Self-Publishing Part 11: Book Lands on a Wobbly Platform to the Sounds of Creaking and Crickets

by wlancehunt in Personal Narrative

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

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.

I pointed.

No one looked.

Nothing happened. At all. Not even in me: no excitement or even pride. I think my wife was more excited. Well, I did feel a thrill for a few minutes right after seeing the cover, title and my name online, and kept telling myself I should be proud, but the shrieks of everything left undone drowned out any euphoria, or triumph.

Disappointment colored every web page with the book’s image—while I didn’t know what to expect, not exactly, I did expect something. Something, somewhere to shift or explode or sail across…someplace or other, the sky, the computer screen, the ceiling above. Instead, I saw a couple of images, with blots of text, popping up on iUniverse’s bookstore, in the Rising Star section as promised, and soon on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s websites where it peeked out from among tens of thousands of other book covers, many with ratings and reviews—evidence that people knew it existed.

The rating-less, review-less cover of A Perfect Blindness gazed back at me, looking more stunned and discarded than launched.

Anti-climax describes the moment well: all that time, effort, money, and emotion poured into this moment and in return, and well, not a whole hell of a lot.

A book needs promotion and marketing, needs a push and a cheerleader—I’d known this for ages not only from all my reading and research, but common sense, and now this utterly silent launch glared at me from inside this computer screen.

Yes, damn it!

It’s time to do something, even if it’s weak and imperfect, hell, even if it’s not very good at all, getting done by the seat of the pants: imperfect action is better than perfect planning. One gets results, even if mediocre. The other gets—nothing at all, except perhaps for self-reproach. This grew into a constant refrain over the next four months: With mixed effects.

But that day, first thing: letting someone know—every newly published writer’s bugbear.

Know someone who might like this? Post it or Forward this email to let them in on it.

To ask a question or follow along with the self-publishing adventure, join the “Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness” here.



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