A few weeks ago I self-published a children’s book. It’s called The Duck Who Lost Her Quack, and it’s available at blurb.ca and blurb.com if you want to have a look. (http://www.blurb.ca/search/site_search?search=shannon+mercer) Anyway, it’s been an exciting few weeks here. I got my first shipment last Monday, of big books, and I was thoroughly impressed. For a control freak like me, it was incredibly difficult waiting to see them. Horrible thoughts went through my head because, unlike me, the people putting these books together had absolutely nothing invested in how they looked. Sure, it’s their job to put the books together. But would they notice a text smudge here or there? Would they notice a few pages that were discoloured? Would they notice if a cover was a bit torn? And, if they did, would they care? I know, the rational person would understand that whatever they looked like was what they looked like, and there would be no way to fix it. But that’s a rational person. I’m not rational some of the time. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support from family and friends who have ordered the book to acknowledge my creative endeavour, and to have something written by me on their bookshelves (because that’s kind of cool). It’s been truly amazing. Even two of my friends on Twitter, whom I’ve never met (but hope to someday), ordered books. (Thanks Tammie and Barbara!!) All that support made me even more anxious about how the book would turn out. I didn’t want these wonderful people in my life to spend money on something that looked anything but fantastic. I would be upset if they looked bad and it was just me who ordered some for my little family, but it would be more than heartbreaking if they looked bad and others were affected. All that worrying was unnecessary though, because they looked fantastic.
And then there was my second shipment of smaller books to wait for. I was really impatient when waiting for these because I had another order of 22 smaller books to make, which I wanted to do as soon as I could, but I didn’t want to order 22 more if there was a problem with these ones. I needed to do an inspection. My impatience showed on Friday morning when, after receiving the confirmation email that they were at the post office, I rushed there and told the employee I would wait for her to sort the mail (it was that early and they’d just opened) because I had an important package. I’m sure she was thinking, What’s with this woman?, but she was very kind and accommodating. And then when I told her I had written a children’s book and this was a shipment of some, she asked to see one. She said she owns the tea shop in town and would like to get some work by local authors in to sell. “Local authors”?! Me??! First, how lucky is that??! Second, I immediately felt the need to explain that I had self-published the book: “Oh, well, I just self-published these…so…they’re not really ‘published’…” I have been doing a lot of that lately. I don’t want people to think that I think I’m a “writer” now, because literally anyone can use this particular website and self-publish a book. I didn’t do all the work involved in “actually” getting a book published (getting an agent, contacting publishing companies, sending out manuscripts, getting accepted by a publisher), and so I feel the need to downplay it. Despite that, a friend of mine at work – at the radio station – has asked to do an interview with me on his morning show this week (FM 94.5 The Bull). Again, I feel a little odd about it, but I also feel honoured that he’d even consider doing an interview with me about my book. I am also appreciative that he’s giving me some publicity, so that others – besides my friends and family who know about it because I’ve posted it on Facebook – can have my book in their homes to enjoy. And I am proud of accomplishing a goal, and of following my bliss. Oh, and the small book order was perfect. What a relief.