Sunday, July 15, 2012

Letting Go of Control

I am a control freak. 

Yep, the secret is out.  Rather than sit back and let someone else take care of things, I find it’s just easier to do it myself.  I’ll accept the glory if all goes well and I’ll admit defeat if I fail.

This is true in all aspects of my life.  Not sure exactly how I gained this particular trait, or fault, if you deem it to be so.  There are some who love people like me because they know I’ll just step in and take over.  But others who also want control…not so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll agree it is best not to single-handedly take everything on and to remember delegating is a useful technique.  However, too often I’ve seen what happens when others fail to follow through with what they say they will do.  Having limited faith in others makes me a little gun-shy in the delegation department.

But I am trying to learn, to change, to grow, and to have faith in others. 

Before and while I wrote my first book, I did a lot of research.  From my perspective, advice about writing can only go so far.  You can learn so much about plot, structure, content, dialogue, point of view, pacing, grammar and everything in between but eventually you have to stop trying to write like others, find your own style and just get on with it. 

You write how you write.  Your tone is your tone.  People will either like your style or they won’t. 

Moving forward to write my book was the first time in quite awhile when I had to force myself to take control, to believe in myself and stop waiting because no one else was ever going to take over this task for me.  Looking back, writing my first book was one of the most exciting secrets I’ve ever kept and it was one of the scariest moments for me when the secret was finally revealed.

In preparation for the completion of my book, I also researched the subject surrounding publishing, both in print and as an eBook.  Many offered the same advice when it came to the book cover…get it done professionally.  It is the first impression your book will make to potential readers and it will either draw them in or turn them away.  With regard to traditional printing, the book is handed over to a publisher to complete the task.  The hard part for the author is waiting to see the final result when you get to hold it in your hands. 

Publishing an eBook, however, is a different matter.  With an eBook it is probably even more important to have a professional cover, as an eBook cover has to compete with so many others and at such a reduced size.  There’s also the task of converting your written book to an eBook.  You can pay someone else to do it or you can actually do it yourself.  Companies like Barnes & Noble and Amazon make it possible and I’ve read enough to believe I could probably do it myself if I really wanted to.

But there’s that control issue again.

While I had finally made the decision to take the advice about having a professional cover, I had still been playing around with the idea of converting my book to an e-Book myself.  But then I had to ask myself: it would save money but would it save time?  Good question.  I don’t have a lot of time to tinker around with an important element of publishing, especially if there’s a possibility it could ruin my chance as a new author should I do something wrong.

I finally had to concede to the fact that I really don’t have to do it all myself.  I can keep some control but when necessary, I can also delegate.  I wrote the book.  My job is done.  I passed on the task of the cover to someone else and now that I have the final product, I am very happy with the decision I made (you will soon get to see the cover…pre-release book promo is coming soon!).  I also decided to let someone else take control of completing the conversion of my book to an eBook.  Now, I am waiting as someone else works on the task for me.

Waiting.  That’s the hardest part for someone who likes to have control; who wants to know the status of the process at all times. 

But while I wait, I will write.  I’m still working on my second book with expectations to have it published before the end of the year.  The second book will bring up the same questions the first book did.  While I will most likely choose to obtain a professional cover again, the question about who will complete the task of conversion to an eBook might not be so obvious.

Will I try it myself next time?  Possibly. 

Because that’s just the way I am.

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