Christine Rhyner

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Eight Ways Publishing Your Book is Like an Adoption Journey
Sunday, February 23, 2014 by Christine

  1. Both are your “babies.”
  2. You can’t wait to show them to the world! They are the milestones in life you’ve hoped for and dreamed about. You’ve put a great deal of thought into them, prepare for countless hours as to how you will achieve that moment of joy when you are finally holding your “babies” and talk with many who have gone before you. You read up on the process and experience, and find friends who are engaged in the same life journey. You imagine your future with these new “children” in it, try out names for them and talk about them often before you actually hold them.  With both, you feel quite protective, and hope they won’t become anyone else’s before the process is done.
  3. You must be worthy to see the “baby” actualized.

    You prove this both in writing and in person. While your book requires you to labor over creating brilliant query letters and proposals attempting to present the most inviting idea possible, your adoption applications make it necessary that you demonstrate you have what it takes to parent a child. For your manuscript you strive to show that you are the absolute best one to write that book you are trying to sell to a publisher.  For your adoption agency, you want them to think a child would be absolutely blessed to be raised by you. And both have you polishing up your image to each one’s end. For an adoption it’s for those initial meetings at adoption agencies, required pictures of a smiling and happy you enjoying other people’s children, or necessary home studies when someone is designated to check out your living quarters for its suitability for a baby or child. For your book, you also polish it up for pictures of yourself on social media, footage of you in a book trailer and the interesting and knowledgeable person you want to present to the world for eventual book signings and speaking engagements. You NEVER express anything you find negative or anxiety producing to those involved in getting your baby to you.  

  4. Both can be costly.

    It’s no secret that adoption requires an outlay of monies as you move along in the process. You scrape together funds for application fees, the cost of a home-study, fingerprinting, travel, etc. Meanwhile, a good book, even if it makes its way through a publishing company into your hands also causes you to invest in the process. Often authors will hire professional editors who are not cheap. Then, there are book trailers expected of you to market your baby. Not everyone is adept at video production for their book’s trailer. Production companies can be another big expense.

  5. Both are time consuming.

    There are good reasons for the long wait, yet people ask over and over, “When will it be here?” With an adoption you navigate your way through a mountain of paperwork, to do lists and preparations. If it’s an international adoption, you wait patiently as governments work together, complications or delays with a foreign country take place and departure dates often get re-scheduled more than once. With your manuscript you find there are so many steps to be taken throughout the publishing process. There is substantive editing, copyediting, book cover design, endorsements to secure and marketing, marketing, marketing! For both you find yourself explaining over and over that there are processes which have to be set into place and carried out before the baby arrives. Inevitably, not everyone understands and may even be a little suspicious that a baby is actually on the way…

  6. You face disappointment by others’ reactions.

    Not everyone will be supportive. While you find yourself being asked questions about why you’re adopting, or adopting “over there,” or a slew of others about your motives and journey, so too will you find the person here and there on your path to publishing who is not a fan. They may have no interest in your topic, throw unsolicited advice at you about where you are heading or how to get there, not like the name of your baby or oppose your views.

  7. Some will sing your praises.

    With each experience you will find “gushers,” or those people who consider you the next best thing to sliced bread. Because you are adopting others may tell you what a blessing you are or that you are a wonderful human being for taking in an orphan. When you are publishing a book sometimes people treat you as though you are some sort of celebrity or genius. But these perceptions are inaccurate. Millions of people have done the same things. With each experience you have expectations that are not always met.  And, with each of these journeys you can be quite self-absorbed, going after what you want for various personal reasons. If we face facts, some of these reasons can be borne out of a kind of selfishness or need for healing more than that of being purely altruistic or offering the world a literary masterpiece.

  8. You develop a suspicious nature.

    In both situations you may begin as a novice, a bit naïve, but then you find yourself with a heightened sense of awareness that all is not rosy in adoption land or the publishing industry.  In an adoption process you find yourself exposed to countless people who say, “Trust me,” in your quest for parenthood. Not all are in fact trustworthy. Some may let you down, be questionable or even illegal in how they approach their jobs or, in our case, downright abusive. After signing contract for a book deal, you start to make contacts with other authors and those within the publishing industry. You hope all will have you and your baby’s best interests in mind, but here too, not everyone will be of pure motives. You may find yourself targeted by “scams” designed to lure you in with promises of promoting your work. Other authors may only have an interest in you in order to promote their own work. Some publishing companies (not mine, thankfully), may try to take advantage of authors. And, as you get your name out there and step it up on social media, strange people can pop up out of the woodwork with all sorts of impure motives for contacting you.

  9. God orchestrates both.

    If you are a person of faith you do see God at work in your adoption plan as you take steps toward fulfilling your dream. He may provide financially, confirm that the baby you are certain is yours is in fact the one He has in mind for you and get you through all the bumps (and sometimes devastations) on the road you travel. He uses both experiences to increase your faith, show you more of Him and help you in those areas where you are weak.  As you search for a publisher, He leads you to a reputable one, puts people in your path that you can trust and give extra on your behalf, improve your journey and reveal to you how He is working things out. In my case God led me to an amazing editor and on to a video production company for my trailer in which unbeknownst to me the person is intimately involved in the issues surrounding my book. When I came up with a book cover the publisher said they were thinking along the same lines. For me, neither “baby” would be possible without my God.

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