The Research Starts Today

I always thought I should finish writing and editing a novel before really digging into the research of publication. Now that I have a very rough first draft, I’ve begun to look around for publishing tips. I already subscribe to a few agent blogs (BookEnds, LLC is my favorite for advice), and I read various book blogger and writing blogs, but I’m nowhere near ready to start the process of trying to get published. I was procrastinating without even knowing I was procrastinating.

Until today.

As I browse through The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, I see how much research can go into the publishing process – from finding an agent to promoting your book, and I am woefully behind. I’m not going to let this stall me, though. I’m a technical writer, and one thing technical writers do best is research. There’s much more to publishing than I thought, and it looks to me like the author can contribute a lot to making a novel successful – instead of leaving all the work to the handlers (book agents, publishing companies, etc.). I love the thought of having some control over the process.

To start, I’m doing the following:

  • Since my novel is chick lit, I’ve added several chick-lit-centered blog feeds to my Google Reader… specific book bloggers I didn’t know about and a few writer blogs. I haven’t found any more agent blogs, but I’ll keep looking.
  • I’m considering joining the Romance Writers of America. I met some people from the Tucson chapter at the Tucson Festival of Books last weekend, and they highly encouraged it. There are two chapters in Phoenix, and once I join, I just have to figure out which one I want to be affiliated with. (In case you’re interested, Desert Rose and Valley of the Sun RW.)
  • I’m doing specific research on comparable books and have solicited help from friends (thanks, K!). I guess I need to compare my novel to something other than Bridget Jones’ Diary.
  • Since I love outlines, to do lists, and document plans, I’m thinking of what I’d include on a publishing and marketing plan (social networking goals; working with my personal networks through friends, political circles, and mom groups; taking advantage of traditional methods, such as bookstores, book bloggers, etc.;  and a few other things, like getting my hometown paper to provide coverage and developing better media contacts.

That’s about as far as I got. I did have to remove a few blog subscriptions to make time for reading the new blogs, but I’m already loving it. It feels good to really entrench myself in something I already enjoy so much.

I know what at least one of you is thinking… “But if you’re doing all that, when are you going to find time to write?” I don’t have an answer to that, other than spend less time doing dishes and stop watching The View (my guilty pleasure). Oh, and spend less time blogging but more time reading at the gym. It’s all about balance, right?

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