So, it’s about time for an update, I think.
Overall, things are going well – the book is out there, well publicised, there are a number of positive reviews and just this morning I had a call from Books and Company asking me to restock them, because they had sold out.
But I’ve been thinking, and most of my thinking has been driven by my new favourite TED talk and a conversation I had with Conor late last night. First, the talk:
It’s called The Art of Asking, and while it relates most strongly to music, I think it has a relevance for other arts as well. I haven’t been able to shake its message off since I first saw it, because it is a powerful one. Powerful, and hard for us shy, retiring creative types to accept. I think, for me, it boils down to this – I know I have written something worthwhile. I know this because complete strangers have told me so. Now it’s time to take a deep breath and ask people to pay money for it.
I believe Going Back is reasonably priced; I know it’s good value for that price. If I could (and someone’s going to show me how, I’m sure), I’d even take the plunge and ask people to pay me what they thought it was worth – maybe that’s the next step along this road…
I showed the video to Conor late last night – we have an ongoing conversation about TED talks going on this summer – and we talked about how this new way of doing things will seem normal to him; it’s just the world he grew up in, where artists can reach out to their public and ask them for feedback, ask them for inspiration, and ask them for help. And, of course, as we were talking, it occurred to me that it’s not really new at all – it’s the way things were always done until the corporations got involved. Well, the days of the corporations coming between the artist and their audience are numbered, and I for one think that’s a good thing.
So here’s my question: I know I have an audience out there in blog-, Facebook-, Twitter-land. Won’t you buy my book? It’s a small investment for hours of entertainment, and if you like it (or even if you don’t), you can tell me all about it. And I’ll talk back to you. And if we do that; have that conversation, the next book will be better. It’s not that I think I can get rich doing this – I can’t. But we can have an exchange which will result in you getting something you’ll like, and I will be inspired – and able – to make more.
That has to be worth the risk.