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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Your Book is Delayed....Now What?

There is nothing easy about getting a book published and for most authors the final moment is seeing the book on the shelves in a bookstore. It is nice to get an advance copy in the mail and read it through just to see how it feels. But the end of the path lies in the stacks of the bookstore where you see the spine peeking out with your name on it and you feel the whole sweep from the very first word you wrote to the signing of a contract, receiving money, and finally, the placement among men and women who have done the impossible--published a book. But what happens if your book gets delayed?

Think of a pregnancy suddenly extended. For years you have carried this baby and it became heavier and heavier and there were times you thought it would never come into this world. Finally you are given a date and everything in your body is focused on that day when your baby will come into the world. One world will end on that day and another will begin. The months seem to take forever and you peg all sorts of things to the publication--your age, your financial situation, your very reason for being. Then you go to the doctor a few days before delivery and he shakes his head. Sorry, we are having some complications, we are going to have to delay this a few months.

Wham. You stagger out. That baby has just gained ten more pounds. Everything is in disarray. That  book you have been working on as a followup gets pushed back. You have lost your ability to concentrate. You spend your time wondering when your book will appear. This happens quite a bit in publishing. It is a business and businesses don't run smoothly. But the author is outside the combine and all he gets is a big we will get back to you with a date. So you wait and wait and wait. You carry your baby around, lurching from side to side because you are gigantic. You tell the doctor you are literally going to blow up if you don't have this baby soon. He shakes his head, just a little longer, just a little longer....

You try and work and think irrationally maybe this baby will never be delivered. Maybe you will be pregnant forever and your book will be in a hellish limbo and like the baby your book will slosh around in the never never land of gestation, a stillborn child of your ambition. So you waddle on, cranky, pissed off, overweight, bottled up, a writer waiting for deliverance. Is there anything worse.

William Hazelgrove's novel Rocket Man is due out this fall....

Books by William Hazelgrove