I’ve already received quite a few congratulations on the book I wrote (TAKE IT EASY: And More Tips for the Dedicated Improviser). Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to accept those compliments. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment. I do, of course I do. It’s just I can only accept precongratulations for the book, because it’s not ready yet. Written, yes. Ready, no.
So I find myself int he interesting position of having written a book and run a wonderfully successful crowdfunding campaign, both of those big accomplishments are behind me, but as yet, there’s still nothing to show for them.
That’s not entirely true, there are some things to show. And work is continuing, progress is being made. But it’s a bit frustrating for my optimism (read: naivete) to be up against the cold reality of a first-time author self-publishing a book for which he has really high standards.
But rather than speaking in generalities, here’s where the individual elements are at, more specifically.
DESIGN & PERKS
Pretty good on this front. I’ve got the stickers, thank-you cards and bookmarks all printed and ready to go. The bookmarks were promised as part of the campaign, but I made the other items because I think it’ll be sweet for backers to get a nice little package with some cool paper items, to go along with the book.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve actually printed the bookmarks twice. Round one wasn’t satisfying because the Bruce Lee quote on the front isn’t attributed (well, it is attributed, but on the back in tiny lettering.) That meant that people I showed the bookmark to quibbled with the bookmark’s marquee feature, a provocative quote that goes “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be”.
I understand why they might pick that apart with me. I’m not a paragon of self-discipline, martial arts prowess, and/or professional achievement. So we scrapped that batch and the new redesigned version has Bruce Lee attributed right beneath the quote itself. you don’t agree? Take it up with one of the fiercest martial artists of all time.
Unfortunately, in this second round the wrong side of the bookmark received the plastic coating. It’s on the other side, not the quote side. Which means I may get them done a third time. If anyone wants a few hundred imperfect bookmarks, I can cut you a very very sweet deal.
I haven’t yet gone into the studio to record the audiobook. But I have gone into that same studio to work with the engineer and record some voiceovers. Great studio, great equipment and a really supportive and fun engineer. Looking forward to sitting down and reading my own book out loud, but it seems foolish to do that before it’s been properly printed. So it will come later
WRITING A RAP
Also when I head into the studio I’ll want to record some dope-ass rhymes for the Rap Perk. I’m not that far along, but I keep writing rhymes. I can’t stop. The next step will be turning it into a song.
I’m still happy with my decision to go with the Irish printing company. Having said that, the first go at laying out the interior was poor. It just looked, in the words of my designer Eva “like a word salad”. We sat together yesterday and made a plan for a bunch of feedback to give the designers and are hopeful that with some strict guardrails in place, the designers will come through with something that is comfortable to read, matches the aesthetic of the book, and suits the content.
In the first round they didn’t achieve any of those, but hope springs eternal.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I can’t recommend Eva’s work highly enough. Her instincts, design sensibilities, supportiveness and general collaborative spirit have been levels beyond super helpful. I’m confident that the book will turn out looking great, and that’s all her.
I will be soon sending out an email to the haiku orderers. That way I can start writing some haikus. I think that will relax me, and also get me closer to fulfillment (both of the crowdfunding project, and in the sense of attaining Nirvana)
Even though I knew how much work is involved in this project, I had no idea how much work is involved in this project. And as much as it’s causing me anxiety, it’s also so fun and challenging in all good ways. This is the kind of stuff I want to be doing… and is the kind of stuff I am doing. That’s a pretty great win.
I’ll keep you posted.