I am almost published. It’s ridiculously close now: I’ve ordered a print proof copy that could be delivered any day now; I’ve previewed and reviewed the Kindle version; I’ve sent out advance copies for review. I could literally push a button and have it published (to Kindle) right now.
But there are still decisions to be made: I stared at the screen with the two little buttons about DRM (digital rights management) for about 15 minutes–do I let this ebook be shared, in the spirit of print, or lock it down so I can earn more money?
And there’s this whole new, scary arena that’s opening up: how am I going to market this? I mean, I probably should market it somehow, right, more than just occasionally tweeting about it and telling my family and friends. Thinking about it is overwhelming; I need to dust off those old marketing books.
But being here is terrifying. It’s six full months from when I first declared I was gonna do it–partially because some serious real-life things happened and sucked the energy out of me, but also because publishing, actually publishing, is game time. Can’t un-ring that bell. Have to have the thick skin in case people hate it or don’t get it or just don’t buy it. It has been a week of sleepless nights, and I haven’t even done anything yet.
I’m both extremely excited and really afraid, like the heartbeats before the curtain rises on opening night, when you can hear the susurrus of the crowd settling in and you know this is the time you might pull a Jennifer Lawrence and fall right on your face.
And yet I know it doesn’t mean practically anything to anyone I know: I’ve mentioned it to a few people, and the reaction is universally, “Oh? That’s nice.” Inside it feels like brass-band news, but self-publishing isn’t really the finish line anymore. That’s the thing I’ve learned the most about this process: the finish line keeps moving–First it’s “get it written.” Then it’s “make it good.” Then it’s “get it published.” Then–the finish line that is perpetually moving further back–it’s “make it popular/make money.” And then, of course, start again.
But… the curtain’s going up. It’s showtime. Because it’s better than not trying at all