Buying your own books may not be the best way to make money, but the first bulk order of pristine books written by my own fair hand is exciting. And the reason for this egotistic spending spree? The answer is simple. I am to give them away to interested readers. Two strategies are at play here.
First, because it is a children's book, I am chucking a few at my target audience (age range 9-12) that I think the book (actually the series) is aimed at. It is essential for me to see the reaction. Not only do I want to know if the young readers liked the story, but whether they liked the printed layout, the font, the drawings, the cover and over all impression of the book. I am desperate to learn which characters they liked the best, which they hated. Did they guess the ending and what was the language like to read. So many things tell me and no doubt, so many differences of opinion!
Second, I also value the opinions of parents and other interested grown ups. Not only the story and any holes in the plot or boring points or the limitations of my skill as a story teller, but also if there are spelling errors and grammatical mistakes or typos that have escaped the various processes to get the book to this stage.
Hopefully, when all the feedback is in, and I have evaluated any changes I wish to make, the book can be said to be finished and ready to publish - sometime in September I think, ready for the Autumn.
So, on to book two and three then. :)