Welcome to the Fight-To-Self-Publish-The-Perfect-Book Club.
First rule of Fight-To-Self-Publish-The-Perfect-Book Club: Only ever self-publish a Perfect Book. Ever.
Second rule of Fight-To-Self-Publish-The-Perfect-Book Club: Never talk about self-publishing a Less Than Perfect book. Never ever.
Some folks might advise me against telling you what I’m about to. You see, there’s a whole “code” around self-publishing which dictates a couple of fundamental principles and “rules”, and I’m about to break one by telling you how I’ve broken another one.
I’ve just self-published a book which has mistakes in it.
And I just ordered a print run of 100, and started selling them, with those mistakes in it.
One rule (I’d like to say unwritten rule, but many critics and supporters of self-publishing have actually written about this) of self-publishing stipulates you must not release your book unless it’s absolutely perfect – typos, spelling, etc. all correct and edited to the highest standard. Proofed meticulously. And I agree. The problem with the surge in self-publishing is the diminishing in quality of writing generally, and I personally dislike finding typographical errors in books, so I can understand why advocates insist on scrupulous editing.
The second rule (a somewhat more unwritten rule, perhaps until now) is one should never draw attention to the fact one’s self-published book could be anything less than perfect.
I’ve broken both these rules.
Those who’ve been following my recent pursuit to have Soul Letters for the Cancer Sojourner published in time for the conference I’m speaking at next week will appreciate the breakneck speed I set myself to have this book finished. I ignored the advice I give self-published authors all the time about having a third party edit and proof the book, simply because I had confidence in my ability to do the task myself, even under immense pressure.
Well, I thought I pulled it off. But I didn’t.
I’ve ordered and paid for the first print run of 100 books, and they arrived here two weeks ahead of schedule. This is great, because I’ve been able to send out those copies to sponsors they elected to receive as rewards, as well as fulfil the pre-orders.
Imagine my horror at sitting down to proof the print copy with absolute confidence it was as good as I could get it only to realise it wasn’t.
So to those who will be in receipt of this initial print run, I apologise.
It’s not perfect.
Consider it a kind of souvenir.
You see, my goal is to have way more than 100 copies of this book sold and distributed across the world. Perhaps you could consider yours a “special edition”?
You know, when I used to make quilts, my friends and I would often leave our little stitching mistakes alone. We heard the Amish quilters did this, because they believed only God could make something perfect.
Perhaps you could consider this first print run my “Amish” run.