Everyone knows that self-publishing is a long haul. Of course. As a self-published author you’re ‘nobody’ and there’s no handy track record to fall back on (not your own, or a publisher’s). Except, as it happens, knowing self-publishing is a long haul is a bit like knowing what people mean when they say having a child “will change your life”. Fact is, we’re all clueless until the first flying diaper launches across the room.
Publishing of any kind is a tortoise’ game. Writing is a slow craft. Yet on a cellular level I’ve always been a hare … manically emptying my email inbox, whizzing through items on my to-do list. My piano teacher called me a speed merchant. But hang on a minute … it took seven years to write UMA & IMP. Maybe not such a hare after all?
In case anyone thinks I’m building up to an insight here – be warned: I’m actually building up to a cliché. Thing is, my hare nature WAS frustrated by how long it took to properly finish UMA & IMP. And since the beginning of the year I HAVE been frustrated by the prospect of a grindingly slow eking out of book sales. But what I’ve realised is that the reason I was a speed merchant at piano is because I hated lessons and just wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. Similarly, when I get frustrated about writing or self publishing it’s because I’m not enjoying the process and am getting hung up on outcomes.
Contacting schools and not hearing anything back has been a real challenge to the ‘outcomes focus’. For a while there, I was judging my productivity not on what I was doing but on whether there was a result. But down that road insanity lies – and I’m starting to give myself a pat on the back for getting things done – regardless of the outcome. This proved particularly important after I’d trundled into a library about doing another Chatterbooks event. The librarian was very positive but the phone call that followed with a (very polite) more senior person was spoken in a tone of astonished ‘why would we want you to come in? why?’. Ouch.
Fortunately, there has been movement on the Skype in the Classroom front. Lots of enquiries and so far, I’ve signed up three schools for sessions.
Could be winter, could be age, could be settling into a groove, either way over the last few weeks I’ve happily adopted a tortoise’ pace. So far this month, I’ve sold 8 copies. Who knows where the self-publishing malarkey will go, whichever way, I’m chewing on a flower, plodding along, one foot in front of the other because, after all, it’s not a race … **cliché fanfare** … it’s a journey!
Next blog, I have another interview coming up. This time with Pat Walsh, awesome author of the CROWFIELD MYSTERIES, and THE HOB AND THE DEERMAN. Pat is in the singular position of having been published traditionally, through the Amazon White Glove Programme and self-published. I’m looking forward to sharing her incredible insights.
Thanks for reading!