We are less than two weeks out from the launch date of The Greyfield and I think everything is ready to go. My modest (read tiny!) advertising budget is doing its thing on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com and I’m working on a few other DIY marketing elements that will materialise over the coming weeks, fingers crossed.
The paperback version – which several people have requested – is 99% confirmed, however, because I’m using a POD approach the price is a bit on the high side. Sorry about that. I’ll look at ways to get that down over time.
The final tweaks have also been made to the ebook – small things that no-one would actually really notice. In fact, it feels that all I’ve done for the past few weeks is change small things – almost for the sake of changing something.
Self-publishing in 2019 means that you can make changes right up until the last minute – and there is big temptation to do just that.
For example, I decided at 10:31 yesterday that I didn’t like the paperback cover that I had previously approved, so I spent a good portion of the rest of the day addressing that. One of the key changes was to re-write the story description on the back cover. There wasn’t actually anything really wrong with what I had originally put there, but having looked again at the blurbs on some of the books at home, I decided that it could be improved.
The truth is that I’ll probably always think that elements of the book could be improved – things that, given all the time and resources in the world, I would do differently. That is not to say it would make the book much better – my limitations as a writer certainly outweigh any cosmetic tweaks that I would make to the book. And that’s the point – you have to draw the line somewhere. As much as there are things about the book that I know aren’t quite how I’d like them to be, spending an excessive amount of time fretting about them, can become a way of putting off the inevitable.
In the end, you have to stop fiddling and face the music.
I genuinely have no idea whether people will read the book, much less whether they will like it or not. And, to be honest, I’m not actually too worried about it. I write because I enjoy writing. There is absolutely no pressure on the book to do well. If people enjoy it – wonderful – if they don’t – well, nothing really changes. I’m going to keep writing in my spare time and whenever I reach the end of a story, I’m going to put it out into the world. That makes it much easier to live with the flaws and imperfections that exist in the novel.
I’m not sure I’d be quite to so calm if there was a necessity for the book to perform to any measurable level. For every well-known author who has topped the New York Times bestseller list, there are a hundred or so talented authors who are writing for a living and are barely making ends meet. That’s real pressure – when every word actually matters and where a good review can mean the difference between making rent or not.
For the rest of us, we need to keep some perspective. Yes, we should absolutely do our best work, but agonising over every word and punctuation mark can quickly become an obsession. When writing is a hobby, isn’t it better to get the stories out into the world, then seek out feedback on to improve and go again?
Yes, we might fall foul of the grammar-police and the language pedants and not everyone is going to like everything that we do. But that’s OK – it’s supposed to be fun – serious fun, perhaps – but fun nonetheless.
If all else fails, just remember, no one died from the improper use of the Oxford comma.