Maureen and I started Long Shot Books to make authors craziest dream projects come true. We wanted to be the people who would say yes to the things other publishing houses think are too crazy. We never wanted to be run-of-the-mill or worst of all, boring. Here's the catch, we're not perfect people. We have little professional experience in the publishing world. (Looking at the “professional” publishing world, I say thank God for that.) We're doing this on the fly, faking it until we make it. We know what we're doing—kind of—but we're far from experts. So, when I say that this project has been something we never imagined our company doing, what I'm saying is that it's exactly what we imagined our publishing house doing. You never hear about publishers challenging themselves. It's all about the authors (as it should be, in many cases) but I'm a complete narcissist, so you're going to listen to me. We're negotiating clothing prices, learning graphic design, having daily phone meetings on my lunch breaks (because we also work forty-plus hours a week on top of this hustle), and finding ourselves in countless positions we never foresaw two years ago when we started this company. It's a lot but it's exactly what we signed up for. (I should also clarify that none of these frustrations are on Lexi's behalf. She's simply pitched good ideas for how to properly release this book. I'm only referring to technical complications with different websites and distributors.)
It's another night of staying up all night working on prepping this book. I was supposed to be done a week ago a week ago. I've had some spats with Amazon KDP before but they were quick to resolve. Not this one. This one has been a battle to end all wars. I finally got it right, order what I'm calling the “First Editions” of the book, and Amazon somehow converts the image to black and white and then darkens the image. (I tested it and found this to be true. I ran it through Gimp and the contrast would have to be altered in order to get it as dark as Amazon was putting it through, despite the preview images all looking distinguishable and having, you know, colors.) I'm going to have to file a complaint with Amazon but for right now, my priority is making sure the book is in top shape for the official release and that all future copies will be A++. In the meantime, I'm going to be decorating my walls with head-shaped holes. My vocabulary has become something like a cross between Paulie Walnuts and the boys in an early season of South Park. What was supposed to be a quick, ten minute update to the back cover tonight turned into a two hour project. I'm done, so, I wanted to talk about this book release (February 8, 2020).
I put everything into my projects. I worked on a movie and fell into a depression for two years because I was unsatisfied with how it turned out. I was so disgusted with myself, I felt like I should be executed for crimes against art. I put all of my self-worth into my books. It's unhealthy. Taking on the responsibility of helping deliver Lexi's book into the world, the pressure is squared. I can't speak for the quality of my own work; I know The Electra Complex is a good book, an amazing book. I had a moment today, sitting in my car before work, where I felt so hopeless, like such a fraud, who would only help authors find disappointment, and asked myself why I put myself through this ringer every day. The answer was obvious. I do it because I want to; I have to, even. These stressful nights leading up to The Electra Complex's release are worth it and more if we can deliver a product that Lexi is proud of. (I already know it's something readers will cherish.) We are stressed. Sometimes, we're at our wits' end. We do this because we believe in Lexi Spino and we care so much about her upcoming book. She deserves a release party with a crowd to rival Beatlemania and she's sure to deliver an unforgettable performance. She's going on a tour for this book and I can't even fathom how that's possible. It's incredible. I'm lucky to be sweating this release. Other publishers won't know what they're missing out on until The Electra Complex hits shelves. Then, they'll think, “How did those losers get their hands on this?” Sometimes, I look forward to wrapping up Atomic Flyswatter Volume 1 and get back to my own books, shit, I drool over getting back to playing The Shadow of the Tomb Raider and marathoning The Wonder Years, and I'm sure Maureen has a life she'll be getting back to. For now, though, there's nothing else we'd rather be doing. The Electra Complex means everything to us. Getting to release this book has been an a privilege and an honor, one we don't intend to take for granted. This book deserves the world and we're going to do everything in our power to make it happen. Whatever “it” might entail. It's what we do.