You've written your novel, submitted it, received a contract. Great! Now what? Now the work begins. Oh, you thought you were finished? Not so.
Aside from all the authorly things you'll need to take care of--such as edits, blurb, cover, etc.--you will now take part in a crash course on publicity. Yep. You are the number one PR person for your book.
There will be a host of things for you to manage. Website. Blog. Pages on MySpace, Facebook and others. And there will be numerous other opportunities to promote your book.
Almost every fellow author can offer you advice and assistance regarding your new duties. But there are some things that they might hesitate to tell you. So I'm going to leap in there and tell you the ugly truth. Many new authors are sooooo excited and sooooo thrilled that they lose their heads and common sense for a while. I was an avid reader long before I was a writer. As a reader I had ample opportunity to observe lots of writers. I made up my list of personal rules from watching others blunder. So here's my list of my rules. You'll need to make up your own.
1) Always behave professionally. This includes no foul language when interacting with others.
2) Be kind. Kindness goes so much farther than rudeness.
3) Remember that every single thing that you type is public. Everything. And thanks to the internet, it is out there forever. So think long and hard before your fingers hit the "send" key.
4) Never type anything when you are angry or hurt. See number one and number three. There are a lot of authors who have lived to regret skipping this rule.
5) Squash your natural paranoia. No, everybody is not out to get you.
6) Develop a thick skin when it comes to things like reviews. The blunt truth is everyone is not going to like your writing. You would be better off worrying if you don't get bad reviews. Think about all the authors who write books that you don't particularly care for. How would you review their book? Honestly?
7) Read the rules. Practically every review/excerpt site has specific rules. Take the time to read them. Make sure that you don't flout the rules when you post excerpts. See number one.
8) Check the calendar. Practically every review/excerpt site has a calendar. It's rude to cross post during another author's chat. And it's unprofessional.
9) Never discuss personal business a) with a stranger, b) with a reader/fan, c) in a public forum. Just don't. See number one.
10) Never discuss your publisher, editor, fellow authors, or other professional business in a public forum. That's what private e-mail or even snail mail is for. This is a serious breach of ethics.
These are my rules. Everyone's list will be different based on their own personal beliefs and experience. The important think is to make a list ahead of time so that you avoid some of the pitfalls in your new life. Believe me, it is an entirely new experience.