Candle-1 Being Outrageously Self-Published with my first 2500 books sold is not a new adventure. It started nine months ago when I talked to Mikey, a Market Coach from Arizona. This was August 1, 2011
He asked the simple question, “Where do you want to be in one year?”
It took me an hour to answer, “I don’t know. I just can’t keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past forty-five years with my art.”
He says I was whining.
I told him, I was trying to explain why I was at the end of my rope with my art. I guess it sounded like whining. I thought I was being heroic with all my wounds and excuses.
I’m not whining today. I’m on a roll. I’m going for it. I’m going for a Self-Published Novel. I’ve committed to sell my first 2500 books, Spirit of the Red Candle, a journal of Mary Magdalene.
Once that word, ‘Self-Published” sounded like the red haired-freckled face step-child who no one wanted to be. Today, that red haired-freckled face kid is the perfect one for the writer to be. The writer who wants to get published without jumping through the hoops of a failing book publishing world and receiving a slew of rejection letters is the perfect way to go.
My writer friends hold their rejection letters sacred as a badge of honor. I think they want to convince themselves they did all they could to honor the system and it didn’t work, no fault of themselves. Now they have a reason to quit.
I can’t lick those wounds any more. It was where I was nine months ago with a forty-five year career in fine arts in a crashing art market and as Mikey says, “I was whining.”
That’s why I chose “Self-Publishing.”
For anyone in their right mind and who knows the market, that’s got to be suicide. Sometimes when the pain is too deep to stay where you are, you have to jump into the unknown. Jumping is not as painful as to stay in the known.
There has been a lot of frustration, drama and pain, but everything has been a positive step to the next and to the next.
Spirit of the Red Candle was in its ninth re-write, when I thought it was ready for printing. I herald it to the world that it would be under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, 2011. It didn’t happen.
I met a professional editor who told me it could be a bet-seller if I took the necessary steps of tightening the words, trimming the fat, re-titling it, and turning all the passive sentences active. She said it would take some work, but it had the possibility of being really good. She said she would stick with me as long as I wanted her and I was committed to the work.
I told her I’ll do it, but I didn’t know how much work would be involved. I drove 50 minutes one way to her home three days a week for eight months. it was the beginning of winter, and in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, the snow could be four feet deep. Fortunately, it was an easy winter, the snow only came in a foot at a time.
I left my warm home many mornings in a blizzard, believing this book and the commitment I made to her was worth it.
Mikey, my market coach, who I also made a commitment to, agreed to stick with me and show me how to sell my first 2500 books. He was disappointed when I told him I was going to re-writing the book for the tenth time. I had to put everything on hold.
He was gracious and honored me and the process. These months have proven to be the most valuable time in my life. I’ve learned how to write a well-written book, and it gave me time to post and get familiar with my website and social media.
From that initial website that housed everything I did artistically, now has been split into two more sites, one for this journey and the other site for the book, Spirit of the Red Candle, the journal of Mary Magdalene.
I am beginning a new journey, this book is projected to be in print and in everyone’s hands by May 15th, in hardcover, paperback and E-book.