I see my grandchildren growing up and my heart overflows with love. Such precious children growing up in such a contradictory world. How can I help? Each time I would see opportunities to share with them it was like they would roll their eyes and think ‘here she goes again.’ I knew exactly how they felt. When we are young life is ahead of us and we feel indestructible – it is not in our consciousness to listen to old people. It is about doing, experimenting and living life. Yet I had all this learning from over my lifetime that I really believe puts us on the right track to make life easy and fulfilled. What was I to do?
Yes – write a book.
Many times I started and stopped writing. Then I would change what I had written. No, no, no, that is not what I want – it sounds clumsy. Pages of text came and went.
Yet nothing seemed wasted because when I wrote I was in the zone. Time would cease to exist as words spewed forth on the pages. Each moment I had spare, was spent writing. It felt so good to be doing something I loved. Ok, to be totally honest – at times I felt as though my words were bumbling and how could I ever get my words to be as I wanted.
Gradually over time I decided on the format – the first chapter was ‘beginnings’ – where things really start in our lives. From there it is about exploring how we branch out in our journeys, guided by ancient wisdoms. To be able to care for our body, mind and spirit, it makes sense to me to understand our body, mind and spirit.
All my life I have loved quotes that sing their message in a beautiful, succinct way. Here was my chance to inspire with wise sayings to touch our souls.
The book is an easy read. Because it is easy to read doesn’t mean the message is any less powerful or profound.
Well, I discovered that writing was the easy part. Self-publishing is not for the faint hearted.
I didn’t have a clue how to format the book, how to do graphic designs or even know of or how to use computer programmes designed to do this. And naively I wanted a book with full images on each page. After trying with Word, Canvas, In Design and many weeks doing so, I contacted Kay Lister who was recommended by my editor, Jenny Argante. Kay was studying graphic design.
Editing is another story. Jenny struggled with me as a client, because somehow my page breaks were all wrong and Jenny couldn’t undo them. And Jenny had on going computer troubles which were perplexing.
Then I kept making changes when Jenny thought my book was finished. This is a ‘no-no’ as Jenny puts her name to the editing and if I keep changing text, it is not fair to her reputation. As a first time self publisher I was thinking, how will I ever be finished because I can always see improvements?
I was determined for my layout to be full of images and had spent many hours choosing and purchasing, downloading and filing 350 images on Shutterstock. Proudly I sent the first 10 pages to my daughters to look at and their reply was ‘tacky!’ Indignantly, stubbornly and rather huffily I decided to proceed because it was ‘my book’ and it would be how I wanted it to be. Then a client who had been in advertising agreed with the girls, so I figured it was time to concede and go with the mantra ‘less is more’. No images at all! It would be simple format with a quote on one side and text on the other side of the page.
Then comes getting the book ready for printing. Who will print my book? Who will publish my book?
Local is best I thought so Printing.com at Tauranga is printing the book. Amazon is also publishing the book although that process is still underway. I would also like it published as an e-book, but that is also extremely difficult (for me). The file is a pdf file and Amazon need it in Word and when it is converted all the layout is changed. An e-book is in the ‘too hard basket’ for now.
Jenny, who has been my mentor all through the process, advised me that there needs to be a marketing plan. Here we go again! A new part of the journey with prelaunch research prelaunch pitches, launching, preparing website, reviews…
And as my final quote goes…’Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive. Elbert Hubbard
Time for a walk down the beach in the sunshine J