That’s what I’m doing – right now.
I’m sitting in my little cottage in sleepy Somerset, waiting for the proof to arrive.
The proof I speak of is a slim, modest paperback proof-copy of William’s words. It’s travelling from the United States and should – the publishers assure me – be here today.
I’m excited – quite stupidly so. I know The Words almost by heart now, having formatted and reformatted them so many times. They are words I collected and saved over nearly twenty years – childhood scribblings and conversations, strange visions and apparent prophecies delivered by a puzzled adolescent boy, emailed articles and comments sent by a young man cut off from most other contact by the anxiety that now surrounds his life.
As explained in a previous post, I had the idea of collating many of his words and presenting them to him as a birthday present. Then I asked if he’d like them turned into an e-book and made available to others. He wasn’t sure. He needed to think that through. Did the most private person you can imagine want other eyes poring over his thoughts and ideas? After what felt to me like an eternity, he decided. Yes.
Thus the Kindle edition of The Words of William was born. To begin with, he was cautious about the whole enterprise. Within a few days, though, my texts telling him another copy or two had sold received an instant response:
“Where? Which country?”
He became fascinated by the thought that people were buying and borrowing his little book around the world. He started to keep a tally.
“So that’s 1 in Spain, 4 in the UK, 6 in the US, 1 in Canada..?” he would text. “Have I got all those right?” and eventually, “I’m certainly happy with it and thank you for my birthday present.”
Every kind comment and wish from readers of this blog, the five star review on Amazon’s Spanish site, the messages from friends who had enjoyed it were duly passed on to him, and I could feel his confidence, self-esteem and trust in others growing by the day.
Now how on Earth was I going to match that success with a Christmas gift?
Then it came to me. “Would you like your book turned into a paperback for your Christmas present?” I asked. “Several people have said they’d rather buy it like that than as an e-book.”
The reply was instant: “Yes please.”
Sorted. I emailed a friend in the States who had recently published a book with Amazon’s Create Space service. She came back with a host of useful hints and tips.
I can’t pretend it was easy. The formatting and cover had to be totally redone and there were contentious bits like the ‘About the Author’ page. William strongly disliked my first attempt at that, but then amazed me by re-drafting much of it himself.
So now, I sit and wait. Within the next few hours, the proof will arrive – proof that The Words of William are out there in print, and I simply couldn’t be more proud 🙂
Hopefully, within the next week or so, the paperback edition of The Words of William – Volume One will be available here and on Amazon in the US, UK and Europe.