Unpublished writers focus on getting that first book published. It's like a mountain that needs to be climbed, but once you reach the top you've made it. You've passed into that magic land of published authors. Your years of rejections are over. You're vindicated to all the naysayers in your life.
You made it. You're a published author.
Now put down the champagne, box up the chocolates. That mountain you thought you scaled turns out to be a foothill. Unless you are satisfied with having one book published and have no desire or interest in doing another, your career as a writer has just begun.
It can be daunting. Suddenly you're being told you have to promote your newly published book. You need a web page, a blog, a Facebook account, Twitter... to start. Many of these should be put in place before you get that first contract. Not only is it a good way to start promoting yourself, but it will cut down on the things you suddenly have to do yesterday when the publisher says we want your book.
You may be encouraged to join writing groups in your genre. Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and the Historical Novel Society cover most of the genres.
Yahoo has a huge number of writing related groups. I recommend joining Yahoo and searching for groups you think would interest you. Two I would recommend no matter what genre you write, are: Publishing Trove, which is for authors, publishers, agents and promotional groups, and:
Announce Online Writing Class an excellent resource for online classes, and I highly recommend that writer's of all levels take classes. There are many that are very reasonable.
But wait. You should set up readings and signings at as many bookstores as you can contact, and no, your publisher will not pay to send you anywhere. Going to genre specific conferences are another good thing to do. I recommend them even for non-published authors. Many of them have workshops and you make invaluable contacts, including agents and editors. Once you're published, go to conferences and try to get on panels. Again it's networking.
Your mantra now must be promote, promote, promote and write, write, write.
Authors these days don't have years, or even months between publications. To have any kind of real success these days, you have to produce. A lot.
Pat Brown, author of 12 novels and several short stories and novellas has been published since 2006. Since that time she has attended numerous conferences, her favorites being the Left Coast Crime. As well, she regularly takes online classes to improve her writing. She'd take in person classes, but there are never any held in her area.
Her newest book, LATIN BOYZ, will be released by Amber Quill in February. It's one of her most ambitious novels yet, a story about a young Latino man in the barrios of East Los Angeles who faces hardships both as he tries to protect his family and struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality and attraction to an LAPD patrol officer.
Visit her Web Site
And her Blog