Yesterday I got to experience a rather special moment. I finally got to hold in my hands my own book. An actual physical book that I’d written. In many ways this was a moment I’d dreamed about for years. I think it deserves a little blogpost…
I did wonder if it wouldn’t feel quite right because the book is self published. After all anyone can be a ‘published’ author these days, if by published, you’re prepared to do all the work yourself and pay a company to print it for you. I haven’t gone through years of rejection from publishers telling me the book isn’t good enough. I haven’t finally managed to ‘land a deal’. In a way I’ve cheated. So would it still feel ‘proper’?
It ended up surprising me because I actually felt rather more proud that as a self-published author I’d managed to get all the different aspects sorted myself. I’m not really talking about writing the actual story. I’m talking about finding people prepared to edit it. I’m talking about getting it properly laid out. Getting it proofread, getting a proper cover that looks great and isn’t pixelated. I can’t really take any credit for any of that except as a project manager, but to do that while supposedly looking after two young kids – it feels like a job well done right now.
But enough self congratulations. My daughter added her own special touch to the experience yesterday because she discovered the parcel left by the postman. Being four years old she was super excited and we opened it together, me slightly holding my breath as to what she’d say when she saw the book I’ve been working on for so long. Would she sense the significance of the moment? Would she say something profound? No. Apparently not. Her memorable reaction was to say: “Oh it’s just daddy’s book,” in the most disappointed of voices, and then throw each copy on the floor to see if there was anything more exciting at the bottom of the box. When there wasn’t she wandered off to play with her brother (who hadn’t even bothered to see what the postman had brought.)
The photo was staged with chocolate to make the kids look excited. But I don’t care. It’s still pretty special to get to hold your own book, even more so to get to hold it along with the two kids that unwittingly hampered every effort to get it into existence in the first place.