Author Topic: My novel manuscript was accepted for publication!  (Read 1079 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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My novel manuscript was accepted for publication!
« on: October 08, 2018, 05:04:43 PM »
Got an email to day from the editor saying she'll be sending a contract in a few days *big grin* It's from a small publishing, with a niche audience, but I am so excited and grateful!

Any authors out there with sage advice on the process between acceptance and publication? Even not such sage advice would be welcome, I know there's a lot of editing involved, but other than that I'm pretty much clueless :P


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: My novel manuscript was accepted for publication!
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 06:20:08 PM »
No advice, but congrats!

@Nick_Miller might have thoughts.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: My novel manuscript was accepted for publication!
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 11:07:22 AM »
Hi, congratulations on your potential contract.

Before you even think about the editing and marketing involved, do you have someone you can discuss your contract with first, before you sign? I really recommend that to avoid some simple pitfalls. For example, don't sign a contract unless it includes a 'use it or lose it' clause for publication, translations and other media rights. That way, if they don't move ahead within a certain timeframe (so limiting your ability to reap royalties), the rights revert to you. Long story short: don't be afraid to negotiate.

After that, two or three rounds of edits will be a breeze! Enjoy the ride. :)


  • Stubble
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Re: My novel manuscript was accepted for publication!
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 11:50:51 AM »
If you don't have much of a social media presence yet, work on it! You want those eyeballs already in your corner when it comes time to launch the book. Also, same with a website. Get one if you don't have one, and if you do, pretty it up and include plenty of information about your new book. A blog can be helpful. Some people swear by newsletters, and if you want one start thinking about that, as well. (I tried it, hated it, and disbanded mine to no ill effects. However, some publishers insist on you having one.)

Start thinking about your marketing lead up to publication as soon as you have a release date. You'll need time to format your launch plan. Your publisher may handle some of this, but if they're small, the burden for sending out review copies, getting media exposure, giveaways, setting up events/blog tours, etc. might be on you. It will probably be in the contract how much they're willing to do for you. If not, ask. Make sure someone adds your book to Goodreads. If not the publisher, you can do it.

If your publisher will give you any input into the cover, start thinking about what you may want to give the designer something to work with. Some publishers let you have input, others don't. But it doesn't hurt to think about it. Also, you'll probably need an author photo and your publisher likely won't pay for it. (They may, but IME, most small presses don't.) So start thinking about that.

The good news is, your book got accepted! The bad news is, you're in for more work than you ever dreamed of, a (likely) steep learning curve, and a lot of "live and learn" life experiences. The other good news is that it does get easier with the second book.

Just some advice from the "mother" of four novels (all published traditionally through a small press) with a fifth on the way.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: My novel manuscript was accepted for publication!
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 07:47:11 AM »
@DragonSlayer 's advice is going to be more on point than mine, as she's done the same exact thing the OP is pursuing. My path and product are a bit different, but some things apply across the board. But I can chime in with some general advice.

1) Even with a publisher (small or large, really), you're going to have to market the you know what out of your book!! The following is 100% my opinion, and others will disagree.

A) Blog: This should always be focused on your latest work. Try to update your blog about once a week to keep fresh content there.

B) Newsletter: I prefer the slow and steady approach; only seeking out people who are invested in my work. Some authors do those giveaway/newsletter swap things and I think they are totally bogus because you end up getting a lot of people signing up who don't care about your work; they just want the prize or whatever. Give your newsletter folks some freebies, give them a cool name, or even let them vote on a name. Do a newsletter about once every 1-2 months, but only when you actually have something to say/give them.

C) Social Media: This should be about 20% about your books, and about 80% other cool stuff/news/links/etc you think your audience will dig. On social media, you need to be their "cool author friend." You do NOT need to be the person who spams "buy my book!" every day. 

2) Keep writing! I know you might be in the editing stage (I assume that's where you are based on your post) but as soon as you finish and submit the final product, jump into another product. Heck, with indie authors, the current advice is "Don't publish your first story, especially if it's a series, until you have books two and three finished as well." People have VERY short attention spans now.

3) Make sure you KNOW what you are signing. Read it carefully, every line. Have an attorney friend read over it. Talk to author friends about what's industry practice. And make sure that you do not pay your publisher one cent! You NEVER pay your publisher for anything. They advance costs. They pay an advance. The point of you going with a small press, and thus taking a much smaller royalty than you'd get indie publishing, is that they take care of the editing, formatting, cover, etc.  As @DragonSlayer said, don't let them retain certain rights (like audio for example) very long unless they actually do something with it.

Good luck! Please post again and let us know how it's going.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: My novel manuscript was accepted for publication!
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 06:00:37 PM »
@DragonSlayer and @Nick_Miller

I really appreciate your taking the time to share your advice.

I wasn't planning to invest much time into social media or blogging for two reasons:
a) I know this may seem unbelievable in this day and age, but within this niche market many people are not on social media and few read blogs, and even fewer read blogs of authors. I know because I live within the community I'm targeting. Yes, they have internet, and for sure some do have social media accounts, but majority of my people are still print people. They read print magazines and newspaper and print books.

b) I'm a fan of Rachel Aaron and after this blog post I'm thinking way not worth the effort in my case.

Still a website does seem like it might be a smart move, just so people can find me as an author and not just in my other professional role. A newsletter is an interesting idea too, since email is still a big thing, even if Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. aren't in this niche.

On the continuing to write after we get over the editing stage of this: YOU BETCHYA! I didn't write this for money; I wrote it because I think a certain type of kids need to see themselves more in print. So, one book is just a drop in the bucket!

Thanks again for your advice and hope you guys have continued success.