Imperfect action yields more results than perfecting the planning.
Picking my mental hammer up, I took it to the weakest part of my platform: me. Specifically, to that part of me that had shackled itself to other people’s models and methods, by deciding that learning everything possible about them first, while taking copious notes to ensure I missed not a single advantage, trick or essential action, which created longer and longer lists I imagined showing off.
See! Look it! Aren’t I the most prepared new author of all! I will rock when I effect this plan. I’ll prove to everyone I’m right.
This last thought sounds a scary lot like the thinking of Scott from A Perfect Blindness, the tragic Point of View character who completely misses what he needs to do and so brings disaster upon himself and those around him.
This should have screamed at me that using my mental hammer to affix on high this current plan of continual preparation in order to act perfectly was madness. This was no map to sales but disaster. I heard but ignored my own good advice that I should hunt down the reason I cling to this path, put that belief (read fear) in a room and nailed it shut—I’ve fictionalized the disaster that comes from misunderstanding one’s own motives, for being blind to one’s self. In fact, the unspoken tag line of the book tells me that ‘self-deception is the most treacherous lie of all.’ Read More
Leaping atop this rickety platform was a fat, 424 page 6 x 9 softcover book along with its e-versions, plainly announced in an email on April 28th, 2017. The email did explain the book appears only in the iUniverse bookstore first, arriving on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks over the next few days, in drips and drams as each platform absorbs the blow. So yes, I made the April launch.
Hurrah for me!
But in spite of how busy I’d been up to the unveiling, I heard no splash, no cheers, no sound other than cricket chirps and creaks from my platform’s wobbling.
Yes! There it is folks. After nearly two decades.
No one looked. Read More
As April aged and the launch marched ever closer, I tried to put all the various pieces of what I had been able to do into some form of order to suggest to me what to do next. So, I assessed my platform, the total of all the working parts of the machine, as it were, that I’ll use to make people aware I exist, A Perfect Blindness exists, and then to entice people to buy the book. Read More
So, self butt-kicking held, mostly, at bay, I had to get down doing things about a book I’ve worked on for over fifteen years going into print shortly such as figuring out this newly discovered service so I can use it. After my frantic emails and quick reconnaissance on line, I found out I get one person to take care of the physical publishing parts: i.e. get me my included free copies, the so called “book stubs”— a card with a code used for downloading a single free e-book version, help with author discounts for purchasing more books and like matters, and then I’ll also get someone who takes care of the promotional side. This involved more acronyms I can’t remember, nor ever bothered learned: I keep the emails and recognize names.
There were some miscellaneous items included in the publishing package that I needed to follow up on to make sure I haven’t left anything else I’d paid for laying on the table. Read More
Starting in March , the month before the launch, I’d begun writing a long essay, describing all the steps I’ve taken with A Perfect Blindness from my initial decision to self-publish, through getting onto the Traditional Publishing Path, each round of editing and all secondary paths and distractions along the way to getting the Rising Star designation and then a few tentative paragraphs about the Star designation, including various misunderstandings, issues, bumps and ego strokes. But, I included some factual items that I only surmised, so I was able to convince my Rising Star contact to look it over to answer the questions I had about how iUniverse worked, such as the percentage of people who get whatever level of designation. While she looked over what was to become the main thrust of this blog, I went back over my own route to make sure I didn’t miss anything along the way to include later in the blog. Read More
A plan. Great.
What plan? How does one even construct a proper plan?
As opposed to writing up a list of to-dos in whatever order might appear most expedient at the moment. Read More
I’d been working hard following all this advice from people who seemed to know, or certainly gave the impression that they should know. Yet when I looked at what I’d done to get people to know the book exists, to entice them, to encourage them to buy, or at least find something out about it, I saw it amounted to, effectively, nothing. Things were sort of in place to give information about the book, along with a couple of items might engage people, but there was no reason for anyone to come to the website to see what I’d built. It was a sandbox for me to play in and build fantasy castles of 5-star reviews and royalty checks that filled my bank account. Read More
I couldn’t shake the thought from my head at first: I’d botched this. Badly.
That everything I’d been doing, including publishing the book in the first place, has been a huge waste of time, effort, and money. My wife had trusted me, and the book and I’d let her down, let us both down.
Hang on here, man. Look at what you have done. Read More
In writing as in life, most of what you do depends on what you know and when you know it. There are luck, circumstance, and people that can help of course. But what you know and when you know it allows you to better take advantage of luck, your circumstance and anyone who can help. At the very least, it can prevent much frustration and head pounding by evading journeys down fruitless trails. Read More