It has finally happened – the book is officially done and dusted and in my hands. Within the first few hours of actively promoting it, the book almost hit the top 100 in the mental health section of Amazon.
Should you know me, or pick up a copy of the book and read it, you’ll know that compliments and feeling accomplished are not really my thing. So, as happy as I am to have published a book – I still don’t see it as a big deal! Shocking, I know.
I know I should be proud of it. Perhaps it’s just not sunk in yet. Or maybe it’s because my mind is thinking about book number two and all of the other things going on right now. It doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for the support and well-wishes the book has received because I am – and it’s been lovely to read everyone’s comments, emails and messages.
I’m a work in progress – and I’m working on being proud of myself.
The book came at the right time. It marks the beginning of a year full of change, acceptance and growth. The book has helped me process some of my thoughts and ramblings, but it also made me realise a few things about myself along the way – things that I should be proud of (and one day will be).
I end the book with a letter to myself about how proud I should be. I tell myself that in the moments of mental struggle that it’s ok to ask for help. I’ve had a lot of help this year that I didn’t write about (that’s for book number two) and help that came after I was finished writing. Like I said, this book marks the beginning of change, acceptance and growth. My mental health may have taken a battering this year, but I know I can look back and say to myself ‘look at what you can do at rock bottom’.
Getting physical copies
I knew when writing the book that I wanted physical copies. The book has been a project I’ve wanted to do for years, so of course, I wanted it printed in physical form. There’s a feeling of accomplishment that comes with seeing projects in print and in your hands.
There were a couple of routes to take when it came to self-publishing the printed copies. A bulk order and shipping copies myself was option number one. However, being stuck with a hundred copies of the same book in my house? No, thank you. Plus, having to deal with the orders and admin is just too much hassle when the reality is, it’s not going to be a big-hit best-seller.
The second option was using Blurb. I got the first batch of test copies printed with them (and I say test copies because I made a few errors in the InDesign file when sending to print – oops). I was happy with the quality; the cost per unit was reasonable too. The downside, however, was the distribution and shipping costs. The shipping matched the price of the first ten books I ordered, which didn’t sit right with me. If people are going to buy this book, I want the cost to be fair and reasonable for all. After all, it’s a personal project; it doesn’t need to make the big bucks (though it would be nice to have the extra dollar in the bank of Caitlin).
My third and final option (the winning choice) was Amazon. Is there anything Amazon can’t do? I knew that you could self-publish eBooks with Amazon for Kindle; I did not realise that you could also print books with them. It was a no brainer decision once I did the research. Distribution worldwide through various Amazon country-specific stores, cheaper delivery for customers (including free Prime delivery) and the quality of the final physical copy was more beautiful than the test copies from Blurb. Matt lamination instead of gloss on the cover? Oh, that’s a definite yes from me.
I have ideas for book number two. Book one is about living with mental health and knowing how you deal with the bad times – in my case, burying myself in work, the gym and avoidance. I want book two to focus on the reality of getting help and recovering from a relapse.
So, if you haven’t got your copy yet, what are you playing at? Get yourself an excellent physical copy and keep print alive, or get it instantly downloaded as an eBook to your Kindle.