In four days, on August 22nd, Ten Directions will be available for sale. I'm not going about it the right way.
Most friends, in the conversations I have had with them about my impending book launch, ask if I have a Publisher. The implication of the question is that without a Publisher that I am not a Writer. Ten Directions does not have a Publisher.
Why not? The options available to authors today with new technology and disruptive business models are myriad. The complexity and sophistication and diversity of possibilites becomes paralysing. With so many years invested in actualising my artistic vision, the combinations available with which to second guess my eventual choice were overwhelming. What could I do? This insecurity played on in the background for years while I carefully crafted and tuned Ten Directions, steadily working towards the day of release and a reckoning, a vision of which was ever receding.
Then last week I was watching an online video; Paul Hawken's address on Blessed Unrest, an address I once heard in person when he spoke at the University of Western Australia. You can enjoy it from here.
Paul, whose Ecology of Commerce has inspired a generation of environmental entrepreneurs, laying out the reality that the sum global membership of environmental and social protection organisations exceeds the membership of any government, army, corporation, or political party on Earth.
And yet we are all working towards the same goal, a sustainable and thrivable future for humanity. Listening to Paul the first time restored my enthusiam for the work I was undertaking and the story I was writing.
August 22nd, 2017 An auspicious date for publication divined. Next week.
Still no Publisher. Still no Plan.
Websites everywhere recommend - first identify your Target Audience.
Watching Paul the second time it occurred to me; my Target Audience was you, who like me are grateful to be part of this immense and spontaneous movement to work creatively with Mother Earth rather than against her, for the sake of future generations.
Several days ago, in the early morning, from the threshold of dreams, this thought came to me.
Maybe you are my Publisher. Maybe you are my Plan.
So this is how our experiment might work out. Rather than the majority of proceeds from Ten Directions going to out to further fund the great commodification of knowledge that is the publishing industry, perhaps that proportion of profit can instead help fund your community's story of what a better tomorrow looks like.
If your group shares your positive vision for living in harmony with our planet on the Ten Directions Facebook page then I will send you a publisher's discount code specific for your group.
The caveat, please read Ten Directions first before sharing out the code and request the person using the code to likewise read the book before further sharing the code. The whole point, afterall, is for us to share our stories. If Ten Directions doesn't support your community's story, don't share the code. Let your supporters know that they can donate the discounted amount from the normal retail price to your community group, if they so wish. Encourage other communities to share their story in exchange for a code of their own.
Beyond finding readers for Ten Directions, this approach also fits my hidden agenda, to gather material for its sequel. In Ten Directions the characters struggle on a great Odyessy to return to Earth from Space; Star Trek in reverse. In the sequel they will traverse a 22nd Century Earth where your communities good intentions and creative visions have manifested, albiet in a world recovering from our societies' current excesses. How will I be able to imagine this without learning from you?
This is my hope, that we together can take on this heroic task of building our common future, one story at a time.
What do you think?