Stressing Out on Pre-Promotion

I spent most of yesterday going through Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual and ordering LCC and CPI numbers and such. It was frustrating because it seemed like every time I found a form and got halfway through filling it out, I'd find out that first I need this other number to complete the form. So I'd go to get that number only, oops!, you need this other number first. It felt like I chased myself in circles all day.

I'm really stressing out about the whole marketing / pre-promotion effort. To get in gift stores I need a distributor but apparently no one likes to give out names. So I could go to a national conference and get a booth and try to find them that way. What's off-putting to me is that there are hundreds of different means of promotion. Instead of finding this comforting, I'm finding myself with an ulcer as I worry that I'm selecting the wrong venues at the wrong times with the wrong people. Or that I'm too late to do anything.

I find I'm constantly reminding myself to breathe. Life is good. I'm putting a book out I love and whether it makes a great showing or not really is irrelevant. My competitive nature kicks in with "I must make it a best seller!" but really I don't have to. What promotion and marketing I do will be fine and if, once I get in the swing, I find I can kick it up a notch, so be it. But I can't paralyze myself with fear and do nothing because I'm worried about doing everything wrong.

I want to go talk to local gift stores to see how they handle ordering books but shouldn't I have a copy of my book to take in and show them that I'm not just some fly-by-night writer who threw a book together but that I'm a dedicated, professional writer with a collection of pre-published stories? That's what I mean when I say I don't know what to do. Do I visit now or do I wait until I have book in hand? Or is it too late by then?

Breathe. Yes, it's all good. I look around and see how good I have it. I get to work from home (with my cats!!) doing work that fulfills me and makes me feel like I'm doing something. I have friends, family, a great home, food, a car, my health, I husband I adore and who returns the feeling---life is nothing but good for me. If my worst problem in life is "I can't work out the promotion strategy for my book" than I need to just shut up and take a back seat. People would kill for such problems.

It's my need to be perfect that creates the stress. So perhaps this whole book experience is also an opportunity to work on that issue. Because really, perfect people (or people who try to convince us they are) are boring at best and annoying at worst.

I much prefer the screw-ups!