Do you believe in the power of goals? I’m far from obsessed with goals, but I do see value in them. If you don’t determine to do something, it may just never happen. And if you don’t set deadlines for completion, you may be faced with a task without an end. I was beginning to wonder whether our soon-to-be-released book was becoming one of those never-ending projects.
So, yesterday was a big day in the Bishop household. After 18 months of writing, editing, examining photos, designing, proofing, soliciting feedback, and revising, Two Are Better was nudged out of the nest. Off to the printer went files for the front cover, inside front and back covers, and the interior. Debbie and I smiled and hugged–and then smiled again…. A full-color, 208-page interior with two narrators added plenty of challenge to a process that is already complicated enough. Thanks to help from many, including family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, this fledgling now stands a chance to fly on its own. Time will tell whether she can soar high, or whether she crashes to the ground, unable to fly at all. But it won’t be from lack of effort.
Early in the summer, we posted on our website that Two Are Better would be available later in 2012. Christmas selling season was clearly a factor that influenced our thinking. Little did we know we were setting a goal that would influence several decisions in the publishing process. The original timeline was predicated upon using an overseas printer to curb the cost of color reproduction. Overseas printing typically entails a three-month lead time. In time, it became apparent that the additional cost of domestic printing was a worthwhile investment that would save two months. After a painstaking process to locate a cost-effective alternative, we found a printer that offered competitive pricing and excellent customer service.
Industry wisdom instructs one not to publish late in the year, or if you do, to assign a date to your project for the following year. Book reviewers and the distribution pipeline want a book that looks and feels brand spanking new. This was difficult to reconcile with our goal. But, in the end, Debbie and I felt compelled to honor the pledge we had made. The obvious advantage is that we will soon have a saleable product. The not-so-obvious advantage is that we now have more goals in place, just like the goal to have books in hand in 2012. With books anticipated in early December, ebook conversion, a website storefront, marketing plans, and a bookkeeping system continue tapping their collective feet, but now a bit faster. Their sense of urgency has just escalated. This dog has a strong leash, and he can’t wait to explore the neighborhood!
If you are having difficulty getting results, it may be time to establish some accountability. Goals are good for that. They are difficult to forget. They remain locked in the back of your mind, gnawing away until you release them. The successful combination to this padlock can only be found in completing the task. And once completed, you will discover the power of goals. They will, in turn, unlock the doors to a more fulfilling future.