A milestone celebrated… sort of!

I wasn’t expecting the delivery for another few days. Even mega-pricey priority courier delivery takes a while when your order is coming from the US and you’re waaaay the heck down the other end of the world in NZ. So when the van pulled to a stop in the driveway and the courier knocked on my door, I kinda figured it’d be a local delivery for one of my family. Clothes. Computer software. Protein powder. Nothing to get too excited about. 

Wrong.

It was a heavy box. Addressed to me. From the US.

Woot! I was so excited I couldn’t summon the slightest bit of embarrassment for answering the door in my pjs *cough* home office, writer, don’t get out much *cough* But I bit my lip and, aside from a heartfelt “thank you so much!”  didn’t mention anything about the contents of this box to the courier.

Why?

Because it’s difficult to explain the significance of the contents of that box to someone who isn’t a writer, or isn’t close enough to a writer to have intimate knowledge of the roller-coaster journey that is a writer’s life.

I know this for a fact because I’ve tried on occasion. And to be honest, most of my friends and family don’t get it — probably because I don’t explain myself very well. In fact, after I’ve finished a stint of writing (or I’m interrupted in the middle of a stint of writing, or I’m brainstorming prior to a stint of writing), my brain is so chock-full of characters and plot and potentials for conflict in “The Work In Progress”  I’m almost incoherent. Even simple words will escape me. Like the name of that wooden thing between rooms that needs to be closed so the heat doesn’t escape. (True story — just ask my kids O.O ) Not exactly conducive toward succinctly explaining exactly why the contents of that box mean so very very much, to a busy courier driver — or to anyone who doesn’t know me very well and has no inkling of what it’s taken to get to this point.

I carried the box into the kitchen, slit the packing tape, and there they were: 10 shiny, newly printed trade paperbacks with my name on the cover.

I know, I know. I can hear you saying, “But you’ve been print published before, Maree — in Red Sage’s Secrets Volume 30 Desires Unleashed anthology. Your name is on the cover of that book, too. So what’s the biggie?”

Well, the “biggie” is that my goal when signing my first publishing contract was to have a novella published in one of the publishing company’s anthologies, and to hold that print edition in my hands. Once I achieved that goal, I truly thought I’d feel exhilarated. Instead, for a number of reasons I won’t go into here, I felt exhausted and drained and depressed. And I wondered why I’d ever wanted to be a writer. Eventually I crawled from my funk. Because, yanno, writers gotta write (otherwise we are heinous bitch-trolls from hell who are impossible to live with). And after much angst and weighing up the pros and cons, I finally made a decision and dived into the world of indie-publishing.

Fast-forward two-and-half years, I’ve opened this box and I’m staring down at my name on the cover of the trade paperback editions of The Crystal Warrior. This is the book that was birthed from the first manuscript I ever won an award for, and the first manuscript someone in the industry whom I greatly respect was moved enough to tell me that I’d found my “voice” with. This is the first book I indie-published electronically. And the first electronic book I’ve print published. Me. On my own.  Knowing that this time, everything is on me. Everything. The cover. The cover finish. Back cover blurb. The color of the paper used for the interior. The interior layout and fonts. Front and back matter. Distributors. Book information sent to those distributors. And of course content… cue constant fretting over whether the edits have caught every little thing and the story is worthy of readers.

 

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Stressful?

Hell yeah.

Worth it?

Hell-yeah-to-the-max!

And here’s how I celebrated: I cried a little bit. I texted my husband. I showed the box of books to my kids when they got home from school. I gave one to my daughter, who then surprised the heck out of me by asking me to autograph it for her. DH bought home champers and we toasted the book. And I took a day off to drive out to the whops and give my mom her birthday present… plus a print copy of The Crystal Warrior. She doesn’t have the internet or an eReader. Or a credit card for online overseas purchases, for that matter. So giving her a print edition of my first indie-pubbed book felt pretty darned special. (Now I just have to hope she doesn’t actually read it, as she’s not keen on explicitly described love scenes! *blushes*)

That was it; celebrations done and dusted. On to the next project. Currently I’m awaiting a print proof of Ruby’s Dream (Book 2 of The Crystal Warriors Series) — can’t wait to see the cover now it’s been tweaked for the print edition! And this week I’m organizing editing for Jade’s Choice (Book 3 of The Crystal Warriors Series). Then it’s on to outlining the third book in my Freaks young adult series. Yep. No rest for the wicked :) But I’m really looking forward to diving back into Jay’s world and developing her relationship with Tyler: True love sure isn’t a cakewalk when your girlfriend’s a cyborg *g*

So if, like my mom, you aren’t in to eBooks and prefer print editions….

The trade paperback edition of The Crystal Warrior is now available at the following retailers:

 | CreateSpace eStore |
Amazon.com Amazon UK | Amazon DE |
Barnes & Noble US |
The Book Depository |
Fishpond NZ | Fishpond AU |
| Booktopia (AU) |
| uRead (India) |
Adlibris Sweden | Adlibris Norway | Adlibris Finland |

(Note: The Book Depository has free shipping to anywhere in the world, plus you can choose the currency you’ll be billed in so you don’t have to worry about pesky exchange rates. As an avid Kiwi reader who balks at international shipping costs, I <3 The Book Depository when I’m buying print books from overseas.)

Thanks for letting me share!

And a huge thank-you to DH, the other member of my publishing team, who designs both my print and electronic book covers, and formats the epub and mobi file versions of my electronic books. And who, it turns out, has a great eye for interior layout of print books. I thought the font I’d chosen was good, but the one used for this book? A whole new level of good! And as for margins and headers and footers, best perhaps we not go there but thanks again!

:-)

M

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2 Responses to “A milestone celebrated… sort of!”

  1. Huge congratulations Maree – having seen the book in person, I know how beautiful it truly is! :-)