kahlua. She's repped by Eric Myers of The Spieler Agency.

Wanted: Dead or in Love, Merit Press, June, 2014
One Smart Cookie, Omnific Publishing, July, 2014



  1. "But hopefully they won’t mind if you don’t buy their kids’ Boy Scout popcorn either…" - - - hahahahaha - - - and that's why I love you. ;) Seriously, I can't tell you how many times "friends" have said, "Oh, I don't want to buy your book. I just want to read it and give it back to you." Well, that's what a library is for. Great post.

  2. LOL! Yes, I'm going to try that with my mechanic...see if he'll lend me his time fixing my radiator. :)



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