Thursday, August 2, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting (a book...)


CONCEPTION:

You look at your computer and wink. You wanna? Yeah, I wanna.

This fabulous chemistry of emotions and passion collide, and many moments (months, years) later, you sit back, breathless, barely able to conjure up a coherent thought.

A few weeks later, you pee on a stick, er, open up a file, and see the sign.

The End.

You did it. A book has been conceived.

FIRST TRIMESTER:

You read your book. It's awfulness makes you want to throw up.

You edit. You edit some more.

Then you ask someone else to read it, and they mark it up with a red pen.

You edit even more.

You venture into a bookstore, just to spy the spot in which your book would be placed alphabetically. Ahhh, such a nice spot.

You go home and edit even more. Read some how-to books, and edit even more.

SECOND TRIMESTER:

You're feeling better about your book now. It's taking a much nicer form. You even print it out and maybe even have it binded at Kinkos so you can have a picture of what it "might" look like someday.

You query agents. You go to writer's conferences. You get some rejections, some requests. It's a time of waiting, but it'll be worth it in the end.

You start a blog. You network with other writers. Now is the time to set the framework for when your book is out. Now is when you have "time" to do that stuff, people say. Later, you'll be so busy it'll be hard to keep up. You just can't imagine that though. I mean, this is good stuff. The journey is SO MUCH FUN!

THIRD TRIMESTER:

This journey is HARD!

You signed with an agent, which is cool, but now they have a billion things they want you to do. A major publishing house has your manuscript going to pub board, and you're about ready to bite your nails clear off until you hear something.

Krista - about ready to pop with Annabelle!
You're brainstorming other projects, because who wants a one-time-wonder, right?

And marketing? Really? Your agent wants you to prepare to market something? How do you do that when you don't even have a published book?

And yeah, you started that blog. Five people visit a week. That's a platform right? What? You need more than that? How do I do that when my baby isn't here yet? Isn't that the point of the stinkin' blog anyway, to sell books? It's too hard. You try to get your significant other to do something to help, cook dinner or something to give you time to get all this done, but they just call it a "hobby" and want you to stop belly-aching.

DELIVERY

WOOT! The pains have BEGUN!

Pub board offered you a contract. Signed, sealed, and announced on Facebook!

Now the work really begins.

More edits. REALLY PAINFUL edits. And more than one, they just keep coming!

That marketing that was hard before... well, it's breathing down your neck now.  Oh why didn't you work harder on that stupid blog following thing earlier? Everyone warned you, now here you are, spamming everyone's Facebook page, trying to get them to remember you so someone will buy this book you're about ready to have.

The only thing worse than having an ugly book is having one that no one buys.

Interview questions.

Setting up blog tours.

Planning launch parties.

Everyone wants something from you RIGHT NOW and there is only so much of you to go around.

Finally... the time comes.

It's almost there... hehehooooooo..... here comes the author copies!

And then....

A book is born. Published. Available to the public in all its glory.

You smile. Relief.

Of course....

Then the crying, er, book selling comes. And eventually the book grows up and many years later graduates and moves out of the house (goes out of print) but by then, you've given birth to many other books.

In fact, hopefully you're like the Duggers and have a LOT of them.

And you smile. Because you remember the joy of conception, the pain and work that it took to get to the point of delivery. You enjoyed every moment, ever good review, every reader letter letting you know what the book meant to you. In hindsight, it all went pretty well! Oh, and then you take it upon yourself to give those complaining pregnant writer's all the advice that your many published books affords you to give!


Discussion:

Where are you at in your writing journey? What advice do you have for those in the spot right behind you? Is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back?


*** pictures from freedigitalphotos.net ... except of course for the one of my large, prego self! ***

14 comments:

Sherrinda said...

Bwhahahahahha! That was brilliant AND hilarious! Oh my goodness, what a great way to start the day. Krista, I cannot wait to meet you in person at the ACFW conference!!!!

Annnnd, I would have to say that my "embryo" is frozen for future use!!! lololol

Oh my goodness, I'm gonna be smiling all day!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, what next? :D Well at least we can say a book will be finished in 9 months
-Thaephania

Karen Schravemade said...

This. Is. HILARIOUS. Thanks for the giggles. :-)

Although I must say, now I'm not looking forward so much to getting a contract... labour pains? OUCH!!

Karen Schravemade said...

... oh, just the thought of you winking at your computer is making me giggle again...

Joanne Sher said...

Krista, this is FABULOUS!! So wise and HYSTERICAL. Wowow.

Angie said...

So, so fun! HAHAHAHA! I am in that second trimester...pigging out now that I feel better, but not really seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Goin' to keep on "eating" for two!

Jeanne T said...

SUCH a fun post, Krista! I'm probably in the second semester, editing, trying to figure out how to revise and edit better (and eating chocolate). Praying lots. :)

For the one behind me (if there are any), my encouragement would be to write that first draft fast, just let the story flow onto paper, and do the fixes in the revision process.

Off and running. Hoping to come back and visit later. :)

Casey said...

Hahaha! How creative, I love it. :)

Keep disciplining that baby into submission, we'll soon have a child to love! ;)

Lindsay Harrel said...

LOL, awesome post, Krista! I'm in the second trimester too. Revising, brainstorming my next, and going to conference to pitch!

Krista Phillips said...

HA! I wrote this at midnight last night. I get a little loopy in the middle of the night. As I clicked published, I though, "Am I really publishing this?" but I was too tired to care.

So glad you all could enjoy my lack-of-sleep induced humor!

I'm in the midst of labor pains. They hurt... definitely... but they are so TOTALLY worth the bundle of joy that'll be put into my hands very soon!!!! Bring it on!

(you know, I guess those who want can opt for a csection and self-publish.... HA!)

Tracy Krauss said...

LOL! so funny - and so true! You skipped all the part about the terrible twos, teen angst etc. and just got to the moving out of the house, though. There is SO MUCH to do after the thing is born that it takes over your life.

Krista Phillips said...

tracy, HA! That is a totally different What to Expect book!!!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Ha! This is great. I'm stuck in the second trimester, I guess. Better than the first, but I'd love to move on :) I've conceived too many books to not at least give birth once and have it "move out".

Jocelyn Green said...

This is great! I have often thought about how like having a baby the book writing process is. Before I write a book, I nest: I clean the house, because I don't plan to do that again (except for spot-cleaning) until the book is born. And I make a bunch of meals and put them in the freezer, because I also don't plan to cook during the book pregnancy. :) And then, I definitely go into "confinement"-sequestering myself away while I agonize over my embryonic ideas until they grow into a fully formed, nicely developed little book baby. Oh that labor--it's intesne! Thanks for the great blog post!!