I had the great privilege to help Creative Penn with her book launch by reviewing her book on the Kindle website. Hers was not a traditional book launch. Her independent/ebook/editorial process did not include a major publishing house, which makes her an independent author. And recently, she did a blog interview with Zoe Winters. Zoe is considered a long-time successful independent author–she’s sold over 40,000 copies of her paranormal series. Zoe did this without a publishing house, and that is no small feat–very impressive, as is what Joanna Penn of Creative Penn has achieved with her excellent indie novel Pentecost.
Publishing independently seems more practical at this point than what I want to do—sign with a big publisher and be on bookshelves in every Borders/Barnes and Noble/indie bookstore there is. Becoming a bestselling author with a big publishing house is perhaps as achievable as becoming a rockstar (assuming I had musical talent).
But the essence of this dream is to contribute to the dialogue between books, authors, and readers, that spans the centuries. I’ve always loved being a part of that conversation as a reader. But in order to achieve that dream, I may have to give some minor details up—the dream that authors have of complete control over their ‘baby’, the dream of traditional publishing and millions of copies sold, books translated into 42 languages or something, being studied in an English literature course.
This started me thinking—life is like that, isn’t it? Haven’t you had a dream that had a certain shape, but when you finally achieved it, your dream looked different than you first imagined? For example, when I first went to college, my dream was to become a famous, talented writer. Now, I’m not famous, (moderately talented?) and working at something completely different, but I am writing, happy, and I think I’m right on track for achieving my dream, maybe even living the beginning part of it.
But it’s hard to feel happy when your expectations aren’t met exactly, isn’t it? It’s hard to be satisfied when you didn’t get what you wanted just the way you wanted it. But you have to be prepared for that and be satisfied with achieving your dream, say 75% on target rather than being unhappy about that other 25%. I could make a significant contribution to literature without being translated into 42 languages. How about you?
What do you think–am I right about this? Do you have an example of a mostly-achieved dream? How do you satisfy yourself with a mostly-achieved dream?