Friday, August 12, 2011

Self-Published Author: Making Tough Calls Like Moving a Publishing Date

Self-publishing is all about you. You the author; you the publisher; you the marketer. When the tough calls come, the pressure and decision stops with you. This is the predicament I find myself in, trying to publish my first book.

My husband is in the military and we have two children. My oldest is my super-stepson and he lives with us. Unfortunately, the reason he lives with us is because the other home is not very stable at the moment. Poor kiddo has seen too much. He is starting the 6th grade, and originally our move this year from Charleston, SC to Groton, CT was going to happen in October after he finished a 9 weeks here. Well, Navy housing completely let us down, and we have to rent out in town. I didn't want to risk waiting until the end of October for something decent to be on the market, and keep my oldest out of school for 2-3 weeks while we found something and moved in. So, I jetted up last weekend to CT to house hunt, and the hunt was fruitful.

We have the perfect house, and I love the little town and schools. We're going to live in Niantic, CT. The downside is me and the kids are moving Labor Day weekend now, and my husband can't follow us until the middle of October. Yep. Me, alone, with the kids, moving 900 miles. Good news is the Navy moves us, but I'm not 100% confident in them putting the bed back together, me hooking up the washer and dryer, etc. Other good news is my mother is coming with to help and just flying home to Virginia after staying with us a week or so. We're picking her up on the drive up. 

But that's all personal life stuff. The real question is how will this affect my publishing schedule. I admit, I was tempted to just move my publishing date to October. That's the easy answer, right? But let's think about this. I have a few irons in the fire that this will mess up. First, I gave my word to an editor with a small indie press that I would be published by the end of September so that I could recommend his author's book for October. If I publish in October too, then it becomes a competition thing. This relationship is important to me, too, and I want to be as good as my word. Second, my poor cover artist is waiting in the wings to finish the POD cover. She just needs a final page count. I can't get that to her until I format for the print book, and I can't format for the print book until I format for the ebook. 

And this is the big issue. I need to publish in September to get my writing career rolling. This is my first book. That's all. Not my last book, my first of many. I just need to get it out there, take my punches, and work on Book 2. I am getting caught up in this idea of perfect, perfect, perfect. I am human, far from perfect, last time I checked. This move is a bigger burden financially than we expected since we have to rent out our Charleston house. I would help my family out a great deal just by bringing in an extra $100-$200 a month. That's what I wanted when I started this, and then my eyes got bigger and bigger the more I learned about others' successes. You know, it's great that others sell hundreds, or even thousands of their books. I hope one day to have that success. But for me, I need to remember, even if it means telling myself over and over again, I only need small success. Yep. Small success for each book and keep writing. That's all.

So I'm going to keep pushing myself to publish by September 22. I'm not going to take the easy excuse out and miss my deadline. That isn't how a professional behaves. A professional keeps her head down, plugging away, even if it doesn't look like she'll make the deadline. A professional keeps working to deliver even if the deadline comes and goes, because that's what she said she would deliver. And I want to be that professional author.

"CANCELLED" arriving SEPTEMBER 2011A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.


  1. Kudos to you for sticking to your date! I hope you get settled quickly and have no trouble making it. I respect you for respecting the people you're working with. I wish you great success!

  2. Thanks Kim! That's the other side of being on your own, no one pats you on the back for a good decision. But that is what I have friends for! I think I will get settled quickly, and a interruption of internet for a week or two might just be good for me. :)