It’s been a steep learning curve, but I’ve finally arrived – it’s publication day! In this, the last of the five dreams I’ve shared here about my self-publishing journey, I’m looking at the road ahead.
I’ve done a talk about being an author, including the difficulties of getting stocked in bookshops and making enough sales. Not that I’m complaining – I do have enough. As I chat outside with the organisers, they’re waiting for the next author – and it’s a really famous one.
Here she comes in her little yellow car. She’s a friend and I’m delighted to see her, delighted to see the eager anticipation in her young fans’ faces.
As she walks towards us, I notice the little creature I’ve found and been looking after has caught the attention of a crow-like bird. The creature is small and furry, some kind of hybrid, strange and very sweet. And feisty! He isn’t afraid of the crow, although it’s much bigger than him.
I shoo the crow-like bird away and pick up the creature – he isn’t hurt or even shaken. It’s happened before – cats have chased him as well as birds, foxes too – but I think they’re more curious about him, than wanting to eat him.
It’s odd how he’s come into my cave, but I’m glad, because he’s a lovely little thing and I like looking after him.
It’s been stressful, it’s been full-on, it’s been emotional. I won’t lie. Learning how to self-publish has taken up most of my energies these last six months, one way and another.
If you’ve read my last four posts, you’ll see that having embarked upon it, I soon learnt to love it though. I even came to choose it for the book I’m working on now, When a Writer Isn’t Writing.
I got swept up in the buzz of being free to make my own choices and decisions, and push forward in my own time and at my own pace. I felt like William Blake, inventing his very own printing system to publish his own books, but without even having to be a genius or inventor.
I felt like the child I once was, never happier than when I was writing projects and making them into books, doing all my own binding and illustrations.
In my dream, it felt odd the way this funny little creature had come into my cave. As a technophobe, I would never have had a strong enough desire to learn how to self-publish if I hadn’t had a book I cared so much about that didn’t have anywhere else to go.
I protected my little fledgling hybrid from every attack – crows, cats, foxes; other people’s judgements and my own self-doubts.
But what I also learnt, in the course of self-publishing, was how much traditional publishers do that we authors tend to take for granted.
I discovered how much I still wanted that to be part of my writing career. Looking forward to 2015, I’m delighted to have a book coming out in February with A and C Black, as well my self-published writing book.
This funny, furry little creature was the beginning of my new career as a hybrid author, and I’ve blogged about it in a post called Why I’m a Happy Hybrid for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, where I lay out my pros and cons of self-publishing vs being traditionally published.
So now it just remains for me to ask you to raise your glasses please to Writing in the House of Dreams. If you buy it and enjoy it, please review it, but if you think it stinks, please don’t!