Backyard Feeder

Backyard Feeder
photo taken through porch screen

Monday, August 02, 2010

Publishers' Block

My book is written, edited, and ready to print, but I just have the feeling that I'm missing something or that when I get the book published there will be some problem that I haven't thought about.

I've thought about everything. I've thought about not selling a single copy after the proof--and I'm not sure that would be so terrible or even possible. I know people are asking to buy a copy, so if the orders just trickle in, I can leave the book available as long as I want and as long as it keeps selling. Not a problem.

I have thought about finding errors in the book after it is printed, but I have so many people reading through it for me that I seriously doubt there will be anything substantial found. And if there is, I just don't promote the book and redo it as a second edition as soon as possible.

I have thought about being exposed as a fraud--because I can't always follow my own advice--and I realize that the book will have to get some serious publicity for that to even become an issue and all things considered, that might be a good thing.

Maybe I just don't want to admit that the book isn't in print because I don't have the $15 for the proof copy that I'll have to order to be sure everything is perfect, but I suspect I'd have found the cash if that were the only problem.

I keep asking people who have written books, "How do you know when the book is ready to be published?" and I really haven't been given a good answer.

So I started reading, I tried looking at books about writing and publishing, but they had nothing about how to tell when a book is ready. I guess that's always been a decision for the publisher or editor before self-publishing became a viable option.

I started reading again, books that jump out from my collection or from the thrift store, books by James Redfield, books by Chaim Potok, books that seem to have nothing to do with writing and publishing. And I get some interesting advice.

I read that knowledge that isn't shared is worthless, that if I have all of this experience and research done, it needs to be given to people who can use it. I read that I need to do what I was put on earth to do, whatever that might be, in order to feel worthwhile. I read that when you wait for everything else to fall into place, you can wait forever, but that if you put yourself out there, everything else will fall into place.

I'd been told that writing the book, that putting that first paragraph on paper and getting started, that keeping at it until the work was completed, that getting all of the words on paper in a satisfactory form was the hard part, but I'm already starting another book. Compared to finishing, starting is easy. Setting up an outline, filling in the paragraphs, giving a message, it doesn't phase me a bit. I will probably havet the other book on my website before I have my website fully set up. I just hope I can get one book in print before I am struggling to get the second into print.

Sometimes I wonder, who IS the crazy one in this house? Sometimes I'm sure it's me.