September 2013


I’m pleased to be able to say my book sales are going well. I have about twenty copies of my book left, with some others out and about looking for new homes. I’ll be heading out and about myself beginning next week, talking to MS Peer Support groups, and selling more copies of my MS Memoir.

When you are a self-publisher, you need to become a self-promoter too. I’m a meek and humble poet, not given to grand gestures, or to bragging about my achievements. I am proud of my newest book, ‘Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS’. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, with this nice looking book, with a two great pictures of me on the front cover and another on the back cover, both photos by Martin Christmas. I love the feel of the book, and I completely adore the lovely illustrations done my Simon Kneebone.

I feel OK to say this book is a good one – the feedback I’ve received has been great. The book was self-published by me, yes, but the work of many others went into it too. My mentor Ray Tyndale helped me so much with the structure and the writing the narrative in prose. Without Ray’s work, I’d agree with the words of others, when they’ve mentioned the phrase ‘chopped up prose’. Certainly in the earliest versions of the manuscript, it resembled that…

But I listened to what Ray was trying to teach me, and I gradually got into the rhythm of the lines, and what I was writing became more poetic, more ‘verse-like’. This verse memoir has my ideas and thoughts about what living with MS is like for me, and it includes thoughts of some others too. I thank everyone who has given me their words, words that I share further with the readers of my book. Yesterday, I was able to give a freebie copy of my memoir to one of those lovely people who shared with me. It felt good to give something back to Shirl, after she had given to me, when I asked for thoughts about what could or should be in my memoir.

As I share my memoir, I share myself, and the many contacts I have, strengthen. This strengthening of contacts helps me to grow stronger, and my safety net expands, and expands. I know if I ever fall, there are many who would stop and help me up again, just as I know I would stop and help others. It’s all about community. I’m involved in the MS community, and I’m loving this community – the knowledge, the happiness at sharing, and the wonderful understanding from others who truly understand what it’s like to feel the way I feel, when I’m fatigued. If you don’t have MS, you won’t really understand …

When one is suffering from illness, you can sometimes feel alone. I know though, that I have many friends who suffer too, and we can all do our best to end the suffering. I’m living a good life, with my family and friends, and I thank them all…

So, the book launch happened last Wednesday. People were there, family, friends and others, and the book was launched, after suitable words were spoken. Copies of the book were chosen by attendees and signed by the author. Tea, coffee and food were enjoyed. And then we all went home again…

What comes next? Well, what comes next is the selling of all of the rest of the copies of “Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS”. Holding a book launch is all very well, but there are only so many copies you can sell there. I’m happy with my book sales on the day, but I still have plenty of copies of my book looking for new homes and new readers.

I had a coffee with a friend today at my local hotel. I showed her my book, and she bought a signed copy. I’d mentioned my book to the publican earlier, and he’d put in an order for a copy, which he received today. Tomorrow I have a meeting at the MS Society SA & NT, where I’m fairly sure I’ll sell more copies of my book. After that, I have a meeting next week, and then another the week after, where there will probably be eager book buyers.

I now have plenty of copies of my book in my bag and in my car, as well as some in the house. I’ll make sure I always have book copies available, wherever I go. Such is the life of the self-publisher. I don’t mind this, I’m proud of my work with this book, and I feel it is a useful book for others to have. It’s a good looking book, with attractive illustrations and a great cover, thanks to my illustrator Simon Kneebone, and my photographer Martin Christmas. Having these two professionals involved has made my special book even more special, and I’m glad to have had them both involved …

This is the life of the self-published writer. You either sell your books yourself, or find others who will sell them for you, or you are stuck with boxes of unread books. I don’t know how long it will take me to sell my first print run of this book. My hope is that I can sell them all by the end of the year, and then can order another print run. I hope this plan will work, and I hope all of the wonderful people who have a copy of this book love it as much as I do!