One word: COMMUNICATION
Just like in any relationship, be it friendship, business, marriage, etc., in order for a good relationship with your publisher to be healthy and to flourish, there needs to be good communication.
Publishers love authors who communicate with them on a regular basis about what they are doing, what they have planned and what’s changing. It allows them to stay current on their plans for you and your book release and promotion.
Never assume that the team at your publishing house has time to read every blog, or social media post you make. The reality is that they don’t. They have a long list of authors they are working with and are trying to balance all the demands of their job. When you communicate things of importance to them, not only are you making their job less difficult, you are also bringing their focus back to you. And let’s face it: the old adage of the squeaky wheel getting the grease is true.
Communication is key in every step of the process. Starting with your editor, if you are working on your manuscript or through the edits and things are going great let them know. If you are having difficulty and know there’s no possible way of meeting the deadline, communicate that sooner rather than later. When you don’t, you not only cause a breakdown in the relationship, you also cause a log jam in the editor's schedule of work.
When it comes to marketing and publicity, communication can be the difference between having a positive or negative experience with the launch of your book. More often than not, a marketing and publicity team has more on their plate than they can say grace over, and it takes a lot of effort to keep all the plates spinning. By nature of the workload, when they don’t hear from you, they can easily think that everything is going great. Their attention is focused on the authors who are in regular communication with them. And when an author is in communication with the publishing house, in turn the team is in communication with the author thus making the author feel taken care of.
One last word of advice: always, always communicate your appreciation to your publishing team! A note of gratitude from an appreciative author goes a long way. And speaking from experience, it can often mean going the extra mile for that author.
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