Ten years of pussy

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everything else

So I brushed on this in another blog post (but got distracted by pie. Mmmm… pie), but the ‘magazine’ I’m attempting to publish is one hell of a task. And now I’m kind of realising that I should blog about it because the journey so far has been interesting, long, difficult and confusing, and I think it’s time to talk about it.

First of all, it’s not really a magazine per se, it’s more of a magazine-style coffee table book (full of pictures and stuff). And I’ve kept this pretty quiet, and very much under wraps for a VERY long time. It’s not a children’s picture book. It’s for adults (well actually it’s for cats), and it’s a long-living dream that has been following me around, refusing to let go for most of my adult life. Ever since I wrote the first words ten (yes ten) years ago, I knew it was something I needed to take further.

I would like to say I procrastinated, but that isn’t entirely true. Sure, there was a little laziness on my part and some personal issues that stopped me for a while, but mostly it was time. Time waits for no woman, and it certainly hasn’t waited for my book. Or has it?

The truth is I don’t feel like I could have done this book justice ten years ago, or five years ago, or even 12 months ago. This book has gone through a huge number of transformations, from being sketches on note paper to a dodgy mockup on cheap cardboard bound together with duct tape & staples, to a cheap album with plastic display sleeves, to a printed version on shiny paper full of typos, bad fonts and images I didn’t have permission to use. By looking at this thing’s many editions you can basically see my growth and development as a designer and writer, while talking a virtual walk through time and technology. After a few more years of my time, after spending a significant amount of money on stock imagery and polishing my skills, conducting interviews, researching, researching and researching some more, crying in my bed, forcing myself to work, and sourcing more effective material It’s now a pdf with an accompanying website, getting ready for its graduation and debut into the world as an e-book. It’s its own freaking museum (I am still trying to dig up the first version so I can post a photo of it here, plus the many transformations it’s made, but here are a couple I found).

pw_revisions

Where did it start?

It all started with an assignment at uni to create a mock-magazine. In my efforts to achieve higher marks I took it too far and did way more work than necessary, but this was because I found myself thoroughly enjoying the assignment. Looking back I realise that is because I got to write. How did I not see the signs long ago that writing was my true love?! 

facepalm

Why have I worked so hard on this?

It’s the first task I was ever set that I truly enjoyed. The subject of this book is something I am passionate about, something I believe in, which has followed me through life and helped me immensely. It may seem stupid to some people but most things I go crazy for are stupid to most people. Everything I like seems to be unpopular. The flavours & foods I go crazy for are always limited edition (honeycomb picnic COME ON!). Several cosmetics I used and loved have been discontinued. Shows I loved lasted two seasons. Bands I went nuts for cancelled concerts because of low ticket sales.

I guess that’s also why I’ve dragged this book out so long. I don’t want it to end.

And I already know it may not be popular and might not even sell, but I don’t care. It’s mine, I made it and I love it to death. It’s my baby.

catinstroller

What’s been the biggest hurdle?

Time and money. Mostly time. It hasn’t really cost much to produce since I have done it all by myself and I have the design & layout skills, software etc. at my disposal. I’ve only had to pay for stock images, and have been donated several images as well, which were a huge help. I’ve also had to pay for website hosting and all that stuff to build its online presence. I’m expecting the whole e-publishing process to cost a bit too.

What now?

Now I’ve just finished re-formatting it for the umpteenth time so that it fits the e-book standard. I have had it proofread by the only proofreaders I would trust enough to insult me properly and be brutally honest, and I’ve had it put under the microscope of an art director who is equally as brutal.

What next?

I’ll be publishing it myself on iBooks to start with. The accompanying website is ready to go and all I really need now is a link to buy the book. And some marketing. I have started sharing it on Facebook where it has its own page. It also has its own Twitter & Instagram account which need some love. And BREAKING NEWS JUST IN! The amazing Jo from Creature Clinic has just offered to spread the word and even write a review of my book on her blog! #omg!

What are my expectations?

What I hope is that my friends and family will buy a copy. What I expect is that they will want it for free. What I would love would be for someone I don’t know to buy it and it making them giggle or at least do one of those snort-sniff half-laughs.

Worst case scenario?

Nobody will buy it and I will be in exactly the same position I’m in now. 

Best case scenario?

It will sell ten bazillion copies and I’ll be able to justify writing another one.

Regrets?

Zero.

noregrets

Anyone to thank or mention?

Ok this is going to sound like an Oscar speech but since this is probably the closest I’ll ever get, screw it. I’m doing it.

I want to thank my sister for gently mentioning it now and then and asking me when I was going to do it. My daddy goose for being so proud and encouraging of everything I do, no matter how tiny or insignificant, and for gifting me with lame jokes and an awkward sense of humour. My mother for helping me come up with the name of my book all those years ago, for teaching me how to write, how to spell, and how to not let any strange word go without looking it up in the dictionary. My conceptualism professor Dawn for setting me this assignment back in my uni days – I don’t know where you are or what happened to you but I’m sure you have no idea how much impact you had on my life. My great-grandma for reading one of the early versions and keeping it with her to this day as her (quote) ‘treasured possession’. The beautiful friends I’ve made along the way (human and feline) – the ones I was brave enough to show it to – who inspired me,  donated photos (or posed for them) and gave feedback, good and bad. My dear dear friend Melissa who keeps me where I need to be at all times and my brother Kevin for his undying enthusiasm & support. My bestie Vanessa for laughing WITH me, not at me (but also sometimes at me). My two boys Ollie and Trim for keeping me on my toes. And my darling husband for pulling me out of bed on my worst day and telling me this was a good idea and not to give up, and for embracing my insanity (most of the time) and loving it. Mostly, thank you my beautiful Nooby for being my guardian angel.

me & noob

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7 thoughts on “Ten years of pussy”

  1. jsteuten says:

    I can’t wait! Go you for bringing your dream to life. I think 10 bazillion is modest, every cool cat’s gonna want at least one copy for the coffee table and one for reading in the litter tray 🙂

  2. “What I hope is that my friends and family will buy a copy. What I expect is that they will want it for free.”

    This was my experience when I first pubbed — but, unexpectedly, the cricket-like response from (most of) my loved ones was drowned out by a deafening cheer from their friends! (Weird, huh?)

    Good luck with the book/mag/whatever it turns out to be! 🙂

    • This is so true. Only a handful of my friends have shown any interest, but it’s random strangers who are giving me the most love! It’s been uploaded to iBooks now (will blog about this), but I have to wait for them to QC it before it goes on sale… *watches paint dry..

      Please link me to your book!!

  3. It’s hard to blame our friends and families, really. Some are afraid they’ll find out we are crap writers and won’t know what to say, and some are afraid they’ll realize we’re good! So many emotions come into play all around. Thus, the love from perfect strangers. (And the phrase, “perfect” strangers.)

    Congrats on your book — it’s nail-biting time. I know it well…
    Thanks for asking about my first novel. It’s Hyperlink from Hell: a Couch Potato’s Guide to the Afterlife http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NY159O/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

    • Awesome! And yes, you’re absolutely right! I mean I don’t invite my friends to my office to watch me work, and expecting them to read my book is kind of the same! So maybe keeping them separate isn’t such a bad thing 😀 *goes to read your book

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