I remarked earlier, on Twitter, something about how I can’t get myself to stop working. Yesterday -and I say yesterday, not because it was different from other days, but because I noticed it and did the math- I worked an 18 hour day. I got up, ate breakfast, sat in front of my computer, and without doing it intentionally and without realizing it until I was over 16 hours in, I worked almost continuously, only stopping for food & bathroom breaks and the occasional human interruption. I had actually intended to relax that day. To take some time to play games or just watch TV and/or movies. Something. Alas, I’m in the midst of getting two books ready to send to my printer, and I’m completely occupied. I can’t seem to stop working.
One of the pitfalls of doing what you love full time is, apparently, not being able to get yourself to stop doing it. This entire week, while difficult and frustrating at times and almost always leaving me feeling unsure as to whether the product I’m producing will be marketable, has been enjoyable. I’ve been having a good time. A few hours ago, after I’d added the two new books (Forget What You Can’t Remember and More Lost Memories) to modernevil.com, after tweaking things around so everything displayed okay across 6 different browsers, when I spent over an hour simply rearranging the book cover thumbnails on the main page, I was having a good time. It was fun to play around with laying them out, spacing them out, and otherwise shifting the tiny images around in dozens of different configurations.
So, that’s good.
But then again, there are factors like: It’s already December 21st, I haven’t submitted either book to my printer yet -actually, I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of people who said they’d copyedit for me, though probably not for much longer- and I haven’t finished composing the music for the podcast version of the novel and with Christmas and New Year’s Day I can’t expect particularly rapid turn-arounds on the book production and the podcast launches January 1st on the Modern Evil Podcast (and January 2nd on Podiobooks.com) and it sure would be nice to have the physical book available when the podcast goes live, but I don’t see things coming together that quickly, at this point. Wait, did that sentence make any sense?
I wanted to have the books to LSI (who prints & distributes them) ASAP, preferably in time to have them on hand before the podcast goes live (and before the Art Walk, Jan. 2nd). I wanted to have them done and ready to go a week ago. Monday of this week at the latest. But I have to do everything by myself. I’m a one-man operation. I write the books. I edit the books. I copy-edit the books. I do the layout. I design the covers. I take the photographs (or, in the case of More Lost Memories, paint the paintings) for the covers. I write the copy. I design and build the web sites. I do the accounting. I handle the “e-commerce”. I do the marketing. Everything. I do everything myself. So, it takes a little longer than I’d like. So, I probably won’t have the books on hand Jan. 2nd. Perhaps not even the proof copies back to be sure everything was set up okay.
Which, if I were trying to do things traditionally, wouldn’t be as much of a problem. A traditional publisher takes 9 months to two years to get a book on store shelves. I finished FWYCR at the end of October and I wrote More Lost Memories in November and I’m trying to have them in print and ready to sell by the end of December. Well, by “January, 2009” right now. If I’d given myself until January 2010 it would have been no problem to get all this done. Heck, I could already have the audiobook in the can. Waiting for people to find the time to actually read the book and give me feedback wouldn’t be an issue. All that. But I’m not trying to copy what’s out there. I’m trying to run the publishing company I want to be. I want to go from first draft to book for sale in as short a time as I am capable of producing a professional product. I want to have several new books every year. This year, 2008, Modern Evil Press didn’t put a single new book in print. Next year, I’m starting with two in January and I have another short story collection about 2/3 finished, and unless the course of my life changes significantly, I should be able to get another novel (or two) written before the end of the year. I want to be the one-man operation that doesn’t hold itself back because of its limitations.
My only limitation is time. There’s only one of me. And I have to do everything. But it’s coming along. And it feels good. Hopefully I’ll be able to send these two books to the printer before Christmas. Then, with any luck, I can get some painting done in the midst of trying to launch yet another podcast novel. Alright, gotta go slice my fresh-baked cranberry bread now, then get ready for church. Thanks for reading.