Now that I’m finally close to publishing A Housefly in Autumn, I can put all of the maddening delays I went through with this book into perspective. It’s never easy to push back the payoff for hard work, but I’ve learned not to try to rush past publishing difficulties that need to be carefully worked through.
Aside from the normal dangers of trying to skip past the difficulties of putting out a respectable book, there is another side of these delays to be considered. Sometimes they are a blessing in disguise.
A Housefly in Autumn would be a book of lesser quality, inside and out, had it been published when I first thought it should be published. I would also have been in a poorer position to support it. Here’s why:
Inside the book
The time between when I originally wanted to publish and now has allowed me to receive more pre-pub feedback and make adjustments to the text. I’ve gotten in a couple of ABNA competitions and received valuable comments from them, not to mention the extra eyes I’ve had time to recruit on my own to give the story a good looking over.
Even after I was sure I had done everything to the text I wanted to do, I decided that a portion of the manuscript dragged and decided to re-write it. It’s better now. Thanks to maddening delays.
Outside the book
I despaired so much at the prospect of finding an artist who could give me the cover art I envisioned that I contemplated using generic photography at one point. This would miss the mark on giving a sense of the story, but would at least be something to wrap around the book.
I’m so glad I didn’t give into that impulse. It took a while, but I finally found an artist who could give me dynamic, engaging cover art. Actually, it was my wife who found Jessica O’Brien. I’m just relieved I delayed long enough for that to happen.
I’ve mentioned before how lame my old website was. Now I have two reasonably nice blogs. I even have some blog followers. There is a blogging community; I don’t think there is a sub-par, static website community. If there is, nobody knows it, because sub-par websites don’t handle interaction very well. I can now interact with readers in ways I never could before.
I’ve started getting diminishing returns on these delay-inspired improvements. That means it’s getting time to take that leap. It is a much more confident leap than it might have been.
It’s not for the author to say how good a read his book is. But I am a certain it is a better read, with a more appealing look, and a more accessible author, than it would have been if I’d published it when I first wanted to publish. Thank you for that, maddening delays.