Thanks for the support these last years

Saturday, 5 March 2011 at 19:25
These last two and a bit years, on the whole I've been more focused and worked harder than I can ever ever before in my life. It's been wonderful in many ways, but pretty tough in others. I really couldn't have done it without support from my friends and the many kind people in my life. Thank you.

Just committing to taking as much time to write a book as is needed would seem insane to some, a practical impossibility to many, and a dream to others. Having been through it I can now say at times I did feel I was losing my grip on sanity and finishing it did seem like an impossibility. But the dream remained strong enough. Every time someone asked me how the writing was going, offered encouragement, or offered their own perspectives on what I was writing about, it really helped. Those personal connections reminded me of the worth of what I was doing, especially when I was at risk of accepting defeat.

Some people, you know who you are, really went out of their way to offer advice, feedback on chapters, or boundless encouragement. Hopefully I've not missed anyone out in the acknowledgements section of the book. But once again, thank you! (They'll be some copies in the post to a few of you shortly)

I may write a post another time on the details of my book creation and release process from writing, to layout, typography and cover design, on to pdf and e-book creation and finally the all important step of choosing how to print and distribute the book. All on the lowest possible budget, using open source, free software (except the fonts) and resulting in a global distribution through the world's biggest book distributor Ingram, while keeping almost 50% of the cover price per sale, including printing costs (in contrast the the usual 5-7%!). Yes, it's possible, providing you're prepared to do a hefty bit of work yourself and you can make the time for it. If you have a message to share that you have a strong faith in, it's no longer necessary to pin your hopes on the traditional publishing process, there are new, smarter ways.

Ok, I can't resist giving a few details just briefly. For anyone who's just about to look into printing and distribution, checkout 'Lightning Source' thoroughly. On the software front, here's a short list: LibreOffice, Scribus, Inkscape, Calibre, Sigil. For print fonts, there are many options, but for that classic 'book look', Baskerville Book is a very well used professional choice, and worth the investment IMO. On the free font side, there is 'Crimson Text' which is shaping up nicely and 'Apparatus SIL' which I used in the e-book and Google books version. While working on the layout, compare frequently to books you think look great and which are on a similar subject, and do print tests, don't just rely on how it looks on the screen.

What now? Now I'm preparing the website for show time. Making an effective website is a whole other art in itself - luckily one I have a fair bit of experience in. Like creating a book, there are countless little details to figure out and refine, all of which can take an age. But it's almost there. "Healthy Loving Relationships" has been available on Amazon and high street book shops since mid February now, but I anticipate the launch proper to start in a week or so, when the website is up to scratch. Then I'll be testing out all the marketing and promotion strategies I've been studying for the last year. I'm pretty excited about it and look forward to posting about the results.

Tango has been one of the sacrifices I've made, especially over the last year. Even though I've recently set up my own tango school 'Tango Lingua', which is starting out really well, I've just not been dancing much for myself and with the many followers I so love to dance with. For this I can only apologise and hope for their understanding. As soon as my finances 'deficit heavy', I'll be back to my old travelling tanguero ways.

I've been saying it for weeks, if not months, that I really need to take a week out and 'do nothing'. Soon...

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