Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Giving Birth to a Book

I’ve heard the process of writing and publishing a book compared to giving birth to a child…while I agree that they are both huge accomplishments, giving birth to Home is Where the Mom Is took a lot longer than giving birth to my children (and there is nothing that can compare to giving birth to my children—not even publishing a book!)!

It was so exciting to be writing a book! I had quite a few (rejected) ideas for magazine articles, so those were the start of the book. I used a file folder for each topic and put notes, articles, and even sticky notes that contained ideas pertinent to that topic, in the file folder.

Gradually it became obvious that Home is Where the Mom Is would have three main sections: Taking Care of Yourself, Taking Care of Others, and Organizing Your Life. Chapter titles and topics naturally evolved from there.

Throughout the whole process of writing and publishing I asked for God’s guidance; I knew I couldn’t write a book without His help and leading! There were times the words just flowed, and I know it was God guiding my thoughts and sentences—it couldn’t have been me! I asked God to guide me to write the words that would encourage the moms who would read them; I wanted them to feel the joy and peace I have in my faith.

I began by writing a few chapters. I worked to include Bible verses and Christian beliefs as appropriate; my faith is a major part of my life and I wanted Home is Where the Mom Is  to encourage readers to strengthen their faith and incorporate it in every part of their lives and their kids’ lives.

Eventually the title of the book, became clear; Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home.

I wrote in longhand, on legal pads, and when I completed a chapter I typed it on the computer. Then I began editing. I actually enjoy editing; it’s a challenge to me to make ideas flow more smoothly and make my thoughts understood. I used a red pen to make corrections or edits, and most of the time on the first draft, by the time I was done editing,  there were more arrows and red marks than typed words! I knew I was done editing a chapter when my edits turned out to be the way I’d worded that sentence originally.

After I wrote a few chapters it was time to look for a publisher. I researched Christian publishers and found about 15 who I thought might be interested in Home is Where the Mom Is. I carefully prepared a proposal package that contained several sample chapters, an outline of the remaining chapters, and a marketing plan, and sent the package off to the appropriate editors.

I began to receive responses a few weeks later. I was encouraged to receive several letters expressing some interest in Home is Where the Mom Is, but discouraged when that sentence was followed by…our publishing schedule is full for the next two years…or …not right for us at this time.

I became discouraged at this point, and was tempted to just throw all of my files, my papers, and my research into a file box and hide it in the basement! I told my friends and family this and they strongly encouraged me not to give up. I prayed about it and felt God telling me not to give up, either. I prayed for his guidance as to what to do next.

I knew a little bit about self-publishing and at this time did a little more research, eventually feeling that this was the way to get Home is Where the Mom Is to moms. I focused on working on Home is Where the Mom Is every day; at times it was very difficult to do so, but eventually (after much more than nine months) it was completed! A few weeks later I received the very first copy of Home is Where the Mom Is in the mail…and after all that work and time it was almost as satisfying as holding a new baby in my arms. I was so happy that my dream of publishing had come true!

My next task was getting Home is Where the Mom Is into the hands of moms.

Future posts will include more about self-publishing!

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