There’s nothing that keeps me more awake at night than moving at a snail’s pace on a project, especially when it’s out of my hands. I suppose it doesn’t make it any easier when I’m doing it the same week I chose to stop smoking — again!
Yup, that’s right. I probably never even mentioned that I started again. I had almost two years under my belt this last time. I started again during the moving fiasco. I’ve quit a few times since settling in here, but it hasn’t “took” for more than a month yet. This time, I’m on day six. Or is it day five? I’m not sure which, but it feels like day 100. It’s usually hardest for me to make it past day five. Once I pass that mark, the rest is pretty much mental.
On this round, I’m wearing a nicotine patch. I don’t usually do it this way, but I’m so terribly moody when I quit, I figured I’d make everyone else’s lives easier. Still, I’ve had a couple of moments I wanted to throw my fist through a wall. Not very dainty of me.
In the meantime, I am waiting. More waiting. While I still have plenty of research to do — and that’s what I’ve been doing — it’s been filling me with anxiety that I am stuck in limbo. I can’t start scheduling production until I know what’s happening with the proofreading/editing portion of my book. Once that’s settled, and I have an idea when that begins, I’ll have a better idea of when it will be finished. That’s when I can schedule everything: like the launch date.
Once that date is set, then there are precious moments that can be planned in the days, weeks, months prior. It’s especially important that galleys be printed at least four months in advance. They need to be sent to everyone that I’m trying to get reviews out of during and around the launch date. If I wanted to make my spring goal, They should already been sent in by now. Definitely by December 1st.
Doing what is called a blog tour takes careful planning. You have to query every reviewer, blog, media site, and/or journal that you want to be featured on before you can schedule anything. That turnaround time is very tight as it is. Then, to book your slots with them and match them up to your release date is a whole other roll of the dice. I also don’t have a publicist; it’s all DIY. I’ve been making a very long list of sites that may be good places to try. I can ask them if I could get a blurb, or a review, or an interview. Getting one is probably slim to none, but I have to try. Weeding through all of them (and there have been hundreds), has been a full-time job in itself. I have a bit over 30 on the list (that seem appropriate) and want to shoot for at least 100 and hopefully, I can squeeze out 10% of them. But I’m probably being too optimistic.
I’m also still waiting on the permission of using song lyrics. Stevie Nicks’ people got back to me, but only to ask the same questions they’ve already asked before. Neil Young’s publishers made it seem like I may have to wait years. I think I’ll come up with a backup plan for those lines. But I just can’t for the Fleetwood Mac song. I need to pay, or whatever they want. I really hope to get permission there. If it were Mick Fleetwood, it wouldn’t be an issue. He was once a pal of mine! It’s not in my book at all, but my band played the Viper Room one night and he happened to be there. He saw us play and was fascinated with us. I really don’t know why, but he was. Our band had been compared to Fleetwood Mac a lot.
After the show, I started taking down my drums. Mick stood, leering high above me, asking all kinds of questions about my drum set. I played a custom Pork Pie set. He’d never seen one, so I told him all about Bill Detemore, the creator. Pork Pie wasn’t really a full-fledged company yet. Bill was working out of his garage with one hire who helped build my set. I’d already been buying snare drums from him and now I was endorsing his brand. Mick was digging the set, the band, and I guess me too.
He wound up sitting at the band’s booth all night, drinking and shootin’ the shit with us. Every now and again, Sean, our bass player, and I would look at each other and quietly flip out. One of us would secretly point at Mick like, Get this. Can you believe this? Mick Feetwood is sitting between us!
That was an unforgettable moment.
Anyway, I digress. I was talking about Stevie Nicks, whom I’ve never met. Waiting on her approval to use a line from a song…
In the meantime, research and more research. It’s never-ending, or it’s an unending peeling onion that won’t stop. Too many goddamn layers, I tell you!
I know I have to shed this overwhelmed feeling soon. I have been. Sort of. I felt a lot better after reading this article by Noelle Sterne on Two Drops of Ink. It made me feel like I probably don’t have another choice but surrender to the process, which is a freeing feeling — not necessarily a feeling of surrendering or giving up hope.
I’ll always have a competitive fire in me, though. Well, wait. Calling it competitive is probably misleading. It’s just healthy (sometimes unhealthy) ambition. I think once you start feeling competitive, you can lose sight of what your purpose was in the first place. I think it’s better to stay ambitious, but keep it creative and sportsmanlike; carve out your own schemes if possible. Because, if you try the same strategies as other people, you probably aren’t going to get the same results anyway. You can adapt some of them, but make them your own. Like art, don’t copy. Appropriate. Yes, there’s a difference. No, I’m not an art snob.
Price shopping is also taking forever, as well as re-balancing the budget over and over. I’m trying to do this whole thing with an itty-bitty purse. A baby purse. I got a small grant from the California Arts Council/National Arts and Disability Center to start the business, but I’m still waiting on that check to come before I can really purchase anything significant, like memberships or software. I’m considering doing some crowd funding too — considering, I said. I need money to print up galleys for promotional purposes. I thought I’d only need 50, but looks like I’ll need 100. I don’t want to do a Kickstarter though. I really do not want to beg my friends.
What’s left to do besides arranging the proofing and setting a launch date?
- Try to write a stellar press release.
- Make little paintings for special edition.
- Finish social media set-ups (G+ and profiles).
- Research more reviewer’s blogs.
- Follow up on all permissions (photographic and otherwise).
- Finish trailer.
- Set up events calendar/to-do list with due dates prior to the launch.
- Build book store on the new website.
- Copyright office, Library of Congress, ISBNs, and barcodes.
- Complete format book for print.
- Create reflowable format for book as ePub.
- Enter meta data, Keywords, subjects/categories into book.
- Follow up on cover design.
- Send in all materials into the distributor — (wait three months for galleys).
Right now I can only work on 1-4. I have to wait on other people otherwise. The sooner I get confirmations on some of those things, the sooner I’ll know when my book can finally get out into the world, and out of my hair!