Monday, July 29, 2013

Paralyzed by Fear of Failure or is it Really the Need to Make Decisions?

I published my children's book, Little Saint Therese, about a year ago as a self-published, print-on-demand book through The Book Patch. I bought one as a proof copy, uploaded some minor changes, and then bought some more to give away as review copies or gifts.

A year later, I have still bought more books myself than anyone else has bought. I'm sure I shouldn't admit that publicly, but hey, there's a point to my openness.

Yes, the book is geared to a very specific age group and no, I don't promote it very much. But I think there's something more going on here, too. Who's ever heard of the Book Patch? (No offense, Book Patch folks; you do a great job on the publishing and mailing!). 

And where do you go to find out more about a book? Amazon, right? But my book isn't on Amazon. Naturally, it doesn't come up in any Amazon searches for children's saint books or children's Catholic books or what-have-you. 

Six months ago, give or take a few, I was ready to publish my Myers Family Vintage Cookbook (or whatever name I ultimately settle on). But I had a Total Formatting Fail when I tried to upload it at The Book Patch. So I began to think maybe I should publish it somewhere else. I also realized the formatting was a huge learning curve for me, wherever I published it. And my publishing ventures are not all that I have on my plate, so it kept getting shifted down to a lower priority. You know how it is when you feel something is a major project, right? 

This morning I finally sat down, determined to do something about the cookbook. And that's when I realized that it's not so much fear of failure that has been paralyzing me, as I had begun to think. It's actually more the need to make decisions! I started this morning's questions with: How much do I want to charge for Kindle books? Then I realized I needed to decide - for the physical book - between CreateSpace (Amazon for print-on-demand) and Lulu (print-on-demand company which also enables you to offer your book on Amazon). 

So I did some research and found...mixed reviews. I really want spiral binding for the cookbook, which CreateSpace doesn't offer.  But people say Lulu is more expensive. Some people were even concerned about the cost of buying their own copies. I have a lot of copies to buy. But I also want spiral binding.

So then it dawned on me. I don't hope to make money selling print books. I mean, I'm not going to give them away (well, not too many of them); but selling print books is not my main plan. It's the Kindle books that I hope to sell in volume (when I finally get them there). That will be my "book business", so to speak.

I want the print books for the copyright registration, and for me and my family, and for gifts, and for review copies. If someone else wants to buy them, too, that's terrific. But that spiral binding is more important to me right now than a place on Amazon, and my budget is limited. I want my next book, too - my Minute Psalm Retreats - to have spiral binding. And again, once they are in print, I hope to put them all on Kindle, and that's where I hope to make any volume sales. 

So, for now, for this 'set' (if you will), why not continue with the print-on-demand publisher that I already know? Now that I've made a decision, I hope I can move forward again! 

Have you ever procrastinated because you were avoiding making decisions? 

Next Day: I think I have tweaked yesterday's decisions. But that doesn't change the concept that the need to decide on the next direction can sometimes hold us back! 

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