November 27th, 2002

abstract butterfly

The nice thing about daydreaming

As I examine all these self-publishing options, in hope of publishing my meager musings from the novel-writing contest, I love the sense of endless vistas. Everywhere I look, a new hyperlink turns up with yet another set of potential publishing options, or yet another set of comparisons of various of the businesses which make up this market. I get a real charge from the sense that a universe of creativity and craft is just one mouse click away. I review gossamer websites about celestial dreams--shall I publish? shall I be read? shall I hold a moonbeam in my hand? It's all like some great Broadway musical, and my hastily jotted bit of whimsy is suddenly Mary Martin. I even have a bit of legal training, so I can pore through the form contracts, noting particularly unfavorable clauses, and
comprehending slightly rights and termination clauses. In my mind, I am a mogul.

Deep down, though, I know the realities of this sort of thing. I write as a hobby, because it is fun to do so.
I do not expect to be read by many, and am always grateful when I am read by an appreciative few. Self-published books en masse sell fewer copies per book published than the cost of production per book, with a very few titles breaking this rule, just as a few telemarketers probably do make a good wage.

So I can enjoy my daydream--the notion of the feel of the book in my hand, the idea of being listed on, which always seems something of a pinnacle to me, for no really good reason. But I can also enjoy knowing about myself that I enjoy my dreams, and still live in a more pragmatic world. Accordingly, I'll do something appropriately inexpensive, as all hobbies should be, and either post my book on a website or esite or get it printed up extremely cheaply one way or another. But although I know this "yes, I am sensible" thing about myself, I still just love daydreaming about publishing options and exchanging my book on nervousness and setting up websites and selling the book and all this stuff.

But really, what do I want? I don't want all that much, actually, and on this hobby project, I can achieve a readable book in a workable format in a reasonably priced way. But it sure is fun to daydream about little companies with big fancy names, and e mails from people I don't even know, saying "I read your book".

I'm a few hours from my holiday's beginning, after a week of intense depositions, intriguing negotiations and too many late night flights. I've got a Trollope novel and the fourth Harry Potter book in mid-stream (both excellent), and the weather has settled into a nice very chilly but not cold ambience. I'm ready, yes I am. I'm ready for some time off.