I haven’t read it through from first page to last — in all honesty that would be very dull indeed. It gets to the point where your own voice is so familiar it makes you faintly queasy — you become sick of yourself. But what I have been doing is reading it in chunks — a chapter here, a section there — and what I’ve discovered is I like my book. And that’s not blustering pride or self-aggrandising… it’s more relief. There are parts that are worth reading. There are passages that will help and inspire. There have been many lumps in my throat but also many smiles. Some of it I don’t remember writing, and a few times I’ve read something I needed to hear in that moment — very interesting (and a bit weird, too.)
I love the physicality of the book. I love the weight, the size, the matte texture of the paper, the soft lustre of the jacket and the way the Polaroids have been printed, retaining the dreaminess I shoot for. It’s a surprisingly tactile book, one I hope you’ll enjoy touching and holding. These things are important to me.
Some of the passages feel incomplete to me but I’m sensing they will be my jumping off points for the next book. Because there isn’t a neat “ta-da! everything’s okay now” ending. Life’s not like that so neither is this book.
The other day I quipped to a friend that I wanted the book to sell well but I didn’t want anyone to read it. That’s how vunerable I’m feeling about it. But here I am with a finished book that’s filled with more questions than answers… a supportive companion filled with secrets and private thoughts in its pages. And yes, I feel vulnerable about that, but I also know it was exactly the right thing to do. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but for the right people I hope it will be.
So what now?
I have no ambition to reach any flashy bestseller lists — that’s not why I wrote the book — but I do hope that it sells well as I would like to write many many more, and to be able to do that I have to make my publisher happy :) It’s strange being on this side of the book-consuming equation. I am so used to being a buyer and lover of books I’ve never needed to think about the business of book-making. I’m on quite a learning curve over here.
Once the first session of Blogging from the Heart has finished I’ll begin doing what needs to be done to set this bookbaby loose on the world, including finalising the North America tour, organising a BLOG book tour, and putting the finishing touches to a pre-order giveaway I’m planning. This last item is making me very excited — I’m doing it to sell books, obviously, and that’s what an author has to do these days, but it’s actually going to be really good :D I canvassed opinions on Facebook and my very wise and fabulous crew over there helped me figure out what would be a truly excellent and worthwhile offer. So stay tuned for something that will sound a lot like “awesome” “e-course” “to accompany the book.”