Monthly Archives: April 2013

The road to becoming an author really can end with one becoming an author!

No matter what else happens down other roads, I will always have April 28th, 2013 to look back on.

A Happy Author

Last December when I made up my mind to self-publish, I also decided I would do a book launch party. My initial vision was that I would do an e-book of “Seascape” and maybe get fifty copies printed. I’d have my friends over, and it would be an excuse to throw a small party. Somehow things got carried away (this may have had something to do with my husband saying “Come on! Order 500 books, I’ll help you sell them. We need to invest in you.”) It was an impulse buy/decision, and once I made it I had to take myself, my novel, and this business much more seriously.

I have had so much encouragement along the way from so many. It made it easier to wrap my head around the idea that this decision might not be such a bad one. But 500 books is such a lot of books. And renting a hall, paying advertising, buy and preparing a carload of food is such a risk, with no guarantee of any return.
I am so glad I made the leap!

My book launch had so much support. There were so many people who came and bought books. I saw so many familiar faces, and so many new and unexpected faces! I literally cannot believe how many men in the past week have purchased my book, and not just for their significant other. Men are reading my book! Wow!

Sitting at that table with my pen in hand, signing books with my wacky, messy, little scrawl (that some commented did not look like a real signature), and then doing a reading, it all felt incredible. I thought it might feel surreal, but it felt very real! It felt earned and I was able to enjoy the experience, despite nerves.

Reading for the crowd

Not since my wedding day have I ever been the focus of so much attention! And so much positive attention was overwhelming, in the best possible way. To have so many family and friends show up and support me, to work for hours at preparing food and refreshments, when I couldn’t even help, to compliment me, to want the best for me, to cheer me on, and to pay hard earned cash for my creativity, well needless to say, that kind of energy spilled over long into the night and the next day.

Yesterday I did not check my blog, I didn’t check Facebook. I had to unravel and unwind from the deluge of blessings. I had to soak in my gratitude. I had to remember that even though the day before I was a newly launched author, a glowing success, well on my way to selling my five hundred copies, I also had to remember that the date was April 29th, and I had not yet done mine and my husband’s taxes.

Back to regular life… which now also includes selling and promoting my book. I am feeling pretty damn good even if I now need to retitle my blog.

The road to becoming an author really can end with one becoming an author!

My novel amongst the decorations.

My novel amongst the decorations.

I Am About To Get Naked And Sell Myself

That’s a pretty stark description, but it is very much how I feel right now.

Book writing, book revising, book editing, and book publication are all complete. I have to put myself and my book out there. It’s all about the sales now. I have barely begun and I already feel “icky”.

I feel like a contestant on the television show “How To Look Good Naked”. Stripped of my private writing space, stripped of my solitary, comfortable process, I am about to move into the world of people, opinions, and sales. I have to mingle and schmooze, sell and promote. I am horribly under qualified. I lasted two hours at my one and only sales job as a telemarketer. One ‘f’ bomb from an irate man whose dinner I disturbed and I tucked tail, ran, and never looked back. I can go days without seeing another human being who isn’t a resident in my house. And self-promotion? My background is part First Nation’s Cree. Humility, we are taught, is one of the greatest virtues.

So knowing these facts about myself it is no wonder I have to force myself to write each blog post, why I struggle to get my advertising done, and why as my book launch is approaching, I feel great trepidation. Now comes the part where I have to try and get people to buy my book. I am wriggling and squirming at the thought.
I am being poked and prodded with a very sharp stick (of my own making) towards a goal I want to try and achieve. It’s my goal, my push, but part of me is screaming “Leave me alone in my little office and just let me write my books!” I think that is a very good clue it’s time for this all to happen. I need to grow.

I was caught off guard a few days ago by a phone call from the local newspaper asking me to do a quick interview. I had gone into the paper to buy ad space for my book launch and the receptionist mentioned she’d pass my information on to the editor who might be interested in doing a story. I got a call just a few days back, and today the paper has the article. It has begun.

