Saturday Night Fever

On Friday I had lunch with a publishing colleague, Gary Pulsifer from Arcadia Books. We exchanged notes on many business matters.  When I Martini.Imabge by  Mustafa Khayatmentioned our forthcoming Danish crime novella, he said: “Are you aware the Danish Arts Council offers marketing funding for Danish books in translation?” Back at my desk, I checked out their website and discovered the deadline: the 1st of April.

On Friday evening, a friend had invited me to her birthday. I knew I couldn’t cancel. On Saturday 10am I pitched up our Roaming Store on The Broadway in Crouch End and was busy there until 5pm. In the evening we had a family dinner.

I opened my computer at five minutes past 10 on Saturday evening. I drew up a 5-day event tour for our Danish author Pia Juul, including a full budget on a detailed spreadsheet. I submitted the application at quarter to midnight. I went to bed feeling blissfully satisfied.

Being an entrepreneur is a funny business. You have to love to work. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You have to learn to recognize and celebrate your own successes.

Just as I was opening the computer, I contemplated the possibility of feeling sorry for myself. It’s Saturday night and here I am about to fill in spreadsheets. For a fleeting moment I wondered if I should drop the entire operation.

But I didn’t. Because I knew I would feel proud of myself afterwards. If we manage to get the funding, our events in June have the potential to be more exciting and more widely publicized than any of our previous events. In addition, curating events – and thus providing the opportunity for text to come off the page – is central to Periene’s mission. It’s becoming one of the fastest growing parts of our business.

“I am pleased you love spending your Saturday nights advancing our business.” Peirene says. “Makes me feel less guilty about having a good time myself.” “Don’t count on me for ever.” I replied with a smug smile. “I might soon start delegating to you. After all, the best business women share their burden with others.”

PS … and in order to keep a balanced life, I will take a break over Easter. I’ll be back with the next installment of The Pain and Passion of a Small Publisher in two weeks.

Image by Mustafa Khayat.

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