A door has followed me around the past fourteen years. It’s pretty. A nice, cherry oak with a gold (seriously, a gold) door knob. When I accepted a publishing contract it swung wide open and beckoned me inside. At first I was in shock. It’d been sitting there closed for so long that dust had collected on the handle. Every once in a while, I’d see light shining underneath it. It looked like a party was happening on the other side. Of course, back then I was never invited. After my initial reaction of seeing the expanse of possibilities within reach, I had a quick stab of fear. For one brief moment I wished that the door had been New York City apartment locked. Not so that is wouldn’t eventually open, but so that it wouldn’t open so quickly. My fear was soon replaced with excitement and I ran through, expecting it would shut before I could reach it.
Ella mentioned a few times that I should write a post on what to expect after you sign a contract, or go through your door. She doesn’t know Google as well as I do. 😉 I expect that the process varies within each publishing house, but this is what’s happening at mine.
Within a few days after signing the contract, I received a welcome letter from the Senior Editor, Debby. (She’s so nice.) Besides welcoming me, she gave me a list of to-do items. Since I don’t like things hanging over my head, I finished it pretty quickly.
The first was to fill out a W9 form. Painless. Next was to send in the back cover blurb and a 1-2 hook sentence for online promotion. I had both of those completed before I began querying. I read the pieces again, made some minor changes, and sent those off, too. Easy peasy.
I gave myself a to-do list that was not as simple. Before my door opened, I’d decided that by the end of 2013 my name would be online. I’m a private person and the idea of Facebook has always made me cringe. The blog with Ella was my first step. Next I’d planned to set up a website. Then possibly move on to Facebook, Twitter, and all those other networking sites. Everything is set on fast forward now. The blog is thankfully set and I’ve grown comfortable with the idea of sharing my thoughts with the unseen critics of the world. I started to comment on other bloggers’ posts, too. So far I’ve only had a few “Gah! Why did I say that?” or “Crap, I misspelled that word” moments. Facebook and Twitter still give me Silence of the Lambs nightmares, but I’m working on it. My website should be up by the end of the month, fingers crossed.
If I turn around I can still see my pretty door behind me. It’s open. I guess in case I want to go back through. The bright lights of this side make the now other side seem black and cold. I don’t think I’ll be going back. At least not willingly.