With luck people are going to talk about and judge my book. I am going to get reviews. I am going to have to ask people to look at my book. My ego is going crazy at the thought, inundating me with assurances that my book is not worthy. My mistakes are too many. I can shut my ego off and tell myself regardless of what any other individual thinks I like my book, I am proud of it. Not everyone will feel the same and that is okay when I am alone sitting in my office. However the thought of picking up that phone or even worse, personally pleading for space to sell my book or the opportunity to do a book signing, is terrifying. I have to ask people… for stuff. I hate to ask people for anything. Asking means I want what they have the power to give or withhold. I have to deal with rejection. It’s all so excruciating.

And yet I am writing another book. As painful as this part is, I am signing myself up to do it all over again in the future.

I must really love writing.

A Contest To Get You Self-Publishing

I checked my e-mail this morning and found the company I just finished publishing my book with is launching a contest all my American blog friends should check out. Bookbaby’s contest looks easy to enter. If you are considering self-publishing check them out. The total prize pack is worth over $16 000 in design, publishing, and promotional services. Somebody has to win it, and since I am Canadian and not eligible to enter maybe one of you can. I am pretty happy with Bookbaby. They did my cover design, my ebook and my printed book. And the only mistakes made were mine!

The Books Are Here! The Books Are Here!

On Monday I got a phone call from my sister-in-law that some UPS dude had dropped 11 boxes on her driveway. She barely got the words out before I hit the shower and got my husband and daughter ready to make the two hour drive to her house.

There is no greater feeling for an author than cracking open a box and holding your book in your hand. It was exciting! It was also surreal, and I could not wrap my head around the experience.

This is me seeing my novel in print for the first time.

This is me seeing my novel in print for the first time.

This immediate reaction was followed by an agony of embarrassment when I passed my book to my husband and he flipped to the back cover and his eagle eyes picked out an extra little “d” where one should not have been.

WHY!!!!!!!! ( I screamed, tearing and clutching at my hair.)

I did not expect perfection but I really thought I was going to avoid this type of error, a silly, stupid mistake, on the back cover of five hundred printed copies. UGH!!!! I worked so hard to avoid mistakes.

I immediately began to beat myself up for rushing because I was trying to make my somewhat secret book launch date. When I received my final proof I knew if I rejected it, there was no way I could make this date. However grief was the bigger component. Hours before I received my final proof we lost our 7 year old German Shepard, Jake. I love all my dogs but he was special. He was our gladiator, our protector.

My Protector

My Protector

It wasn’t the day to make the choice to put my book into production. My husband and I scoured the final proof and we both missed the mistake. This wasn’t the only problem. I missed acknowledging my photographer friend Tanya Hardy-Dubeau for my author photo and my font is a little small. Thankfully my chapters are short.

What is done is done. There is no point in continuing to agonize over mistakes. Feel the pain. Learn the lesson. Move on!

I am just a breath away from finalizing the details of my book launch. I am writing up advertisements for the local papers, I am working on getting my “purchase the book button” installed on this site. This is the calm before the storm of marketing and promotion descends. My Ebook is live on every E-reader format, but I am not pushing it yet, because I want to focus on my launch. I am very curious if I can generate any Ebook sales at all, without any promotion. I’ve got a few weeks to see.

April 28th, 2013, from 1-4 p.m. I will be launching my book “Seascape” at the Mallaig Legion Hall. I will be signing books for anyone interested in purchasing a copy, but more than that I just want people to come out and help me celebrate this accomplishment. There will be tons of great snacks and refreshments. I may even be persuaded to do a short reading from the book. With every book purchased comes an entry into a draw to win some great prizes. I have Chapters gift cards, a Kindle, A Kobo, and because my book is a great beach read, some fun, beach themes prizes.

If none of these reasons to stop by appeal to you, I guarantee you’ll get to see a woman who is excited but scared spitless of the next stage in her life!