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Publishing Confessional: My Book Baby

Publishing a book is like having a baby.

When you first hear the news that you’re expecting a child, or your book is going to be published, you are elated! The exciting day cannot come soon enough. You tell your friends, family, and share it on your social media.

Then there’s the long wait. Depending on how soon you found out you were pregnant, you still have many months before your baby is due. In publishing, the wait is usually a lot longer than nine months. During this wait, you help your book baby grow. You work with your editors to make your manuscript the best it can be. Taking some things out and adding some things in.

Some authors, myself included, also have similar symptoms to a pregnancy while waiting for their book to be published. From worry to weight gain to nausea, the book publishing journey can be a harrowing one full of excitement, anxiety, and so many unknowns. You want what is best for your book baby and you will do anything to help it succeed.

Next you get the ultrasound to see the first picture of your baby. The equivalent in the bookish world is cover concepts and/or cover reveal. You finally get to see what your book baby will look like and you get to share your cover with the world.

At long last, the big day arrives. It’s your book birthday. Your creation. That piece of your soul that is going to be shared with the world. This is a day of joy. Many of your friends and colleagues share your book on social media. You have a special book launch party to celebrate you and your new book baby. And it’s wonderful.

Then comes the aftermath. Unfortunately, I suffered from a little publishing post-partem. For nearly two years, I had put so much of my energy into the publication and anticipation of this book. Then it’s over and you’re suffering from the baby blues. The world keeps going, even though for you, everything feels different.

Reviews start flowing in. Some praise your child, while others criticize and pick it apart. Whether you’re a parent of a child, or a book baby, criticism is always hard to take. Your beautiful words are being reduced to a number of stars.

Some authors are lucky enough to have additional book babies and the ride starts all over again. As the author, you know what to expect this time and somehow, it feels exactly the same and yet completely new.

Huge plot twist: COVID-19. Publishing a book baby during the pandemic feels the same as when the doctor told me I had to have a C-section. I was shocked. This was not how I expected my birth plan to go! I didn’t want to have a C-section, but I did want a healthy baby.

I love The Invention of Sophie Carter so much and even though some book stores are closed and the world feels different than ever before, I want my book baby to be healthy. Safe. Successful. Loved.

Author spotlight

Samantha Hastings

Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. …

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