So last Tuesday, after the thrill of seeing my second book in print, I sat down at my computer to order more copies from the printer, Lightning Source.
Being the non-techno, anti-geek, right brainer that I am, I wasn’t sure that my order went through, so I pushed the button a couple of times just to make good and sure it had gone through.
Then I went about my week.
Saturday morning, I was getting prepared for my regular monthly meeting with my fabulous accountant Ruth Upchurch and I went online to look at my credit card statements.
It appeared that in my uninformed thoroughness, by pushing the wrong button not just once but three times, I had ordered myself not just 220 copies of my book but 660 copies.
I immediately started emailing everybody I could think of over at Lightning Source in LaVerne, Tennessee, even though they were all gone for the weekend and were probably out doing something useful like fishing.
I left messages on the phone as well.
Inside, I wasn’t all that panicked about the situation.
In fact, I just laughed.
I have been fairly confident about my new book, What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness.
This little computer accident incident was as if God was saying to me, “Oh yea, just how confident are you?” and then just laughing! I felt the joke was all on me.
My first book, Healing Depression: A Holistic Guide (New York: Marlowe and Co., 1997), was the best-selling book of the original publisher, Heartsfire Books, and went on to become the handbook for the Holistic Depression Network based in Seattle, Washington. It was subsequently translated into Chinese.
I didn’t know it was published in Chinese until one of my dear clients, Zoe Pietrycha, was at the Los Angeles Public Library and happened upon a copy. She took photos with her iPhone and sent them to me via email.
That motivated me.
I had made so little money ($3,000) for the three years I spent writing my first book that when it was all said and done, I decided that since I am now a grownup I actually have to earn a living and needed to put all that book writing stuff behind me.
But when Zoe pointed out that someone thought my first book was good enough to publish in Chinese, I thought again.
This time, I am the publisher.
And publisher that I am, I have had this steep learning curve, learning everything, including how to push the right buttons on the website at Lightning Source to get copies of my book.
Fortunately, not only had I overzealously accidentally over ordered, I had also been confused enough not to approve the proof.
So the whole project sat waiting over in LaVerne, Tennessee, waiting for me to realize how completely inept I am at pushing buttons and how I have a lot to learn about this whole self publishing thing.
After looking at my total bill on my credit card, I went inside and just KNEW that somehow some way this entire mess would be sorted.
I got on the phone this morning and spoke to two very kind ladies over at Lightning Source who wiped off the excess charges from my account and explained how I had been saved by my own stupidity by not actually approving my proof.
Once, a long time ago, one of my non-computer-savvy clients wanted to order a juicer.
“Not to worry,” I told her.
She came over and we sat down together on my computer. I punched the wrong buttons and got the message, “Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of TWO juicers!”
Panicked, I emailed the owner of the webstore and explained my ignorance.
While I am learning this whole self-publishing mess, I just wish they would have a course in how to push the right buttons!
Sometimes I think God saves us from our own ignorance by surrounding us with kind people who can sort us out when these things happen.