I’d hoped to have a box of Happy Tango books to sell to a few tango dancers at the fun-and-fabulous TangoUK Tango Tangk, organised and hosted by Steve and Debbie Morrall, at Bramshaw, on the weekend of the 26th June – last weekend. Steve has read Happy Tango and given me a great endorsement for the book, which you will see on the back of the book cover and on the website here, and so it would have been very fitting to have been in a position to hand him his very own real copy, in person, wouldn’t it?

Two weeks ago, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  The Universe didn’t want to play ball - and we are even talking stormy weather in Argentina playing its very own dramatic part. Sometimes you just have to accept that a grand plan ain’t gonna come together in your time frame (as you know, I’ve said it before a million times). But that isn’t to say you give up entirely — well, at least, you don’t if you are Sallycat. I adjusted my goal — one copy, the proof copy of Happy Tango, out of my dreams and into by hands by Saturday 26th

Remember folks, I’m publishing this book myself. In the effort to try and make that approach work for me, I’ve had to get my head around some fairly techie stuff; I’ll be honest, it’s been a little nerve-wracking in these ultimate stages. Friday the 18th saw me upload the files to the printing company from my base in Shropshire. Monday the 21st saw Me and C. on a train to Winchester, with no word yet as to whether the file had been accepted. Tuesday, we were in the green of the southern-England countryside, and after tea with my past neighbours in the gorgeous village of Itchen Abbas (where I lived one of my nine Sallycat lives), I got back to my lodgings and to the thumbs up message for the file and thus, the green light that the proof copy of Happy Tango was to be born. Wednesday, I received notice that the book had been printed. Thursday, it was posted to Pirotta Press Ltd. Friday, my most valient assistants Mr and Mrs T. (my beloved parents who remain my constant inspiration) took delivery and made the dash to the Post Office to request a next day postal service to deepest greenest Hampshire.

By Saturday morning I was staying with some much-loved tango buddies (who first welcomed me into their lives back in the days when I was taking my beginner, backwards steps in high heels) and was in my PJs when the postman arrived. He found himself surrounded on the doorstep. It’s my friend’s first ever book! I overheard as I hovered in the kitchen; I was using the excuse of the PJs, but truly I was nervous. It’s one thing to see covers and interior layouts on screens and printed by humble inkjets on A4 sheets; it’s another to see your wildest imaginings turned into a 6 by 9 inch paperback with a glossy cover. I found myself holding two years of my working life (and actually, the last fours years of my clock life), in a small cardboard-wrapped package, in my hands. In the few moments when I saw the book for the first time, the rush of relief was strong enough to propel me straight into the arms of my friends and Carlos, all at once I think.  There were some tears of joy. It was cool.

It wasn’t that easy for me to look inside the book. On Saturday I only flicked through it and spent the rest of the day thrusting it under the noses of everyone I met (er sorry people, but I am sure you understand!), and in the evening I was thrilled to spontaneously share my delight with a few tango mates who knew me back at the very beginning of my tango journey, when I truly was a ‘leaf caught in the wind’ (as someone said to me this weekend, very accurately) and had no idea that I would even go to Buenos Aires, never mind write a book with a mission to help other people do it too. I did show the book off a little at the Tango Tangk milonga — even though doing so meant that there just wasn’t time to dance with everyone, alas. On Sunday, I made myself open it up and read the whole thing again… it needed some tweaks, so the file is now back with the printer and I await what surely must be, the final proof copy, which I intend to sign off prontísimo.

Yesterday in some kind of miracle moment (only looked the once to check the page count had been updated, I promise), Happy Tango got up to an amazon.co.uk Sales Rank of above 25000 in Books, and reached #6 in the category Dance, appearing on the front page there. I know that these are just figures, and they sure do go up and down like yo-yos every day, but you know what, I don’t really care. You have to celebrate the joys. And, a few people must be pre-ordering, which is completely wonderful. What I do care about, is getting the book to those people as fast as I possibly can. It’s true that Happy Tango is going to be a little later than my original target date. I’m sorry about that, but honestly, I don’t think it will be very late. I can say that now, because I have indeed seen the proof…

And here — my friends, at long last — it is.

You’ve gotta admit, that after all the talk since the day I first wrote this post in 2008, a photo of the first ever copy of the book actually being read, is a bit of a result! No?

