Tuesday, 16 May 2023
We did it! Yay!
You'll probably have seen by now that All My Worldly Joy is fully funded! I was out hanging my washing in the garden, and when I came in there was a flurry of messages and emails... All I can say, really, again, is thank you so much. Thanks for shouting about it on social media and for helping to spread the word. Thanks for all your kind messages of support and reassurance. Thanks for believing in me enough to buy a book before there was a book. And thanks for your very great patience during what must have set a record for the lengthiest ever crowdfunding campaign, at least at Unbound. I believe that I can do hard things, but I can't always do them quickly.
The past week has been a bit of a whirlwind. My littlest cat, Betty - still a kitten at eleven months old - had been missing for three days and we were beside ourselves with worry. After endless searching, door-knocking, leaflet-distributing, poster-plastering, Facebook-posting, hedge-scouring, treat-rattling, vet-phoning, neighbour-pestering... everything one might feasibly do to retrieve a lost cat, and a lot of tears, she came home at 5am on Tuesday morning. She was thin, disshevelled, and extremely soggy, but unharmed, and after a day or so she was back on her bullshit.
You will meet some of my previous cats when you read the book!
I was just coming down from the adrenaline, when I discovered the deep ravine of bafflement that is copyright law. When I've published my academic writing - both in history and health sciences - it's been essential that anything quoted is cited properly, but once you've got that down, you're golden. Not so in this case! That discovery was a bit of shock and I got my knickers in a right old twist about it. (Or knickers in a Twix, if you're a fan of BBC Ghosts, which I very much am.) But - it's okay. I've got my head around the copyright stuff now and it feels much more manageable. Mainly because multiple people have talked me down, separately, over several days.
I am unbelievably well-supported in this process. I feel so lucky. There's all of you, for one thing - five hundred and forty-nine of you, apparently, an invisible crowd cheering me on. There's my friend Andy, who is an actual proper author, having published an actual proper novel, and he's helping me navigate it all. Unbound have also been superb. A lot has been written lately about how publishing in general is inaccessible to all but the most socio-economically privileged. Rich white dudes abound. Being a single mum, who has to work, there is no way I'd ever have got anywhere near this point without the extra time and space and a hell of a lot of help. I'm thrilled that my book is being published by people who are actively trying to make the world of books and literature more inclusive, and who allow extra time and put in extra effort to make that happen.
When I get wound up about this book (and I do), it's because I put myself under so much pressure, but I have never heard the faintest whisper of pressure from any one of the 549 of you,even those who signed up almost five years ago. Nor from Unbound, nor anyone, and honestly I'm so thankful for that.
Anyway, next steps! I've proposed a manuscript deadline of 23rd October. I hope it won't take that long to finish it, but I thought best to allow for the fact that I won't have childcare over the summer and give myself that extra half a term in the autumn... I will check in with you at least a couple of times between now and then. My manuscript will be assigned to an editor and we'll choose a publication date. We'll also need to finalise the cover, get some effusively complimentary comments from people known to have excellent taste so we can slap those on there, and think about promotion and publicity. And copyright permissions. Mustn't forget those. And a book launch. And fulfilling those crowdfunder rewards. All feels quite exciting actually! Now for me to crack on with that manuscript....
1-2-1 session with Laura
LIMITED TO 3.
- Signed first edition hardback
- Your name in the back of the book
That’s fantastic news Laura, I thrilled for you:-) Well done for persevering on what has been an epic journey with many adverse events! I look forward to receiving the finished item when you reach publication:-)
Hugs, C xx
posted 18th May 2023
Thank you, Claire. It has been a journey indeed. Onwards and upwards. xx
posted 19th May 2023