It’s not uncommon, especially among those of us who are both writers and moms, to compare books and babies. For a while there was even a blog called Book Pregnant. In my experience, having one go-around with each, books and babies are different in a whole lot of ways.
But as I prepare for the arrival of my second baby (likely later this month) and my second book (a decent interval afterward, thank goodness) I’m reminded of some similarities between the baby part of life — the labor — and the book part of life — the launch.
You can never really be ready for either, in my experience. But if you’re looking to launch a book into the world, you could do worse than to take a few lessons from labor.
Find the line between education and obsession, and stay safely on this side. Labor stories and launch stories can both turn into horror stories. And there are plenty (thousands! tens of thousands! and then some!) of people, especially on the internet, who are happy to tell you their stories in stunning/gory/boring/excr-uc-ia-ting detail. In the book launch realm, it makes a lot of sense to research what your options are for all the different things you could do during the launch period for your book, but you will never, ever be able to do all of them. So don’t go alllll the way down the rabbit hole. When you reach the end of the internet it’s likely you will have read an equal number of people avowing that something was the worst decision they ever made — or the best. Gather information and then use your own judgment; that’s really all you can do.
Choose your team wisely. Especially if it’s your first time, you’re going to need some people on your side who’ve been there before. A combination of amateurs and professionals is usually best, since they’ll provide different types of support. In labor, who do you want with you? [Read more…]