Coming Out Soon –
I’ll come right out and say it, I’m out of my comfort zone these days. For months now, I have been. It started with a little light flirtation and turned into a full-blown affair of newness. I am getting my book published. I know a lot of you know this, but what I mean to say is that I am actually doing it. Now. Each day. As I type and as you read, the wheels are in motion and my little secrets are about to come out into the open.
I’d written my heart out, draft after draft and back to the beginning again. I played with structure and “killed my darlings” and cried over perfect sentences that had no place in my book and when it was done, I did it again. Fine-tuning the meaning and bringing clarity, asking the right questions and changing chapters. Then it all stopped, and I felt good, I really did. I had accomplished all I’d set out to do. Except that I had not actually finished. First, I needed a publisher.
These days publishing a book is like everything else. Just ask any millennium, they will tell you that there is no longer a traditional way to do anything. Getting your book into other people’s hands is not what it used to be. Last year when I met the lovely Catherine Milne from HarperCollins Publishers, she said that the big publishers still are the gatekeepers, but they are standing in an open field, you can publish any way you please. But I am no Beatrix Potter. She had the business sense and the know how to become the best self-publisher we have known. But me? I wanted a whole lot of guidance and hand-holding. That is why I was delighted when Joanne Fedler Media agreed to publish my book. Dynamic and innovative, Joanne would hold my hand and help me through the newness of it all.
I thought that once the manuscript was sent off to the editor, I would be able to sit back and laugh. Take a break. Stop and listen to the birds singing. Ok I do that anyway, but the point is, there is no break. There is no relax. There is no breather. If anything, I have to remind myself to breathe every day, while I wait for about six weeks to drag on before I get a peek at the editor’s verdict. In the meantime, I am about to launch a crowdfunding appeal. If you don’t know me, you don’t know that I almost quit a job once because my boss expected me to remind him to pay me. I hated it. I hated going and asking him to show me the money. So, you can imagine how challenging it is for me to look at my email list and press the send button asking people to pre-order my book. But this is what I will be doing soon.
Let me tell you all, writing the book for me was a breeze, it’s the business side of getting the book out there that is daunting. And that is before people pick up the book, open the first page and read those first words. It is before people will take a deep breath, sigh and turn that last page and judge me for what I did and what I said and what I wrote. So I will say it again, I am outside of my comfort zone and I am terrified. All I can say now is that the next time I pick up a book, hold it up to the cashier and tell them, ‘I’ll take this one, please.’ I will save a little moment to celebrate the author’s courage.