12 Ways Books are like Babies

Dolphin Girl turns one today.

It seems absolutely amazing to say this, given that I thought it was doomed to be a dusty drawer book.  While it’s been awhile since I was a new parent, I can’t help but think how much all the ups and downs of this past year are like having a new baby. So, here are some of the similarities I’ve noticed.

1. Sleepless nights.

Coming up with scenes for the next book? Remembering something you forgot to do? A Kindle Select free run, anyone? Are these the things that woke you up or kept you up?  They were for me.

2. Checking to make sure the baby is alive.

The book equivalent of tiptoeing into the nursery is signing into KDP to check your sales. If you hit refresh-refresh-refresh, you probably were the type of parent that would wake your baby just to make sure.

3. Less social life and free time.

You receive an invitation to hang with friends, but you’re involved in something else for the book. It could be a blog tour, or promotion, or interview or, or, or…

So you decline and watch over your book instead.  If only there were book babysitters, then you could still go out and phone home ten times to see how things are going.

4. You must fight the urge to over share.

When you do finally go out, you must fight this with all your will power.  You know those parents that have hundreds of pictures and want to tell you about diaper changes. Don’t be that person. No one cares that you need one more review before ENT will feature your book.  No one.

Well, maybe  other authors at KB, but that’s it.

5. The weight you put on is worth it.

The biggest, most disappointing difference is that you don’t immediately lose weight when you release a book. But really, who cares about buying new clothes? You wear a lot of sweat pants when you write, anyway.

Take heart. It will come off, but it requires a determination that you never needed bb (before book or before baby, whichever you prefer).

6. You never realized how much stuff it would require.

Babies need strollers, binkies, bottles, and lots and lots of clothes. Books need covers, a web site, editing, social media, and blog posts with adorable pictures like this one.

7. The support you get from others (and who gives it) surprises you.

You think grandma will be the biggest fan of your baby (and maybe your book, too).  But it doesn’t always happen that way.  In fact, a lot of your support comes from those who are going through the same trials at the same time.

8. Nothing is just yours any longer.

With babies, you are required to share more. With writing, the book is what you share. And sharing your book is waaay scarier than sharing your stuff, because now you’re out there for everyone to see. Don’t fret. It’ll be okay and you’ll even get used to it.

9. You let go of perfection.

Your house is not as clean, because there are so many book-ish things that need your attention first. When you find the time to clean, you’d rather write. Not only are you forced to handle house stuff differently, but also somewhere in that first year, you realize your child – the book – is not perfect either.

Oh, well. Nothing is.

10. The second child doesn’t get as much attention.

You fully intend to not fall into the trap of not giving as much to your second book (or your second child), but it happens the all the same.  Because you still love your first book and you can’t just drop it like a hot potato, so now your love is spread around, perhaps a bit thinner.  It’s not that you love it any less, but it can never be the one and only.

11. You believe once again in the things you believed as a child.

You begin to believe in magic and luck. Perhaps you’ll be visited by the book version of the tooth fairy–the Amazon fairy, who deposits sales into your KDP account late at night while you sleep.

12. It doesn’t really change you.

With a baby you’re now A MOM.  With your book you can call yourself AN AUTHOR (if you want). But those titles don’t change who you are at your core.  Your values are still the same. And as much as we all would like the event to magically transform us, and make us better than we were before, it doesn’t.

So, here are my top twelve.  There are others and maybe you even have a favorite.

Each book only gets one first birthday, and to celebrate this one for Dolphin Girl, I’ve lowered the price to 99 cents.  You can find it here at Amazon  


October 3, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

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