Career Plan for the Romance Novelist

Things an author should do to survive in this business.

Based on what I learned from Sue Grimshaw (National Romance Buyer for Borders Books) I now have a list of Action Items for my career. Hopefully you will find it useful, too.

  1. Get an Agent who will work with you on your career
  2. Do not agree to an option clause in your contract
  3. Negotiate for co-op promotions such as a Shelf-Talker
  4. Ask about your print run. It will give you a clue about what the publisher thinks of your potential sales and also let you know how intensely you'll need to self promote.
  5. Negotiate for input on the cover.
  6. If you dislike your cover, negotiate for changes. Seek help from Sue or someone like Sue.
  7. Find out who your publisher provides with ARCs and six months before your release date, send ARCS to omitted persons, including key Romance sellers and experts
  8. Six months prior to release, contact Sue (and her counterparts elsewhere) and let her know about your book. Describe the story to her.
  9. At least six months prior to release, make sure your website is updated with information about your upcoming release and your backlist.
  10. Order bookmarks as soon as you have cover art
  11. Make sure you have "autographed" stickers to put on your books.
  12. Other ideas for stuff: pens, pads, magnets etc.
  13. Assemble a package of materials relevant to your upcoming release and send them to Buyers and staff.
  14. Release as often as possible. Every 8 months. Sigh

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