The Challenge Decomposed

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I think I meant deconstructed. Well, decomposed means stuff breaking down, so same idea, if not entirely accurate for this situation. Or maybe it is. Only time will tell.

My notebook, with words of self-encouragement.

My notebook, with words of self-encouragement.

So here’s the commentary on the challenge I’ve given myself.

As I said before, I love a good challenge. And I figure it’s a good way to keep myself motivated and working towards a goal. And out of trouble. Kind of ambitious, but I’m dying to see if I can pull it off.

The Budget: Let me explain the budget. It’s a really, really, teeny, tiny one. Why? Because if I succeed – no, wrong phrasing – when I succeed, I want others to know that it’s possible to achieve, no matter how much money you make. You might have to give up something, but I think to scrape together $200 is realistic. And the way I’m doing it, you don’t even need the whole $200 at once. This amount is to cover everything – all promotion, all production, all learning (courses, how-to books etc.), everything – until the other part about earning more promotion/marketing/publishing money kicks in. Also, I got burned big time on a previous venture, so I learned my lesson. I’m starting small and not spending what hasn’t been earned – except for the paltry $200 I’m starting out with.

You’ve noticed that I haven’t included the editorial costs in the budget, but they do have to be deducted from future earnings. I’m not willing to compromise on having an editor. I believe it’s crucial to having a good book. And I respect my audience enough to make sure that the final product is the best it can possibly be. Right now, the book is free, so it’s kind of read at your own risk (although, I think I’ve done an okay job so far with the editing, but who knows, maybe I’m delusional). But once I’m asking people to pay, I will give you nothing less than a top notch product (thank the perfectionist in me). But I did compromise a bit by saying that I get no more money to promote until the editing costs have been paid back.

The Double or Nothing Clause: I put that in, just in case things don’t go well. And added a little twist, just to make it not so easy. This clause has to be executed within the first year or no go. Okay, seriously, what is wrong with me? Why in the world wouldn’t I want to make this easy? There really is something wrong with me.

The Exclusions Clause: The whole reason for this challenge is to be successful as an independent author, so obviously, to have the assistance of a traditional publishing house would be cheating. And possibly make things easier. (Yep, there I go again. There is definitely something wrong with me.)

Plus, I’m a control freak. I love to have my hands in every aspect of what’s going on. So being an indie author these days is perfect for me, what with all the hats you have to wear. Apparently, I’m not happy if I’m not crazy busy and losing my mind because I’m swamped with things to do.

Of course, this clause excludes Burgundy Hill Publishing, because that’s the company that’s going to be publishing this book to start off with, but it also has never published a book before so it’s hardly a traditional publisher. And it also happens to be my company.*

The Date: It was just some random date I pulled out of my shiny, light up hat. I figured it was just before the holiday season, when the kids are out of school and everyone plans to go away. Maybe you’d like a book to take with you on vacation. Oh, hey! I’ve got a good one to recommend!

Oh, and by the way, I’ve already triggered the right to change the date, thing. It’s going to be July 4th, 2013 and the reason? This entire journey officially began July 4, 2012, so I think it’s fitting to begin the next phase a full year after that date. I’m a sucker when it comes to meaningful dates.

I went back through my notes to check on some things, and I noticed in the margin, I had scribbled: “July 4 – The start of something big”. It’s funny that I wrote that. On July 4th, I hadn’t even started writing the story. At that point, I had no idea of what it was to become. I was just throwing some ideas down onto paper that were running through my head so I wouldn’t forget them as I was working on a movie script at the time (Needless to say, that script didn’t get thrown to the wayside, it was hurled! Like an Olympic hurler of some kind. Or someone who drank an awful, awful lot. )

I officially began writing the story on July 22, 2012 and then everything went to hell from there.

Besides, July 4th is Independence Day**. Kind of a fitting start for an independent author, don’t you think?


* Contrary to popular belief, Burgundy Hill Publishing was not created to self-publish my book. Okay, so no one actually believes that. But it was actually created to work on another project, that never came to fruition, but still might, so I’m not going to talk about it yet. And BHP also happens to be the supreme ruler of a small website called Puppytropolis.

**Yes, yes, I know I’m not American! But I’m married to one (born Brooklyn, NY) and I have lots of friends and family that are, so it kinda makes me one by proxy. Heck, even my dog is American too (born Springville, NY)! Yes, I’m totally aligned with the state of New York (Go Mets! Yes, I said Mets! Except if they’re up against the Jays, then sorry, has to be Jays all the way. My loyalty only goes so far.)

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