I’m having an interesting time at the moment. I’m using all my available energy to get my new ebook, Sustainable Creativity ready for it’s launch. It’s an interesting time not because I’m launching the ebook (though that it VERY exciting), but rather because I’m trying an experiment with this launch. Instead of being lead by my usual perfectionist self, I’m trying my best to accept imperfection, and moreover make a feature of this imperfection. Here’s why:
Perfectionism is exhausting
Being a perfectionist is exhausting. We can spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to get everything just right, just perfect. When energy is limited it’s a wise thing to do to pick and choose carefully where to focus it. I’ve decided I’m better off using my energy to get my new book out into the world than worry about making sure I’ve written absolutely everything I want to write in the book, drawn every illustration, come up with the perfect design and caught every typo.
Publishing online lends itself to embracing imperfection
I’ve realised over the years that nothing is ever really perfect, nothing is ever really truly finished. All that happens is that at some point we have to call a halt and say this is done. With this book I’m just deciding that “done” is a little earlier than I normally would. Because I’m publishing Sustainable Creativity as an ebook I can do this easily. If this was a print book this might be be more difficult, but maybe it shouldn’t be.
Here in the UK Jonathan Franzen’s book Freedom, recently faced a recall because the proofs that were used for the final print edition weren’t in fact the final proofs, but rather an earlier version of the manuscript that still included “mistakes” in spelling, grammar and characterisation. Anyone who bought the first release can exchange it for a newer, corrected version.
Now, I rather like the idea of the imperfect version. If I had one, I might be tempted not to exchange mine (unless I got to keep the first version too). There is something rather attractive to me about seeing the warts and all, work in progress that we don’t usually get to examine. I suspect in time the version full of “mistakes” will be a collectors item.
Now, or course, the costs involved in print publishing make this sort of recall and replacement expensive and not really viable. Ebook publishing is a different matter. Distribution is virtually free with ebooks, and if one uses a service like eJunkie then it’s very simple to stay in touch with everyone who has bought an ebook. Updated versions of a book, perhaps with added content, or added media can easily be redistributed.
I’ll be launching an imperfect ebook
This the model I’ve decided to use for Sustainable Creativity. Very soon I’m going to be releasing my first “warts and all” version of the ebook to around 100 readers. Anyone that joins me at this stage of the book will get the following benefits:
- Purchase the ebook at a significantly reduced cover price
- Receive all future updates of the ebook (including any future added media)
- Be eligible for an additional 15% affiliate commission on top of the usual 51% offered if you choose to help sell future releases
- Be able, should you wish, to offer feedback and suggestions about the shape of future releases of the ebook
If you think you might be interested in being one of the first 100 people to read Sustainable Creativity then you can sign up to be kept up to date with the launch date of the first release of the book at the bottom of this page.