The so-called book started life as simply a way to collate my ideas on how things should be done. Or, at the very least, how I do them. It could be described as a training manual, of sorts, as I found myself telling the same stories repeatedly while instructing new apprentices, and it still makes me inordinately happy to see someone consult it while at work. I kept adding to it over the years, and even had some people, smarter than I, read it for me to determine its level of coherence. They were all very polite and became aware of the fact that there was precious little chance that I would change anything. I get quite attached to my words and am loath to mess with them. To these worthies I offer my apologies.
The main such reader, an actual editor, no less, is my beloved wife Joanne or, as she is known in writerly circles, J.C.Paulson. During an extended period of professional and personal turmoil, she took it upon herself to begin writing an actual book; a novel, and a ripping good yarn at that. She pointed out that, if I ever intended to publish my little effort, it was imperative that I change some things about the book. She was right, so, of course, I never intended to publish at all. Besides, contemplating such a thing would also entail actually finishing the son-of-a-bitch, and there was little or no hope of that. I would just continue to add stuff to it until it collapsed in on itself like some dim neutron star.
As it was, though, she turned out to be the actual impetus in the eventual publishment of the book after all. Y’see, she had finished her novel and, in a move painfully familiar to me, stubbornly refused to admit that it was, indeed, done and perfect and ready to release. “Ship it!” I’d cry, quoting Seth Godin, whom trust in such matters, but to no avail. Since her intent was to publish it as an eBook on Amazon.ca as preparation for actual print publication, I figured I’d have a look at the site and get a feel for the process. Maybe help her along the way, good hubby that I am.
This led to me getting up early one winter Sunday (I think it was winter. Works better for the story in my mind), and logging on to the Amazon Kindle self-publishing site. In order to make the experiment more concrete, I required some sort of extended document to play with, and I had just such a beast in my own sort-of, kind-of book-thing. There were a few false starts but, within an hour or so, I had somewhat inadvertently made a eBook. Truth be told, I haven’t even looked at it since, as it was just an experiment. Perhaps I should have a gander.
In any case, the process got the better of me and, when once Jo had gotten her novel converted into an actual print-on-demand book, I determined to do the same, despite my misgivings. It wasn’t an easy process, due to the many illustrations and complete lack of thematic consistency, but eventually, there it was, for better or worse, an actual, palpable book-like thing. Buy early, buy often. Give some to your friends.
That’s my story.