I woke this morning to a head full of stress. We’d been told that the advance copies of Emperor Pius Dei would ship out yesterday, but I’d gotten no shipment notifications. Even if the package shipped out today, I did not think it could arrive before we were due to open pre-orders on Monday morning. While we can open pre-orders before the advance copies arrive, we really don’t like to. I like being able to hold the book in my hands and know that we have something which is of salable quality. Holding the book in my hands quiets all those voices in my head which gleefully list all the ways It Could All Go Wrong. Howard and I discussed the situation and decided that we would open pre-orders anyway, particularly since we’d already announced that we would.
Then the doorbell rang and a lovely Fed Ex lady handed me a box. It was full of these:
We have our advance copies and my panic can now subside.
The arrival of advance copies and impending opening of pre-orders shifts my life into a different gear. I’m pulling out rusty skills and putting them to use creating product pages and stress testing the system. I’ve done this 10 times. I know how it goes, so the jitters I feel are not a surprise. I’d gladly skip them if I could, but the opening of pre-orders is when all my zen about our finances vanishes. Either we’ll sell enough books to continue paying our bills through the end of the year, or we’ll be scrambling to restructure our lives around a massive financial hole. Book printing and mortgage bills need to be paid whether or not the Schlock fans decide to spend money. They have never failed us yet. I know I should trust in them because they are awesome people. And yet I can’t help feeling that each book purchase is a gift to us and I can’t make myself expect gifts.
I did have a nice moment when I lined up all the books to take product photos. We’re offering an “Emperor’s Bundle” which includes all seven Schlock books at a discounted price. I looked at all the books arrayed on the table and knew that those books would not exist without me. I have worked and sacrificed to make them exist. Howard has worked and sacrificed. For a minute as I looked at them on the table, they were their own reward. Then I photographed them so that they could go out into the wilds of the internet and hopefully return with friends bearing gifts of money.