December 8, 2013

How self-publishing a book is like giving birth.

WARNING: Partial nudity.

As you know, I made a book. Making a book is just like making a baby. Perhaps not the making part...



...but probably the growing part. And most definitely, the pushing out part. Especially if you're self-publishing.


I won't lie to you; it's really fucking painful. Nothing can prepare you for the torture leading up to the actual release. And yes, you will probably shit yourself. (I decided not to draw that part because I am nice.)


You can beg and plead for an epidural or hardcore narcotics, or even pray that a falling piano will knock you out and take the pain away.


But you won't get any drugs, because you're self-publishing! Ha ha.

"I'll never have sex again!" you vow.


Yeah, yeah. Everyone says this while giving birth, but you can't deny that even as you endure the awful thunder in your blood, there's already a glimmer of another sexy book lurking in the creative soup of your consciousness.


And then, just when you think you can't take it anymore, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Literally.


The book is about to launch - bear down! Bear down!
Give'er one last push.

Push!

PUSH!!


You did it! Your book is out!


And you're still alive.


Welcome to the World little one!


It's a goddamn miracle.


You're overcome with maternal joy. (Even if you're a dude.)


Congratulations on what seems to be a happy, healthy baby book, to have, to hold, and to share. Possibly even destined for the New York Times bestseller list - you never know, right?

Let's celebrate! Champagne! Enjoy the moment.


Because the real work has only just begun.


You have to keep the baby alive - feed it and give it lots of love and attention. By attention, I mean publicity; make sure folks know about the book-baby. Get that fucker out there!

Don't banish the baby to forgotten boxes in the dusty shadows of your garage or basement. You mustn't let the baby die! It's counting on you - you're all it's got.


And... don't forget the afterbirth!

Notes on self-publishing:
  • It's not easy; but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.
  • You probably won't make money; but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.
  • Your first book might not be very good; but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. 
  • Although self-publishing e-books is free, you will probably have to give up something you love. Like sleep. You might want to think about that one.
Life is short people. Go forth and tell your stories.

The LAST Snowman is my first book. These folks all yelled "PUSH!" and deserve my thanks. Smack me if I've forgotten someone...but not too hard, because I'm still post natal:

Jill Smokler AKA ScaryMommy, Annie @ PhD in Parenting, Tracy Beckerman from Lost in Suburbia.
Virginia, Mona, Gigi.
Sandi, Derek, Stephie, Brandie, Åsa, Kristin, Judy, Susie, Julia, Dean, Tracy, Tanya, Brooke, Scotty, Tanya, Susie, Julia, Virginia, Michael, Sarah.
Everyone who took the time to read my blog and tell me they liked it.
Uncle Simon, The Huz, all our children and my mom.

But most of all, I want to thank the fourteen-year-old girl.