I have to tell you, when I first pitched the idea that became Angels of the Meanwhile to Elizabeth, she wasn’t sure that many people would be interested. I knew how so many people in our various overlapping creative and spiritual communities felt about her, and I assured her that people would be eager to help.
I still underestimated the magnitude of the response, and to say that it humbled me… well, that’s an understatement. At times I’ve struggled to even come to grips with the reality of what I’m doing. I was already feeling like a bit of a phony, like a kid standing on the shoulders of another kid wearing a trenchcoat to pass as an adult, when my work computer died this summer and took the assembled draft of the e-book with it.
I only lost maybe two weeks’ worth of work that wasn’t backed up to the cloud, but it took a lot of my willpower and ability to cope with the undertaking with it.
I realize now that I made a mistake, not in taking this project on but in taking it on alone, in seeing it as something that only I could do. It’s not the only mistake I made. I continued to underestimate people’s excitement for it. I saw the contributions purely in terms of people doing a huge favor at great cost for no reward… and I don’t want to shortchange our contributors, because it is a huge favor… but this is why, without bothering to sound anybody out, I immediately proclaimed that it would be a one-time deal. The book would be sent to the people who donated, and that would be it. It had to be that way, in my mind, because it wouldn’t be fair to ask people to give more than that.
Well, I’ve had a lot of people—contributors included—ask me about things like a print-on-demand for physical copies, or extending the e-sales past publication so that people who only heard about the project after the pre sale have a chance to get it. I didn’t think that would be fair to the contributors, but I didn’t ask anyone how that felt, and what I’m hearing now is that maybe it’s not fair to let this remarkable collection we’ve assembled together disappear into the ether.
Still… with the book not actually existing even in e-form right now, any talk of future sales is getting way ahead of the game. I’m putting this out there now just so it doesn’t come out of nowhere. Once we’ve got the initial promised volume put together and in the hands of the people who bought it, we can talk about other options.
I am maybe too hung up on starting and finishing things at clean break points on the clock or calendar, but that’s how I am. There is one week left in August. I believe I can re-create the lost formatting work during this week. I want the book to be proofed by more eyes than mine, especially since I have less of an idea how much of the proofing I lost in the crash. I don’t know how long that will take, so I’ll say that our new target for delivery is the end of September, though I’ll be hoping to get it out before then.
That’s where things stand now.