Monday, August 18, 2014

Despatches: A successful upload; another endeavour disappointing: Rethinking endeavours; to do or not to do

Now why should you read this post? It may be much ado about nothing. Aha, maybe that’s why you should read it; in case it isn’t.

Successful upload. As you know (those who may follow my blog) Ebony and the Auntie of the Starlight, a Caribbean Cinderella story was uploaded to Amazon. Then  on Sunday, August 10, the Observer newspaper highlighted it in Bookends. I was very pleased.

Disappointment: I saw the PDF of Things I Like. I did not like my painting of the illustrations at all. At all! They looked lovely when I painted them, even when I put them on my blog, but stand alone in a book. No sir! I saw every miss-stroke of the brush, every distortion of an image.  The idea was to  produce the PDF  and get a corporate sponsor for copies for basic schools. Well, I’d be embarrassed to own these images. My designer did  her best. I was so overwhelmed (not to tears, or anything like that), just so astonished, that all I could say to her, is ‘stop there while I think about this’.
There are lessons to be learnt here.
1.       A Level Art does not make you an artist or illustrator.
2.       Four hours of painting lessons year before last, does not get you back to A Level standard, which does not  . . . anyway.
3.       There is a reason why they have illustrators for children’s books.
4.      You may never be able to turn yourself into a painter or illustrator for your own books. Accept that!

So what do I do now?
1.       Clearly I should ask my designer if she can just colour the pictures with Photoshop or something.
2.       Give up the idea of the book and feel ‘pale and wan’ (check the literature we read in school for explanation of the term) about any such endeavour.
3.       Perhaps ask about new illustrations for the text. What a frantic thought!

Well, clearly, I’ll go with #1 first. The fact that I have not done it yet speaks volumes although I cannot hear what is being said.
This post would seem to be all about my angst; much ado about nothing, indeed. However I think it speaks to some very important concerns, none of them new,  but the ability to self-publish underscores them.
The most important is how do you get the money to self-publish what you want to publish, or in my case, republish? People have been asking me why I don’t seek crowdfunding. To show how up-to-date I am on the concept,  I was about to write 'cloud funding' (naturally, things are stored in a cloud, so clearly, .  .  .  ) when a little voice said, “Look it up!”  Eh! Eh! But is a whole world out there of crowdfunding. So many sites. I would of course be shy/too proud/can’t wrap my head around the concept of people I don’t know supporting me, and on and on into further  angst.

I think one of my biggest challenges right now is do I want to continue to try to  break these new barriers, of this new digital  world, and I really hate this being in the spotlight of doing things, doing them differently (no doubt, that is why I write a blog, eh!), or do I want to retreat into the dignity of the ‘pure writer’ who must always be published by a well know publisher to be considered to be a serious, pure, mature writer? To do or not to do; to be or not to be.
This is a case of pure confusion. I’m going to put it down and come back to it another time. Any ideas would be welcome, guys! 

Next post will be about more mature matters.


  1. Don't be too hard on yourself, Diane.I have several easy readers especially for boys that I want to get out to schools. No publisher is going to take them on,Ii am sure, so I intend to examine the crowdfunding possibility as soon as I finish something I am working on. I would probably shy away from asking for help with something personal, but I believe in this and if the possibility exists, why not try it? What's the worst that can happen,I ask myself? Some badmind people might get something to talk about. "I see you begging money on the Internet" Ha! Very few people will care. We are all in confusion. Who cares

  2. Thanks, Hazel. Comforting and wise words. We have to have a conversation about how to go about this.

  3. Thanks for your encouraging words, Wayne.