FAQS–When People Hear You’re an Author

QuestionsQ- The #1 question has long been: “How’s your book coming?”
A- The problem with this question is that, most of the time, the answer isn’t very interesting. “Well, I just finished chapter nineteen.” Or, “I’m in the middle of edits.” Often, it’s an in-between time and there really isn’t anything going on. I suspect this question is a lot like asking how someone’s family is. The questioner isn’t really looking for an in-depth analysis, they’re just being nice.

Q- When can I get a copy?
A- This is a great question when there’s an actual answer. I’ve known the date for Miracle in a Dry Season–August 5–for a while now. But there were many months when all I knew was “Summer 2014.” And when you tell someone they can get your book in a year or so it’s a little bit of a let-down. Of course, it turns out that even the release date is fuzzy. The e-book releases July 29 and apparently the physical book might ship early. So you can get a copy, “soon!”

Q- Are you doing lots of traveling and book signings?
A- It’s funny how folks have this idea that authors travel around to lots of events and book signings. But few authors do these anymore and when they do the signings can be downright discouraging. I’ve heard from quite a few authors about signings where no one but a handful of friends and family members showed up. Maybe it’s because authors are so accessible via social media. At any rate, my travel calendar isn’t exactly filling up.

Q- Are you going to quit your job?
A- Well, first, I love my job. And second, while it’s nice to earn some money from my writing it probably works out to something like $5/hour in a really good year. Good thing I love writing, too.

Q- Are you writing the next book?
A- By the time the first book is out, the second book had better be written, and the third should be more than just a concept. The publishing world moves slowly which means work needs to be completed way in advance. Yes, the next book is written and I’m almost finished with the big picture edits. My editor will have the first draft of book #3 in his hands before the year is out.

Q- Are you excited?
A- This one’s easy. “Oh, yes!”

Q4U- What else do you wonder about the glamorous life of the debut author? I’ll be glad to answer!

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

18 thoughts on “FAQS–When People Hear You’re an Author

  1. I wondered about signings–it would seem counterproductive to sit and hope someone shows up. Could be discouraging as well. I hear tours work well where three or four genre authors travel together.

    1. I think those do go better. It also takes the pressure off potential attendees to walk up to a person sitting all alone at a table. Events seem better, too. Where the author is giving a talk or offering a class–something where there’s more of a draw.

  2. I wonder about two things and I’m sure it’s different for every author depending on their publisher.

    How many author copies do they send you? Some of the pictures I’ve seen look like a big box – very full and a few authors actually talk like they got two boxes.

    And when you do book signings/ appearances/ conferences – are you responsible for providing those copies or do the people putting it together do that? If you are responsible for getting them there, do you have to buy the copies or does the publisher provide them?

    And THANK YOU for the questions above. GREAT questions AND answers!
    God Bless!

    1. Great questions!

      Author copies vary by contract–I think 25-50 is pretty standard. It’s not by the box and how many are in a box varies according to how thick the novel is. My books are 40 to a box, but some fellow authors with longer books would only have 32 or 34.

      You’re typically responsible for making sure your books get to events unless it’s one of those rare book signings in which case you’re probably at a bookstore that carries your books. Depending on the setting, you can supply books through a bookseller who will handle all the sales leaving you to get the percentage you negotiated through the contract with your publisher, or you can buy the books from your publisher (at a set discount) and pocket the profit (if there is any!).

      1. THANK YOU! Great answers. That is exactly what I wanted to know. And that’s what I was hoping.

        Kind of makes me glad I’m not published yet. Not sure I’m ready for all of that yet.

        God Bless!

  3. Yes! I can totally relate. 🙂 So many wonderful friends and family members want to know where they can find my books–and, at this point, I have to tell them: “Nowhere.” It’s a terrible answer, and there’s this sense of deflation for both of us. 🙂 But I assure them they’ll be amongst the first to know when the time comes. Thanks for this fun post!

  4. #1 always seems to come at me as, “How’s the book?” I joked about this with a writer pal: “Well, it’s the fictionalization of everything in my soul… it’s going all right.” I think I agree with your analysis–the only right answer to that question is, “Good! Thanks for asking! And how’s your family?” 😀

  5. Glad to hear someone else admit that the answer to the “How’s the book coming?” question usually isn’t interesting. Hard to translate the dazzling excitement and thrills of book drafts, edits, and whatnot to the general public. 😀

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