“Your book is getting published! You must be SO excited!” a friend gushes over lunch.
And I am excited. Really excited. And nervous. And apprehensive. And bored. I remember feeling a lot like this about twenty years ago. Right after I found out that I was pregnant.
I think this whole book publishing event is a lot like being pregnant. At first, you’re over-the-moon elated, but you can’t tell anyone. What if something happens? What if it’s all a dream?
Then when you finally tell people, there’s a lot of celebrating.
“When is it coming out?”
“I can’t wait to see it!”
And the ones you know who are whispering behind your back: “It’s about time! I thought for a while she… couldn’t…”
You wonder. What will the cover look like? Will kids like it? I hope the reviewers don’t pan it. Or ignore it. Will they see just how special—how precious— it is? Oh, I hope it’s one of the popular ones.
You plan, knowing you can never plan enough. The publication date seems SO far away! Is it too early to start planning the coming-out party? The checklists are endless, but instead of painting the nursery, finding a crib, and buying tiny socks and onesies, your checklists say:
Write press release
Design temporary tattoos to give out at launch parties.
And you wait. As I recall, there was an awful lot of waiting when I was pregnant. Waiting to feel that first fluttery kick, waiting until that “baby bump” started showing. Waiting in doctors’ offices, for test results, for The Day to finally arrive. And even when The Day arrives, there is still a lot of waiting to be done. I got The Call a year and a half ago, and I still have a trimest…errr… three months to go before delivery. Of my books, I mean.
Not that there hasn’t been the occasional flurry of activity. Like those bursts of energy in pregnancy, the periods of quiet waiting have been suddenly interrupted by an out-of-the-blue email from my editor. Please fill out this survey. Here are some revision notes for you to go through. We need a high-resolution photo for your flap. These emails, like the occasional baby kick, remind me that things are progressing, even though I can’t see them.
Soon, I know, The Day will arrive, and I will
It’s truly a labor of love.