So, you have a book deal. Congratulations! But what happens next (apart from the consumption of champagne/cake and the walking round with a gigantic grin on your face, pinching yourself every now and then to check you're not dreaming?)?
One thing that will almost certainly happen is that people – perhaps lots of people – will ask you why they can't buy your book yet. Because you write a book, you sell it to a publisher for bazillions of pounds (or dollars, or Euros, or whatever currency the country you're getting published in uses), they print gazillions of copies, slap a couple of covers on them, send them to ALL the bookshops and… ta-daa! Your book is out there. In, like, weeks. Right?
I did have to do a bit of waiting to start with, first for my contract, and then for my editor's first set of notes on ACID. So in between fleshing out ideas for my second book (ACID sold in a 2-book deal) I got busy starting to build an online profile – namely, joining Twitter and starting a blog. These were things I hadn't even considered before selling ACID, and I had to be given a gentle prod by my publisher in their direction, but to my surprise I loved them. After years of only showing my writing to my husband and a few close family members, and then my agent (who I signed with back in 2007), it was a revelation to be able to talk to so many other people who were as obsessed by books and writing as I was. I even got asked to join my group blog, The Lucky 13s, via Twitter… and was asked to do this guest post, too!