It’s funny the things you learn about yourself as time tramps on… I always thought, for example, that I was shy, socially awkward even, happy to just merge into the background… And then I set out on my journey to publication with Britain’s Next Best Seller – see, the thing with this type of publisher is that it works only if the author is prepared to get out there and muster up support, actually ask people to buy their book in order to meet a quota and secure a publishing deal… It is, in essence, exactly the sort of thing that I would never do – ever… But my book, ‘Phoebe Wren And The Mystery Of Darken Abbey’, (a sequel to my first book which was self-published last year, see? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Phoebe-Vortex-Light-Julie-Timlin/dp/1781487227/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429605651&sr=8-1&keywords=phoebe+wren+and+the+vortex+of+light ) was written and ready to go, and I really wanted to have it published, so I swallowed my pride and my insecurities and I signed up with BNBS.
The pre-order campaign has been a fairly long and often stressful 12 weeks, but right now, with 3 days of my campaign left, I have only 8 orders to secure, and I am quietly confident that I’m gonna make it to that elusive publishing contract. For the majority of the time, I was level headed and at peace with my pre-order campaign, but there were times when I was nothing short of frantic – ‘why has no-one ordered in six days?!‘, ‘what if people order, get the book and then hate it?‘, ‘why did I start this? I’m never gonna make it!!‘
I never wanted this campaign to consume me – but there were times that it came pretty close. I found myself dealing with emotions and reactions that I didn’t particularly like, and for me the two biggies were expectation and disappointment. See, starting out on a crowd-funding venture, I found that I had expectations in my head of who I thought would jump on board with me and pre-order ‘Phoebe’ – and they didn’t. Oh, some weighed in somewhere along the journey – but many did not, and disappointment started to bite. And I quickly found that, if left unchecked, disappointment can lead to resentment, and resentment is a horrible (and most unfair) bedfellow!
So, I stepped back and I recalibrated, and I realised that expectations are unfair and untrustworthy (is that a word??!), and once I was loosed from of the constrictive shackles of expectation and disappointment, I was suddenly free to enjoy the incredible journey towards book publication and the imminent realisation of my author-shaped dream. And more than that, I started to realise that for every non-orderer there were so many lovely people pre-ordering my book who I had never even dreamed of supporting the campaign. And in the place of disappointment there began to blossom deep and heartfelt gratitude – an altogether much more pleasant sentiment to live with!
I’m really excited by the prospect of the imminent publication of my second book, and in truth I’m not overly sad that my pre-order campaign is almost at an end – but I am also thankful for the experience and for the lessons that I have learned along the way. This has been a new thing for me; I didn’t used to like new, but I have discovered that new can be good, new equals growth and adventure, new is the new old. And, apparently, this little venture was not solely about the destination – it has been about the journey as a whole, and the stuff I have learned (and unlearned!) along the way. So, until my next book is ready to go and I have to start all over again, I will try to hold on to those lessons, to expect less and be thankful for more…