Meanwhile, on the subject of great and mighty scorelines, to all you lovers of Argentine tango out there, on Saturday night you might have to forget tango shoes and think golden boots instead. What can I say but, Go number 11! Go Tevez! Go Messi! Go Maradona! Go Argentina!!!

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29 comments

  1. Mike in Van’s avatar

    WOW……

    A moment to collect my thoughts….

    WOW……

    That is just too freaking COOL….

    Congratulations I can’t wait to get my copy in my shaking hands.
    I know an author…I know an author…Speech, Speech, Author, Author. OH right you already did that in your blog. HEHEHEEHEH

    WOW………

    Love and Hugs
    Mike

    PS. Those are PJ’s??????

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Hello Mike in Van, thought you’d like it!
      I soooooooooo hope it won’t be too long before you can read it, and then, gosh, I hope you enjoy it!
      It’s kinda thrilling and scary at the same time… can you imagine?
      But whatever, I am just proud of myself really to touch a book that I wrote and brought to life and I know now that while it will never be perfect, ain’t half bad!
      As for the PJs? Well, pretty close, no? :)
      Thank you so much for your support and brilliant, bright Barbie-style enthusiasm. She sure is happy, I can tell ya!
      Warm hug, SC

  2. Alan’s avatar

    Congrats Sally! Just put in my pre-order on Amazon :-)

    Great weather we’re having over here, no?

    Take care,

    Alan
    .-= Alan´s last blog ..Private Tours in Buenos Aires =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Oh thank you Alan, that’s wonderful.
      Yes, the weather is a delight, isn’t it? I am gonna be in London I think this weekend, and I might try to check out the choripan stall, that is if I can get C. out of the hotel and away from the World Cup on TV!
      Un abrazo, SC

  3. Mark’s avatar

    Hey, Sally, sorry the proof needed a few more tweaks but congratulations on being one step closer to finished. Hang on in there.

    And it’s now #3 in the Dance category!

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Ah Mark, thank you for your marvellous encouragement and support and enthusiasm!
      It’s really exciting isn’t it? As you said yourself I think, so close we can almost smell the pages…
      I hope other dancers like it as much as you did!
      Un abrazo, SC

  4. Louis’s avatar

    Well done! You must be quite thrilled!

    Is the book already available online? I was trying to place an order but Amazon.co.uk still shows “Pre-order” status while Amazon.com says “Out of Print–Limited Availability”.

    Louis.
    .-= Louis´s last blog ..Milongas in Buenos Aires =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Hello Louis, I am indeed thrilled to see it as a book, but I will be even more so when it is finally available… I just want it out there doing the job it was born to do.
      You are right that is doesn’t show as available yet, and it isn’t. Hopefully, very soon. It’s the first time I have done all this, so I am feeling my way a bit, and as I explain in the post, until I approve the proof the book can’t be sold. Some tweaks were needed, so I have still to see the final version. Once I do, I hope the wheels will turn pretty fast… thanks so much for your patience. I do hope that you will enjoy the book when you get it. Thank you for trying to buy it! Just brilliant!
      Un abrazo, SC

  5. Richard’s avatar

    Hey Sally, This is fantastic news. You must be really proud. I’ll be sure to get myself a copy, and thanks for the lovely dances at Bramshaw.
    Un abrazo fuerte.
    Rich

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Hello Richard, they were lovely dances, weren’t they? Thank you for inviting me.
      And yeah, I guess I am proud. Every time I go into a room and see the book there my heart leaps a little :) Can’t quite believe it is real yet, you see.
      But I will, once it truly is available. I hope so much that you will enjoy it!
      Till the next lovely dance, warm hug, SC

  6. Tina’s avatar

    Hooray! Trying to see if I can order it here in Italy. Want my hands on it. Will see if Carlos needs a visa to come here, maybe you two can bring me a copy ;-)
    .-= Tina´s last blog ..The Wind =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Maybe we can dear Tina, maybe we can… lemme know about the visa!
      Don’t think Italy has an Amazon, but you may be able to get it from The Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9780956530608/Happy-Tango with no shipping charge… not quite sure how that works and whether they will hike the price or not. Will keep my eye on the situation.
      Besitos chica, will stay in touch.
      SC

  7. sally Bibb’s avatar

    Sal, the book is fantastic (and may I say of superior quality to many that are published by some of the big publishers!).

