A lot of author’s believe that after their book has been picked up by a publishing house their work is done, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, especially if you’re working with a smaller press.
The publishing business has changed drastically over the last ten years and there’s no changing it back. Authors have to be extremely present when marketing their books. They have to be willing to not only give up time to social media, but to traveling for book signings, readings, interviews, etc.
And for many authors, this is on top of a day job and writing their next book. So how important is it for you to come into the marketing phase with the right mindset? Incredibly. Prepare for packed days and short nights.
Small presses will want to know how available you are even before they accept your project. They’re looking for your will to work for it, your ability to build a following and sell copies. Some publishers even encourage their authors to look into hiring their own publicists. They’ll ask for investment money too, and are more likely to publish your book if you can give it to them.
So, it’s not the magical whirlwind publishing that you pictured, but these are the facts. In the end, publishers need to know that they’ll get back whatever they spend on your book. You’re an investment; make sure they know you’re a good one.