—Story notes. I know these will be along before too long. The publisher said he didn't think there would be any major notes, which is a nice thought, but in reality only the writer can truly judge what is a minor note and what is not. I once had a producer deliver the "tiny note" that a certain screenplay should take place over two weeks, rather than six months. He said "So that's just a find and replace!" Not exactly... But I haven't read the book in a while. I look forward to these notes.
—Editor's notes. Not too worried about these. The manuscript is fairly clean, but I have room to learn from a good editor. Should be enjoyable.
—Cover art. I went to art school and design school. I hope I'm not a huge pain to all involved. I found a blog about cover design and I am learning. There's a great deal that is counterintuitive. A buyer for Costco said book covers have to work lying flat on a table. Not that I expect Costco, but it is an interesting thought.
—Web site. I found a web designer who does a lot of author web sites. Nice work, too. All her designs look good. I'll probably hire her.
—Contract. I'll need to hire an attorney. I'm a member of the Independent Writers Caucus of the WGAw, and there are a lot of novelists in there. I bet one of them can recommend an attorney.
—PR! I haven't talked to the publisher yet, but I would like to hire a PR firm. Already have one picked out. They do a lot of book publicity, and are located in Los Angeles.
Let's see— have I spent my advance ten times over yet? Yep. But a first novel is never about a first novel. It's about starting a career. The effort must be made and the money must be spent. I stand ready. Actually, I lie on the couch ready.
Which leaves one final thought: an agent. Hmm... Perhaps that is a good subject for another blog.