Thoughts on the book

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.”

Posted on 26-03-2012
14 responses
  1. paul jarvis

    ha, i felt the same way when i read my book through for the first time, “thank goodness i actually like this!”. i’m looking forward to reading your book!

  2. Samantha Jenkins

    I’ve just completed my own first book and am planning to self-publish it soon – I can only imagine the joy you feel at being professionally published with the finished artefact now in your hand. Congratulations! Looking forward to hearing more about the e-course – sounds interesting!!

  3. Cecilia

    i imagine it’s like reading through an old journal, amplified. go you! i cannot wait to read it.

  4. michelle gd

    i am so eager to receive my pre-ordered copy in the mail! your posts about your book are getting me more and more excited. it’s so nice to hear your “real time” reflections on this whole process…

  5. Stephinie

    wonderful. I pre-ordered & cannot wait to have it in my own hands. if you are looking for a stop on the blog tour…. I would be honored :)

  6. Lori - What Remains Now

    Really looking forward to it. I know it is going to be wonderful. Now I’m excited about what your “special offer” will be.

  7. Nikki

    Hi there, and congratulations on the book! I’ve just discovered your website recently, via Roots of She, and I love it. I just got a book contract to publish my book, “Starcat’s Corner: Essays on Pagan Living.” It’s been a lifelong dream to be a published author, so I’m THRILLED! It’s fun reading your experience with your own book. I’m not sure what a blog tour is, but I would welcome your presence on my personal blog if that works for you. It’s

    Nikki (aka Starcat)

  8. Tara

    Uh, yes!!
    ” I wanted the book to sell well but I didn’t want anyone to read it.”
    That’s exactly how I feel about my book, and it’s not even a vulnerable-ish book!
    Thanks for putting words to this phenomenon and being brave and courageous!

    oh good, i’m glad it’s not just me who feels this! :D can’t wait to read yours, Tara xo

  9. ~Kristina

    My copy has been pre-ordered and I can’t wait to hold it. While our stories are quite different, your story resonates with me. I’m sorry that I won’t make it to meet you on your book tour.

  10. Christianne

    Whoa! I’m totally intrigued by your last few words there. Awesome e-course to accompany the book?!? Yes, please!

    I already pre-ordered my copy, but I’m totally going to enter the giveaway anyway because, hey, I can always give my free or purchased copy to a friend!

    So loved reading your thoughts here on the post-published experience. xo

  11. Liz

    Hi Susannah, I can’t wait to read my copy I pre-ordered. I am so excited.

  12. Kathryn

    As an aspiring author I love reading these posts about your books and what’s happening and all that. It’s wonderful. :)

  13. Shandi

    I read it twice, savouring the words, and not wanting it to end. And I love the tactile quality, size and dreaminess of the photos as well. It does have that diary/journal feel.

    I’ve been going through some of your posts on writing, and they’re giving me the push that I need to start my project seriously.

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