My enthusiasm over completing the final revision of a personal memoir, Retirement: A Journey not a Destination, was somewhat dampened by the question of what to do next. I was determined to publish the manuscript in some form, but was not certain what form that would take.
First of all, I had to face facts that this book would never be a best seller. Although the themes explored are universal (e.g., self-examination, facing major life change, aging, and life-as-a-journey), the personal content of the writing appeals only to a limited audience–mostly family and friends.
I could not justify making a major investment in printing multiple copies of a book, the leftovers of which would wind up in the garage to sit in boxes and gather dust. In the end, I identified three criteria for choosing the method of getting it into print.
- Must be cheap for obvious reasons explained above.
- Must be user friendly–I told you I was a Baby Boomer, so here’s where you will expect me to say “I’m just so technologically challenged!” (That’s so lame, isn’t it? And shame on my generation—we wear that phrase like a badge, while the younger generation rolls it’s eyes.) Well, lack of skill never had stopped me before and it did not stop me then from thinking I could get the job done.
- Must come with some type of manual, preferably the type where everything’s all laid out and you can print it up and mark on it. I’m not crazy about those chat rooms and online help sites. Just lay it out for me—1, 2, 3—and I’ll figure it out.
With the spirit of a lifelong learner, I set out on my quest. I figured the best case scenario would be to end up with a real live book with my name on it to share with family and friends, and to save for posterity. Worst case, the experience would provide the subject of my next book: The Pitfalls of Trying toPublish Your Own Book.