Resisted, for a number of reasons but maybe the main one being, I had doubts about it being good enough. Good enough for what? Well, I don't quite know. Why does it have to good enough? And good enough for who? And what is good enough anyways? Why do I have a hard time looking at Cooptown and claiming it's greatness. I am proud of it, but when someone new sees it, I get a little embarrassed. Which is ridiculous, because usually when someone new sees it they ask to be put on the mailout list.
Not everyone is going to enjoy it. That is the nature of the world. But I get feedback every week from (dare I say it) fans, who LOVE Cooptown and LOVE getting it every Tuesday. So when am I going to get on board and embrace it and be outwardly proud of it (instead of in secret)?
I believe that happened this week!
During my 6 weeks off work, I made a goal for myself to self publish a Cooptown book. I started by researching online self-publishing companies and after careful consideration chose Lulu. I then spent a couple of hours every day, picking out my favourites, redrawing them, scanning, uploading, converting, arranging, fixing, cropping, straightening, etc, etc, etc. Until I had 64 of my best all ready to go.
I had intended on putting 65 in the book and when it came down to my last week of holidays and I had done 64, I did what I do and just stopped all production. I took a couple of days off but in the back of my mind I just kept saying to myself "One more left, don't stop now! Finish it! Follow through!"
Finally one night, I stayed in and had every intention of picking one more, redrawing it, scanning, cropping, converting, uploading etc, etc, etc. And at 8:30 that night, I hadn't even picked up a pencil. I finally realized that I wasn't going to do it. I wasn't going to follow though and finish it. I had one moment of complete self annoyance "What the hell is wrong with me!?" and then I realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me.
Instead of struggling to not be me, why not give in to being me and leave the book as it was - at 64. That way IT WAS ALREADY FINISHED. As soon as I realized that I was making up the rules and that I could change them to suit me, my heart lept into my throat and I got a little teary and a lot dancy. (I danced around my apartment for a full 5 minutes - rejoicing that I finished my Cooptown project). I went onto the website and hit 'complete'. It did it's thing and 3 minutes later, I got an email saying my book was ready for printing.
OMG - my book. My BOOK. MY BOOK!
I HAVE A BOOK!
I clicked on 'buy' and ordered one copy to be mailed to me. I wanted to see it before going crazy and ordering stacks of them. I wanted to hold it in my hands and flip through it. I'll be honest here - I wasn't expecting much from it. On the website, it looks a little grainy and pixelated so I was preparing myself for it to look only ok. Plus you know, I still felt a little sheepish about the whole thing - who would want a Cooptown book?
It came in the mail on Friday. I got home from work and had a notice in my mailbox that there was a package for me to pick up. I went and got it and then walked up the street to meet Stef. It was in a box all sealed up and I grinned like the Cheshire cat and giggled all the way to meet Stef. We got to her car and I tore it open.
Cooptown by kt
I have a book. A self published one but a book nonetheless.
We got in the car and drove downtown (we were meeting LT, Jdub and 4 year-old Lizzie for WALL-E) and I spent the whole drive kind of in awe. I flipped through it quickly and then again more slowly, I smelled it and held it up to the window as we drove past people mouthing to them "I wrote this" "This is my book."
I re-read each comic and for the first time I thought to myself "This is really good." Seeing it in this format finally made me see what everyone else sees.
I am so excited about my Cooptown book. It is beautiful.
It is also for sale! It's the perfect coffee table book! You can order it off of the website or you can order it from me. The price is the same either way ($15) but if you order it from me and live in my city or are going to see me soon, then you don't have to pay any shipping fees - and they are spendy. If you want to order it and you live in a different city than me, then I can probably ship it to you for cheaper than Lulu will.
Here is the link to Cooptown online.
Oh, and did I mention, I have a book!