This is what I did yesterday: in between feeding six cats, sweeping leaves out of the house, scooping up a dead rat from my doorstep, attempting to wind-proof my windows with squidgy insulating tape, cooking lunch, doing laundry and meeting some friends for coffee, I published a book. I didn’t even know I was going to do it when I got up in the morning; the idea occurred to me sometime in the afternoon, and then I read a couple of articles online, pulled up the Word files for four of my books, cut and pasted, formatted, proofread, created a cover and uploaded to Kindle – and by the evening, I had a new book on the Kindle store! An omnibus of all four of my books of “essays”, imaginatively titled FOUR.
And yes: sometimes I think about traditional publishing, longingly. Sometimes I think how nice it would be to have someone else take care of all of this for me – serious people; professionals – so I wouldn’t have to spend half my life squinting at a screen, lost in some crazy, nauseating vortex of margins and tabs and bookmarks, and previewing the same file over and over again only to spot that one little mistake, each time, that means I have to go back and start the whole process from scratch. Sometimes I long for publishers and editors and cover designers, professionals, fairies or elves – someone, anyone to sweep in and take over, so I can have a break.
But I would miss it. I would miss spontaneously publishing a book on a Sunday afternoon. I’d miss putting a thing out there, flawed as it may be, with all those little mistakes that make it mine. But if the fairies and the elves, the editors and the publishers want to come along and sweep up the leaves and clean the dead rats away and bring me a coffee as I sit bent over my laptop, spinning in my vortex, I wouldn’t say no.
Check out my latest offering on Amazon.