Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Creeping Self-Doubt

Couldn't sleep last night. Kept tossing and turning like crazy. 1am passed on the clock while I was still staring outside at the almost full-moon. Although the bedroom is now decorated, we have still to re-install the TV into the room (the only thing I've insisted on throughout it all). I could have done with watching some of the mind-numbing crap that passes for television these days just to get me to sleep.

As a result, I was pretty damn tired when I got up. One cup of coffee with toasted plain bread later and I was beginning to recover from a crappy, dreamless sleep. Work, lay just around the corner. It was all looking very grim.

On the plus side I got through - and wait till you hear this - circa 16,000 words of AFTDF today. I managed to hit a really productive seam and felt myself being swallowed up by the story. I never realised how quick-paced it is; too quick in places, in fact, which will need expanded to slow it up a bit. There's also more sexual tension, drug use, alcohol abuse and violence in it than I realised. Strange that. In another 16,000 words I'll be moving the story onwards to completion with fresh creativity.

During snooker in the evening my mind started to wander, as it often does at inopportune moments. An idea to came to mind, which could be one of the best ideas I've had of late, though admittedly there hasn't been many. (Editor's note ~ congrats on an excellent last paragraph.)

A while ago I set up a website for the wife of one of Gail's ex-colleagues. She was setting up her own Bed & Breakfast over in Fife and wanted a professional looking site with all the usual stuff in it. Every now and then I do small updates to the site but I don't charge for them - price changes, wording alterations etc.

I don't know why I never thought of it before, but the idea I had is to approach the wife of one of Gail's ex-colleagues and ask if she would be prepared to sell Fringe Fantastic in their establishment. Perhaps a small stand of a few books at reception or something, and in return I will mention the B&B, the website and phone number on my press releases and advertising leaflets as an outlet for the book.

PING went my brain, and I made a note to send an email tomorrow with the proposal.

I'm in a bit of a quandary at the moment as far as Fringe Fantastic goes. I have circa 60 books left in stock but cannot afford to buy any more from the publisher. If I sell them all I can restock, but the problem is that I am worried I might run out during the Festival. There is also the worry that I might sell none. I know I have to speculate to accumulate, but what if the reverse happens?

I've not sold a single book since April. Tell a lie - I sold one today to a lady in Ireland. But the point is, sales have been slow. I have to capitalise on the festival, but I tell you what, going onto the streets makes me nervous. The thought of reading them out in public makes me nervous.

I've spoke in public many times, sung in public and given speeches. But putting my work up for criticism by reading it out is a very odd feeling. Scary even. Daunting.


Because quite often I look at the book and think it's not really all that good. Sometimes it feels like it's a bit of a fraud and I shouldn't have published it. How on earth can I expect peolpe to part with 8 quid? But then I remember the fun I had writing it and putting it all together, the people I met and the experiences had. The hard work that went in to all those poems.

When I look at the book I either think, "No wonder it's not selling," or I think "This should be selling thousands." It's as if one day I don't want to take credit for it, then the other I can't believe it all came out of my head.

Bottom line is I know what I must do. I have to stop fannying around and just get out there and promote my work more aggressively. I can't sit behind my desk and wait for it to happen. People keep saying the book is wonderful and they really liked it, but as time passes, I begin to think that on the second read they might think differently about it. And then about me. It's not as if arrogance has ever been a problem for me!

Why people should enjoy non-rhyming poems about a festival is sometimes beyond me.
Colin 11:30 am


The only reason it's not selling is that you haven't been able to work on the marketing full time. It's a very good book and captures the whimsy of the FRINGE very well.

You'll sell out 60 copies in no time. If you're out and about. I hope you'll be able to order some more from the printer BEFORE the Fringe -- remember how much trouble you had with him meeting a deadline last time?

Definitely get the book sold at the B&B. Some of the best regional books I have on New England are self-published sold at the counter at local restaurants and B&B's.

Go for it!
Well, here's another person who thoroughly enjoyed it. I still reread the parts I especially liked - it is fantastic.
Col, The book is excellent. That's after several readings. Keep the Faith..

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