A long time ago, in a city far far away, I started writing a book codenamed The Project. My secret mission was to write a Choose Your Own Adventure-style book outlining the entire dating history of my at-the-time girlfriend (Becca) and myself.
If you aren’t familiar with Choose Your Own Adventure books, I’ll give you a brief summary. Basically every page or two you are asked to make a decision. For example, you may be getting attacked by a sharktopus and so it will say something like “If you cower like a little baby, turn to page 29. If you show that sharktopus who is boss, turn to page 83.” So you choose to attack the sharktopus, turn to page 83, and get dismembered by the sharktopus’ mighty sharktacles (sp?).
My book is a little different because every page makes you make a decision, and one decision always takes you to “The End”, and one always keeps the story going. At the end, I break off from reality and go into hopeful thinking and ask the beautiful Becca to marry me. Keep in mind she was just my girlfriend at the time.
Writing a book takes a lot of time. Keep in mind this isn’t some dinky pamphlet. This is a 208 page book. I needed Becca to know I was working on something important for her, but I didn’t want her to guess what it was, so it became The Project.
I finished the text of the book, but still had a lot of editing to do and I needed to design a cover. I already had the engagement ring and my impatience finally got the best of me so I just showed it to her on the computer, read some of it to her, skipped to the end, and got engaged.
Finally, more than 2 years later, I’ve finished the editing and the cover and published my book, Awkward Turtles. It is available on Amazon for $10.95. I’m working on a Kindle version, but Choose Your Own Adventure books don’t translate well to the Kindle, so it’ll take a while.
I’m pretty excited to get it published! Yes, it is awkward and somewhat embarrassing. And yes, it cost a lot of money to publish (I bought my own ISBN number, I had to buy multiple proofs, and registering a copyright isn’t free). But how cool is it to be a (self) published author? And I’m sure our little baby girl (due in May!) will love to read this someday. Maybe it’ll even become the bedtime story book for her.
Anyways, I’ve sold 3 copies so far (probably to family members) for a whopping $2.73 profit. Woot! I’m rich! I can retire off my royalties! Well, maybe someday… maybe…
Update 3/30/11: Now available on the Kindle!