In one more day, I’ll be sitting at Double Dogs Chow House with several boxes of books ready to sell. It’s the culmination of a long process. It’s titled Baseball Boys, and I’m sure that most people are tired of my talk about this venture. I understand; however, this is new territory for me, and huge hunks of time have been invested in the process. Plenty of concerns go with having put this book out. Will it fly?
First, I worry that about having unknowingly given away the rights to the book to some company. Yes, I read the “terms and conditions,” something most folks don’t do when they sign up for iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Now, I have a college education, actually two of them, and degrees from accredited universities. Still, I read the document and muddle through the language. It read like an insurance policy. While I think I have a grasp of the points, uncertainty still exists. My prayer is that misreading didn’t lead to giving away everything.
This is my child, my creation. I began the book in the winter of 2009 and wrote and rewrote. Sometimes the story got stuck like a car in the mud. No, the cause wasn’t writer’s block. I just wasn’t certain how I wanted the thing to come together. Like most books, the story line can travel any number of routes, and the writer has to make the decision as to what will happen to the characters. That also determines the genre of each book. In this case, a work of general fiction has been developed.
At any rate, this is my baby, and like all parents, I look at it through blurred vision. The adage that all babies are beautiful is a lie. Some are so hard on the eyes that they should be kept from public viewing until their heads round out and their faces begin to at least resemble those of humans. The same is true with books. For every good book, hundreds, if not thousands, of stinkers are written. I worry that I might be so blinded by parenthood that I deceive myself into thinking this book is good. How embarrassing that would be.
With that said, here’s my confession. I realize that mistakes are in the book. Sometimes ending letters or words have been omitted. Believe me when I say that I proofed the manuscript on three separate occasions. I didn’t catch these and apologize to all. Next time I’m going to hire another set of eyes to catch things.
Along with that is a concern that readers won’t like the book. Hey, it’s not going to reach the best seller list or be acclaimed by critics. It’s put out for public consumption in printed and ereader versions. Even the price of the book is reasonable when it’s compared to others on the market. If people don’t like it enough to pay a less than market price, then I’ve failed. Public opinion might be a fickle thing, but for an author, it can be the path to success or the tumble to failure. Waiting to find out what happens is nerve-racking.
I don’t want my work to embarrass the people about whom I care. The worst thing of all would be to have folks “dog” my work or abilities to family and friends. Many of my columns have talked about family members and friends, but never with the intent to embarrass them or make fun. I don’t want a poor product to become the butt of jokes that others might make to loved ones, nor do I want family and friends to feel forced to defend me or my work.
I daydream about this book becoming popular enough to be picked up by a publisher. Nothing could be much better than to have this baby of mine put onto paper and bound by some big company. I barely have enough to fund the printing myself, but I’d gladly allow someone else to foot the bill and pump out copies. That way a much bigger audience could have access to this book. Yes, it might also lead to a contract for another book in the future.
At this point, I am excited about putting my first work out in front of the public. I just hope that it’s warmly received. Heck, I’d take a lukewarm reception, anything but abject rejection. That has nothing to do with making fortunes. However, it has everything to do with feeling confident enough to put another book out. I’ll say my prayers and await my fate.