    The amazon figures are truly impressive. Really proud of you my friend. This book is top class like its author

    Big hugs always xxx

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Sal, my dear and talented author friend, your word is precious. I know you know the score.
      That you think the book holds its own among the big boys is fantastic!
      Thank you for being such an inspiring spirit every step of the way on my writing journey.
      Warmest of hugs
      SC

  8. niki’s avatar

    CONGRATULATION SALLY!!!!! that’s fatastic! there’s noting quite like fingering through the pages of a book that is fresh off the press…

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Hey Niki! You are right… flicking through and perhaps especially seeing others flick through those real pages is heaven!
      Watching someone else read it with a smile on their face is the greatest gift of all.
      Thank you so much for celebrating with me, and hope all is going great in Oz!
      Warm hug, SC

  9. caroline’s avatar

    I got so teary reading this post – I remember you bringing me drafts to read and now all your hard work resulted in a glossy cover on amazon! I’m so excited for you and i’m ordering myself a copy pronto.

    I love you and I look forward to reuniting with you again in Argentina. xx
    .-= caroline´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      C.! Yes I remember those days – that cafe in Recoleta wasn’t it? I’m trying to think now if any words from that draft stayed in the book at all! No matter, because even if they didn’t, they got me to the final draft :) Have missed you this year in Argentina and hope that it won’t be too long before you head back that way… mind you, not before I do!
      Huge love, and thank you for all your encouragement and support along the way my friend. SC

  10. jamesy’s avatar

    Hi Sal
    Sorry we did not get to dance on Sat and hear that Sallycat Laugh! But there is always the next time.
    Thanks for showing me the book, it looked great and my order is in so helping to bump up the figures.
    Not only did the book look great I have to say you looked great. I have never seen you look so well and sort of serene, something must be agreeing with you.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip and look after that man of yours
    Luv JB

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Ah jamesy, we didn’t dance did we? I did look for you a coupla times but you were lost in the crowd… however was so happy to find myself next to you on the dance floor and to be able to drag you off to show you that the book really does exist!!!
      Am glad you saw serenity in me. It is there these days, under it all. Saturday was a day of sheer joy for me too – a bright light was burning inside.
      Warmest of hugs, and we may meet again on this trip, who knows? Please invite me to dance if we do.
      SC

  11. Katie’s avatar

    What an exciting moment for you, Sally! After all of your hard work, I can’t imagine how good it must have felt to hold that book in your hands. Congratulations!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Argentine Hand Gestures- World Cup Edition =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Hello Katie, yes it did feel good. Very good. So far what I have loved the most though, is actually seeing it in other people’s hands. It’s the coolest thing!
      And am now in the final days before getting it into many more hands I hope!
      Thank you so much for your congratulations. Here’s to a great result for the Argentines on Saturday, yeah?!
      Warm hug, SC

  12. Christine in LA’s avatar

    Wow. That is just so…wow. Congrats Sally!!!!!!! Big big big big hugs! And yes I’m hoping and praying for Argentina. I can’t wait to wake up to the match tomorrow morning!
    .-= Christine in LA´s last blog ..6-24-2010 =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Thank you so much Christine for your congrats on me almost being there with the book! But, oh dear, the game wasn’t quite what we had all hoped, was it?!
      Ah well, it was fab fun while it lasted. Now we are shouting for Uruguay :)
      Warmest of hugs to you! SC

  13. b’s avatar

    That’s very cool, Sally. Congratulations.

    Love,

    Blake

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Thank you b!

      SC

  14. Cathy’s avatar

    Sally – congratulations on your book! I ordered two from Amazon.ca and they arrived 2 days ago: one for a gift for a friend who is going to BA in Oct and one for myself. We’ve been twice and I sure wish this book was available before we visited! IT’S FANTASTIC! It is an ABSOLUTE MUST READ for everyone who is planning to tango in Buenos Aires. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up
    Besos, Cathy from Van

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Wow! Cathy from Van,
      Thank you for your wonderful comment about Happy Tango. I am absolutely delighted that you love the book and hope that your friend really finds it useful when she heads off to Buenos Aires in October. Do get her to keep an eye on The (Happy Tango) Updates Blog http://sallycatway.com/happytango/updates/ before she goes, as I plan to post updates (the ones that I hear of) to the milongas etc. there.
      Cathy, it would be fantastic if you’d be willing to post this review (or something very similar) on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com – it would help me and Happy Tango so much, and perhaps help the book to get to others who need it. Also, I’d like to post the review on the website – I will email you about that!
      Thank you again, for your great feedback and may the book bring you many ‘Happy Tangos’ :) !
      SC

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