By now, your family and friends know the good news and if your experience is anything like mine, you have a couple weeks to a month from the time you sign the contract to the time you get the first letter from your editor with his or her editorial notes. There are some things you can think about that will help keep you ahead of the game.
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to start a blog. Social networking is great, but it doesn’t give you the flexibility that a blog does.
Start a list of people you want to include in your acknowledgements.
Start to think about your author bio. For whatever reason, I found this hard to write.
Make a list of ways to self-promote your book. Yes, your publishing house will help you, but you should be as involved in promoting your book as you can be. Your local librarians, bookstores, the employees at your favorite places to write are people to talk to when it gets closer to your release date..
Start to think about your website. What domain name(s) do you want? Are they available? What will it look like? Will you create your site or will you hire a website designer? Maybe even check out the sites of some of your favorite authors for ideas.
Give some thought to your author photo. What type of photo do you want? Who will take it? What will you wear? Check out some photographer’s site for tips on what to wear. Contact your favorites to get an idea of what they offer and cost.
And of course, take some time to breathe. You will be busy enough once you get further into the process.