Publishing A Book Is Like Giving Birth

On Wednesday our Come Home Year books were ready to be picked up at Transcontinental Printers. It was a real high, walking through the door and waiting for the last 30 books to be finished. They brought me into a room with a tv and comfy couch, no tea or coffee or water, like in the movies.  No one shook my hand and congratulated me that this process was at an end and a completed book in my hand. But I knew it and I absolutely was filled with joy and ambivalence at the same time!

First of all, what major dates or facts had been overlooked or incorrect? I made myself feel good by saying that “Nothing you can do about it now!” and “What’s done is done!” and I had to trust my editor that she would have questioned something if it seemed out of place. Just as a pregnant woman hopes that all her good eating and exercise will help her child grow strong within her womb, I just had to trust that I had done everything that I could to have an interesting and well put together book through careful editing and organizing.

Then I thought of all the doors I’d have to knock on to sell all the books, although 176 were already accounted for. But still the pressure was there. My own money had gone to the printing company, so I needed to pay that back asap before the profits could be handed over to the community of St. Shotts. A salesperson I am not, so yes, that was a concern.

Recognizing all the wonderful writers who trusted me with their stories seemed to be obvious to me. I wanted to give each writer a copy of their book. I feel that anyone who writes a chapter, story or poem in a book deserves a copy of their published work. So in this case since there are 38 writers plus me, it would take that much longer before I recouped the $1800 put into the 300 copies.

So while the birth of the book took hundreds of hours of work, the final copy of the book-my literary baby was worth every minute! The people I met, the writers I communicated with many times, and those who helped in the production of a great final copy, a printable pdf, made it a nurturing, bonding process. I had to quell many doubts since the idea first germated in my brain.

The labour pains were many but worth every hardship. Losing a story was hell for me, but with the writer’s good organizational skill, I soon got it for the second or third time. Getting all the blurbs, which I feel made the writers more real to the readers, took some time and help from many people, especially a long time teaching colleague and friend. Deciding on how to go about getting the cover and pdf finished was hours of anguish and decisionmaking  that I didn’t always enjoy. Also, the countless emails to fifty or sixty people was not always a joy, but a small hindrance on the journey to publication. Which company to go with for the final printing was a mammoth task, searching for the best price closest to home, seemed overwhelming at times, but worked out perfectly in the end.

English: Three Lao girls sit outside their sch...

English: Three Lao girls sit outside their school, each absorbed in reading a book. This photo was taken after a rural school book party by Big Brother Mouse, a publishing and literacy project in Laos, which provides many children with their very first books. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that the book is a visible entity, there will be months of care and promotion to send it out into the world. I have confidence that there is a story there for everyone, one that will touch someone deeply. When the last copy is sold, more reordered, or a new book created, this book will have a life of its own. How it has given first time writers confidence to continue on writing more of their own stories, reading other people’s stories and has just added to their confidence and self esteem- it is all as Stephen Covey would say a WIN-WIN experience. I feel better because all my writers feel better about themselves, and are happy with our baby, too!

Just so you know, if you didn’t contribute to our baby this time, a new one is being born again next year, with a goal of 100 stories and poems, and at least 40 photos(insert in center).  Wayne Dyer says we need to use and develop our imaginations.  Our next book will be different and equally as valuable as this one.  But this book for now is what we have to appreciate, learning what we can from it. The joy and pride will grow as time passes. Only time will tell what impact its birth will have!

Thank you, writers for your enormous part in this!

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About Newfoundland Traveller

I'm a Newfoundlander with a love of reading, writing and travelling. I've travelled around our province and lived in four provinces of Canada. I love a good book and a good blog. My family means the world to me, and some day I hope to travel to many countries of the world with my husband and sons' families.
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16 Responses to Publishing A Book Is Like Giving Birth

  1. gullyjumper says:

    Pauline, I can’t think of a better ‘Mama’ for this collection of stories. I applaud you for your vision, commitment and the hard work it took to bring this to life. Congratulations!

    Michelle

    • How sweet of you to say so! Thanks for your wonderful tribute to one of St. Shotts’ residents. People come first, so I’m glad you wroteyour piece for someone who deserves many accolades, as do many others in the community. Good luck with all your travels and studies!

      >________________________________

  2. I’m visiting by way of Virginia Views, and feel fortunate to have landed at such a wonderful time – congratulations on your book!

  3. Congrats on your book! A great post…

  4. Lori says:

    Congratulations on the book! Wishing much success to you and your fellow writers!

  5. Congratulations, Pauline, on a completing a mammoth task. I am so proud to have you as my friend.

  6. Whoo-hoo!! Congratulations on your bouncing baby book! I am sure it will make it’s mark in this world, as the proud parent set the example!

  7. Wow, this is so exciting, Pauline, and a dream come true for many! Congratulations and I wish you all the best in the next steps to be taken down the road! I’m still pondering this idea with poetry…who knows! Anyway, pat yourself on the back, as this is a great accomplishment! Take care, Lauren

  8. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!

  9. Pingback: I looked into the face of my old friends today « newfoundlandtraveller

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