Sunday, 1 June 2008

Delivering a book

Pram_with_book Pram_with_watermelon_baby

Some people say that getting a book published is like giving birth. It’s an interesting analogy, but a bit of a stretch, I reckon. My experience of birth is limited to that of being a father, watching on and feeling like a spare part and trying to be supportive, whilst generally gob-smacked and over-awed by the whole birthing experience.

There isn’t the pain or physical strain in delivering a book, although the gestation period is generally longer---much longer. Of course, there’s the similar angst that everything will go smoothly, without complications, and that the book will be well-received, and the sense that once it’s delivered up from the printers it’s pretty much on its own in the world, apart from being able to offer a word of encouragement here and there at launches and promotions. On the whole though, all the nurturing and hard work occurs with a book immediately after conception and prior to its delivery, whereas the trend tends to be the other way with children.

Some people say that giving birth is like spitting out a watermelon, which I’d rather not think about, thank you, and there’s no way popping out a book can be compared to this (although the frustration might be similar). So, here I am, searching for an alternative analogy: something that does justice to the process of one without diminishing the other.

All suggestions gratefully received.

P.S. Now that the agreements have been signed and sealed between PaperBooks, Legend Press and the authors, a delivery date for The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore might not be far away. I’ll let you know.

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