Dodging bullets and double identites

I appear to be on the back foot. Again. Mad, hectic week moving The Mother in to her new house. The fantastic, gallivanting granny is off to Oz in a week and if she can cope with what she’s been through in the last year and a half, then move home, take off across the world, and still come up smiling…well! I would like to hold her up as an example of dogged determination in the face of adversity. At the age of 79. They can teach us all a thing or two these olduns.

The paragraph above is in part a forward apology for my ramblings on about the minor, insignificant obstacles that continue to trip me up on my self-publishing path. I am going to ramble anyway, of course. That is the purpose of this blog.

This week’s surprises fell in to three camps:

  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Farm Life

The publishing bullet came in the form of Amazon dropping a ‘minimum pricing’ requirement on my book. How on earth did I not know about that? Of course it makes sense, a monkey could work it out. If I want the book to be in print, with a nice shiny cover, they have got to print it. And it can’t be sold for less than the cost of that. Strangely though, I have managed to get through the entire self-publishing process without stumbling over this relevant fact. I even had a conversation with my CreateSpace editing team about pricing and where to place the book. They helpfully gave me a suggested range and ‘similar book comparison’ exercise to follow, but failed to tell me that Amazon would play a major part in the decision. Bullet narrowly dodged by the minimum price being only pennies higher than the figure I had in my mind. Lucky that.

Marketing has been a rollercoaster. Twitter is going swimmingly, followers up and some great moments of banter. I’m loving the blogging community, and following so many people now that it is a miracle I get anything else achieved. I am hopeful that I have a book review lined up with one of my fellow bloggers (I will mention names when confirmed, but wouldn’t want to presume) and an author interview on another site (likewise).

The golden bullet came when ED (eldest daughter) informed me of the possibility of an interview and photo shoot with a major magazine. Way, way, way out of my comfort zone. At the same time just too big an opportunity to turn down, if it comes off at all. Part of me hopes it doesn’t… When said magazine called me for a chat (pre-booked and fully warned) I couldn’t remember the name of a single author or book in response to the standard questions “Which authors have influenced you?” and “What are your favourite books?” Where is that monkey, and can I use him as my stand in? ED was unimpressed.

Which leads me on to Facebook, author profile pictures and double identities. Specifically the pen name. Author Me now has a Facebook account and page, but all my regular, actual, real life friends are callously rejecting my invites because they don’t know who the hell I am. The Brother generously offered up his photography skills to do me some author profile pics. He has taken some great shots. Of Real Me. Do I share these on my Author Me sites? And if so what was the point of a pen name in the first place? The magazine, if it comes off, will be featuring Real Me. Not Author Me. Sorry, confusing I know. Welcome to my world. I should have bitten the bullet, and put my name on the cover. (Far too many bullet analogies in this post. Apology number three.)

The comic twist to my author profile pics, is that my physical proof book didn’t arrive in time for the shots. The Brother lives three hours away and was actually here to help The Mother move. In desperation I ‘mocked up’ a copy of the book (my cover image, stuck over the top of ‘The Guardian Guide to Careers’ with sellotape). The book is decidedly bigger than I had envisaged, despite the fact that I have known the measurements for at least five months. I dare not release any of the pictures until the actual book arrives for fear of being prosecuted under the trade descriptions act if I have messed up again.

To top off the week, the opportunity of changes on the farm have found us locked in often fruitless, circular debate around the kitchen table. For more hours than I care to count. Life’s rich tapestry is asking for bold colours. I’ve armed myself with a thimble and I will keep stitching. I have the example of a gallivanting granny to follow.

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