Most people (including me) don't think past the I Have A Dream of getting a book published. Now that The Geography of Water has been out for six months, I am thinking back over what I have learned. In a nutshell:
1. There will always be something you should be doing to promote the book. It's best to just do what you are capable of and let the rest go. For me, I don't need more obligations in my life..I have plenty with my day job.
2. Speaking of promoting, the bulk of it needs to happen before the book comes out. Most bigger sites or reviewers won't touch a book that has been out. I didn't know this. Now I do.
3. There willl always be Writer Envy. It's not easy to admit, but someone you know who has written a book will always have a) more likes on their Facebook page; 2) more speaking engagements; 3) more help in terms of publicity; and 4) more admirers.
4. If you write a book and you've lived in a town for several decades, you will obviously have more support and more publicity than if you are a traveling gypsy like myself. Just the way it is.
5. Just because you have an agent, that does not mean your book will sell.
6. There's a fine line between promoting and harrassment. You need to find it. Nobody wants you to be constantly up in their face selling your book, talking about your achievements, etc.
7. The world rolls on, and newer books come out; your publisher is focused on those, and so are the readers.
Despite all this, it's still the best thing I've ever done.