by Michele Lynn Seigfried
(Jersey Shore Mystery Series)
4th in Series
Publisher: Horseshoe Bay Publishing (January 26, 2016)
Print Length: 220 pages
Buckle up for hours of laughter, romance, and excitement with this Jersey Shore Mystery. When handsome detective, Bryce Kelly, is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he finds himself on the run and in hiding. Can amateur sleuth, Chelsey Alton, and a few quirky friends help him find the real killer and prove his innocence before it’s too late? If you love mysteries, don’t miss this humorous whodunit!
So you’ve written a book…now what?
By Michele Lynn Seigfried
When I’m at a book show, the most common thing people say to me is, “I wrote a book, but I’m not sure what to do next.” There is tons of advice on the internet on what to do after you’ve published your manuscript, but how about before you’ve taken that publishing leap? If you’ve written a book, or you’re thinking about writing a book, here are a few of the steps you should take to succeed.
- Decide whether to write under your own name or a pen name. This is important, because you are soon going to be marketing your name! Everything from book covers, to webpages, to bookmarks will have your author name. It’s best to find a name you like and stick with it early on.
- Set up an email account with your author name. It can be a free account like gmail or yahoo. You will soon be sending off emails and placing orders and this email will be used a lot.
- Set up an author’s Facebook page. Whether you are self-publishing or going the traditional route, you need to start attracting followers, and it’s never too early to do that. Don’t wait until the book is published first. Start with inviting your friends and family to join your page. You can also place Facebook ads to get followers. Having a large following might help you land an agent.
- Set up a Twitter account. Retweet others often. When your book is finally published, others will retweet you to spread the word. While you’re at it, you should set up any other social media sites you’d like to have such as Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Tsu, Goodreads, etc. Start working on a website for yourself as well!
- Hire a professional editor. I can’t stress this enough. Handing an “unfinished” manuscript to an agent in hopes that they will take you on as a client might work if your book is so fabulous that you already have agents knocking down your doors, but for the majority of books, having a polished manuscript is a much better route to take. And, if you are self-publishing, the worst thing you can do is publish a manuscript with tons of errors. Good editors will beta-read for plot holes and also proofread for grammatical and spelling errors.
- Network with other authors. Those who have already been through the publishing process will help you. They might recommend good editors, places to market, and book shows. They might be willing to trade reviews with you or read your work and offer helpful feedback. Join writing groups and professional associations.
- Get feedback. Give your book to family, friends, and coworkers. Find out what they liked and didn’t like. Ask them to be candid. What you may think is crystal clear may be vague to someone else. They might find mistakes your editor missed. Put excerpts of your work on your new facebook page and ask followers to comment.
- Start your marketing. You should post about your book months in advance of its publication date on social media. Start a hype about it. Post excerpts or one-liners from the book. Don’t just post about your book though–post about the genre you’re writing in, topics similar to your book, and excerpts of your writing. Setup polls. Order business cards or bookmarks with your contact info to hand out. Attend book shows.
- Hire a good cover designer. If you are going the self-publishing route, you will need a good cover designer. Someone that can take your vision and put it on your book! If you are going the traditional route, this step is not necessary as publishers will want to use their own designers for covers.
- Research! And lots of it. Research any facts you included in your book to make sure they are correct. Research your genre and make sure elements in your book match the genre. Research which agents you want to pitch. Research self-publishing companies to find the one that’s right for you. How to format a book for print, what size you’d like your book to be, or who can format it for you. How to make the book into an e-book. Whether or not you’d like to have an audio book as well. How to set up a webpage. Marketing ideas. Proofreading help. Sample pitch letters. The list goes on and on. Luckily, there is a plethora of information available on the internet so you can research during your free time at home.
I hope if you’ve written a book and have yet to publish it that you’ve found my guest post useful! If anyone out there needs help, please feel free to contact me! I wish you the best with your writing career!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michele Lynn Seigfried is the author of humorous, cozy mystery novels and a children’s picture book author/illustrator.
Michele was born and raised in New Jersey. In her mystery novels, she draws from her personal expertise in the area of municipal government, in which she has served for over 17 years in two different municipalities.
She holds a B.A. in communication from the College of New Jersey with a minor in art. She obtained the Master Municipal Clerk certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2010. She also holds the Registered Municipal Clerk certification and Certified Municipal Registrar Certifications from the State of New Jersey.
In combining her love of writing with art, Michele began writing and illustrating children’s picture books in 2013. She has won several awards for her novels.