I struggled to write the first sentence of this week's post almost as much as I struggled to write the first sentence of my introduction. My solution there was the same as my solution here; I evaded the task and approached my thesis. This week I thought about the publishing strategy for my book, and what this process will look like after I complete my first draft manuscript.
I will finish writing my first draft manuscript at the beginning of March. I'll launch my pre-order campaign later that month. After the campaign begins, people can purchase a copy of my book before I release it. These people will become my beta readers; I'll give them access to book content for feedback on my private Substack community. Beta readers will also help me choose my cover, select from book formatting options, and get updates prior to the book release in August.
I created my waitlist to grant early access to book pre-orders and my private community. I plan to start off-boarding waiters as soon as January. After I complete the first draft, I'll hire a copy editor in April. With my editor's feedback and my beta readers' advice, I'll revise the book until it's not the frantic ramblings it is now. In May I will hire a proofreader, my final professional editor, to catch all of my comma splices. Later, in June, I will focus on my book cover and text formatting, with the help of my beta readers. Finally, I'll release the book in late August.
Thinking about this process makes me breathless. It's an unbelievable thing to say that I've written a book, but I don't want this fact to be the reason I'm writing mine. I believe that there is a tectonic shift occurring that will render most of the conventional wisdom we hear when we're young obsolete. Hugo Amsellem didn't need the a degree to disrupt the music industry. As a nineteen-year-old in France, he discovered this decentralization of power and wrote about it on his blog. By sharing his ideas publicly, Hugo gained credibility, telling me hilariously how the head of Universal Music in France called him to discuss his ideas, while he was playing Fifa half-naked. Samay Shamdasani started a company to help students learn to code and scaled it too over 10,000 users as a sophomore in college.
These stories show me that there are no gatekeepers. There's no one we need to ask for permission. Creators can scale infinitely, warping all of our realities in the process. I'm so glad I'm alive at this time. I'm blessed to write about, experience, and share this knowledge with others. What does it mean when people can start designing their work around their lives as opposed to the other way around? How does it change our ability to live intentionally – to focus on our relationships with the people who matter most to us? What does it mean to live well in the digital age? I'm searching for this answer with writing as my means of investigation. I only hope that it produces something worth reading.