They say time flies when you’re having fun but it seems to go even faster when you are procrastinating. I’m wondering how it was only last week that I finally published my novel in print. Three and a half months to accomplish something which I’d originally hoped to have finished in March.
It’s true that my computer crashed at a vital stage in bringing my book into print, but what seemed like an unmitigated disaster at the time turned out to be a mere blip on the timeline. I can hardly blame that. A visit to England certainly halted the conversion process for two weeks but that visit was back in April.
Perhaps this is the inherent danger of self-publishing – you have to be both task-master and foot soldier. Given that I don’t like to disappoint others, if I’d had an agent or editor chasing me to meet certain deadlines, I would have shaken off the sense of inertia that often arises following an interruption in the work flow. But when the deadlines are self-inflicted, who is to know if you are a day, a week, a month or more late? Even more insidious is the thought of who would really notice if you quietly abandoned your dream altogether. It’s easy to think of valid reasons why you might give up, lack of time being the most obvious. Of course, you’d never admit that, in reality, it was fear that got the upper hand – whether it’s the fear of being embarrassed if you fail or the fear of what people would expect from you next if you succeed.
Fortunately, the little voice inside tends to insist that you don’t really want to give up, you’re determined to see this through, but even what looks like a short path to the finish line may be littered with further detours all requiring your time and attention and offering plausible excuses for further delaying your dream.
In the end I had to push myself to return to learning the basics of Adobe In-design so that I could convert my single page e-book cover into a cover with a spine and to continue to battle my software which baffled me with random insertions and deletions of page numbers and headers until I was tempted to do away with them all together and hope nobody would notice! Ultimately, however, the perfectionist in me prevailed.
It was June before I thought I had everything in order and was ready to go to print. After submitting the files I had the opportunity to proof a digital copy. I found a couple of typos (no matter how often you check there always seem to be some that escape your notice!) and some spacing issues which I duly corrected and then ordered a print copy for one final check.
Oh, the excitement to hold my own book in my hand, to leaf through the pages and admire the full cover. I’d felt elated at publishing an e-book, but that was nothing compared to seeing the book in print and, arriving as it did the day before my birthday, it was like an special present to myself. I was so close to achieving my dream.
All I needed to do next was to review the book just one more time to make sure everything was okay. All was well until page 73 when I discovered a spacing issue that definitely wasn’t there in the digital version. I read on with trepidation – how many more of these errors was I going to find? Luckily, none, but once again, I had to submit another revision and then proof read the whole thing one more time just to reassure myself other gremlins hadn’t somehow crept in. They hadn’t, but for some reason I still couldn’t bring myself to take the final step and tell Amazon I was ready to publish. I told myself I should pick the ‘right’ date or try to get a little advance publicity for the print version, but then I realized that once again I was merely delaying. In a fit of “it’s now or never” on July 14, I decided ‘it’s now!’
To celebrate I am giving away three signed copies of ‘Silent Lies’ – send an email with Silent Lies as the subject to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter in a random draw to be made on Monday July 29.