Birthing Your Book

January 29, 2018
Three years in the making, that’s what it has taken from idea to completion for my new book Maya Awakens to manifest in the world. Today I continue to learn how to promote and market the book.  It is one thing to imagine and actually create your vision and a whole other to find the right outlets to promote and market the work. One could give it away for free, but that wouldn’t support the time needed for future books waiting to be born or guarantee that it would reach the right audience.

For those of you seeking a quick bullet list of “how to’s” there is a wealth of information on the internet to assist you in learning to self-publish. This is for those of you who want another perspective, the agony and ecstasy of the creative process, and one that just might inspire you to take the first steps towards manifesting your vision. Because writing and publishing a book is giving birth to your dream, vision, idea and not to do so is to invalidate the creative spirit that is an essential part of who you are.

My story begins on a November morning in 2014. I had recently made a drastic shift in my life downsizing to a small apartment in a 1740 farmhouse on eight acres of rural land. I had gone from living in a nine room colonial on two acres, to 800 square feet with a wood burning stove, a claw foot tub and a pond teeming with wildlife in the backyard. My animal family, Maya, Seamus and Tessa were happy exploring the new terrain while terrorizing the landlords cat. Now one winter, summer and fall into my new place I had found time to inquire into who I had become in 63 years of living. Here is an excerpt from my journal at the time.

Christmas Day 2014
What a grand Christmas Day! We all woke after an evening of movies and good food. I then turned on the Celtic Christmas tunes and lay on the couch with the pups and Tess sipping tea and watching the light reveal itself behind the curtains. The perfect beginning for the end of the year. Fed and rested we tumbled out the door and walked the land enjoying moderate temperatures and the promise of blue skies and the sun peeking out from behind thick clouds. After breakfast went to meet a friend who had agreed to model for me while walking in the woods. I planned to photograph her interacting with the pups for the new book I’ve been visualizing. The shoot went great and when we got home I piled the pups into the boat and off we went rowing across the wind tossed pond, the sun sparkling and the water rolling in gentle waves. Heaven!

And so the process had begun. It was as if I had been given this idea in a dream or my meditation, an idea that was bigger than I was and very unsure if I could do it justice. But the universe does not wait for us before passing it on to someone else, someone willing to take the leap and accept the challenge, so I took the leap, as you will see Seamus do to save Maya in Maya Awakens.

I had decided to create the book using all my Apple devices. I shot the photos using an iPhone 6, edited them using photo apps on an iPad2, uploaded them to my iMac and created the book using iBooks Author. The template was simple to use, but at the time iBooks was behind in posting information about how to use their Author program. It took two years for them to catch up to the self-publishing boom and there are still a number of things they can add or change to make the process better. Here’s a predicament I found myself having and you will have similar questions, but they are easier to answer in this 2018 market.

March 13, 2015
How would an editor work with iBooks Author? I think that when I come to an obstacle it allows me to stop and think before proceeding too quickly into a tangle of nonsense. Right now I am just putting photos and text into the template. I think I should spend more time at the iMac now and get everything arranged as I see it. Then go back and add – subtract – edit. If new photos are needed then create them. Redo the opening photos of Seamus. I need to catch peoples attention right away. Chuck the font size, because the photo font is so large, begin text page with a few larger words then go to a 15 point font. Why can’t I find this information online and why is there no one available to speak to by phone. So much easier to work with Create Space than iBooks.

At the time I was creating Maya Awakens I was also working on a book about chair yoga called Chair Vinyasa, and how to use it for all levels of yoga student. I was working in the Apple Pages program and had decided to publish through Create Space, which is Amazon’s publishing platform. So you can only imagine the amount of research and exploration I went through to find the right venues to birth each one of three books I’ve created in the past two years. Ask any woman and she’ll tell you about the pain and joy of giving birth.

February 22, 2015
Creating the book is one thing but then comes the marketing and selling. I have to believe in what I am doing so strongly that it becomes my reality and a successful business. So far I’ve managed to design eighteen pages of photos and text. I find that doubting myself is as natural as creating. Can I do this? Can I finish it? Once done will people be interested in reading the book? How long will it take to download this size manuscript? For the most part my thoughts are about how to keep focused when I hit a snag. I do not want this to be my only book and I am acting like it is something so significant that it better be perfect. Get over myself and do the work.

Stay tuned for Who You Will Want Along on Your Writing Journey.