My book’s ‘delightmare.’

I should have been a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. The joy of rejection has become my new mantra. After all, I chose to self-publish a humorous hard bound book — Shouldn’t I have expected abuse for my artistic effort?

The story is simple: I’m a local creative type who decided to write a book for the gift market. The subject would be inspired by my home. So, I spent five years writing, illustrating, editing, and producing a house-warming gift book called, HOME OWNERSHIP: welcome to your delightmare.

The book should be the subject of this piece, but instead my keyboard is possessed by all the hic cups the self-publishing experience has conjured up. It has been a roller coaster ride of pride, frustration, profit, and incontinence. The book’s ‘delightmare’ title was intended to denote the flip-flop relationship we all have with our homes. Little did I realize that the description would apply to the whole authorship tirade.

Because I own 12 acres of perpetual self-destruction, the book had to be written about my house and its needy-ness. The writing went well. I illustrated the book, myself (I’m an old ‘wrist’ from way back). And then I managed to get it printed. I think it turned out pretty good.

The marketing was strategic. Everything was planned so it would be ready for the Amazon.com site, in time for last year’s holiday season. That’s when the adventure began. (EEK!) I had to learn Amazon’s protocol immediately. Books were shipped. Radio stations were calling for interviews. Friends and family all wanted autographed copies. I was starting to rethink my life as an aspiring scribbler.

After the holidays, things settled down. But, I realized that the ‘celebrity’ portion of my efforts needed to be ramped up, to continue the momentum. This made me uneasy. I started getting nervous before a ‘Live Talk’ chat with a radio host. I would ramble while the interviewer changed subjects and asked questions unrelated to the book. This wasn’t fun, anymore.

After a while, I decided, “To hell with it… I’m taking this too seriously. I need to relax.” So, I purposely approached broadcast stations and started practicing my delivery. The new attitude worked, but the highs and lows of getting attention revealed how fickle an audience can be.

The extreme example of my success running ‘Hot and Cold’ came recently when I was scheduled to do two appearances in the same week. The first was a live mid-day television interview. A few days later, I was to appear at a local bookstore for an ‘Author Event.’ The TV show went great. One and half million viewers in 10 minutes! I thought, “Wow… I’m cooking, now.” I went to the bookstore expecting a crowd — And, there was NOBODY! Zero. Not a soul. Wait… I take that back. One old lady stopped by to tell me about her cat. (A very humbling day, indeed.)

And so it goes. Writing a book is only the beginning. An author needs to swallow pride, expectations, and humble pie — all in one gulp. It has been a learning curveball. I just didn’t expect it to swing around and hit me in the butt.

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