After that, the book itself will be done, but there will be a lot of work to do before I can say it's published. At least I have designed the cover and the interior of the book already. Once I have all that in final form, there are the 'middle tasks,' such as get a copyright, an ISBN, and a Library of Congress number. I will I have to put that information on the back cover (the ISBN) and the other information on the back of the title page. Then print a proof copy, just to make sure.
Then comes the major work of a distribution plan, and a promotion plan. With modern 'print on demand' services, at least I don't have to invest in a massive press run and risk ending up with a basement full of unsold copies if sales don't go well. On the other hand, print on demand means that I earn less income per book sold. Sure, I'm doing all this because I was inspired to write. But at the same time, I have been living off savings, for the most part, over the past few years so I'd like to recoup some or all of my financial investment and have something left for retirement! So if sales go well, I'll have to make the decision whether or not they will continue to go well, and whether or not a press run is worthwhile. This is the delicate balancing act involved with any marketing effort.
As for publicity, it's a whole new world compared to what it was when I was growing up. In those days, publicity was hard because the means of getting the word out were expensive and time consuming (printing, mailing, long distance phone calls, etc.). Now, it's hard for completely different reasons. Now, with modern information networks, it's easier to send out the word, but much harder to get noticed precicely because it's that much easier for everyone else who wants to promote something! Our Email boxes are full, our eyes are gazed over from an onslaught of ads and promotions - literally hundreds per day!
So, how do I get noticed amidst all that noise? The answer is to "work smarter, not harder." As I have never done this before (this is my first book), I have a learning curve to go through and a practice: To follow my intuition! (practice, practice, practice!). But overall, I'm optimistic. As I've just written in the Topic Blog, I expect 2017 to go better than 2016 has.