Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Fifth Child is a Book

by Cindy Jones

I’m pregnant with my first book and almost everything I think or do is processed relative to my book’s release date. On March 29, 2011 My Jane Austen Summer will arrive in bookstores, accompanied by a heavenly chorus, and I will ride into the sunset to live happily ever after. Actually, I’ve given birth to four sons and I know I only have about two minutes in the sunset before the real job kicks in.

But the wait is difficult. My novel’s gestation is eighteen months from contract to publication, long enough to deliver two human babies. And most of my friends are not pregnant with novels, so there is not a huge support network for pregnant debut authors. I have survived by working on my next novel, but there are so many new distractions and now that I’m expecting, I must prepare. Rather than layette and nursery, I have to cultivate Wordpress and Facebook, author photo and website.

Sneak previews are a joy, like the time I first spied my book in the HarperCollins online catalogue. What are you doing there? I returned to the catalogue many times, studying the new subtitle and advertising copy, imagining how I would market this baby once it was out in the world.

Special jobs help time pass. When the copyedits arrived, the publisher’s printout of my novel showing the copyeditor’s queries and corrections, I threw myself into the project, grateful for something to do, amazed at my errors she caught. One day, a sample of the book’s design arrived in my email inbox. I printed the selection of pages representing variations of type used throughout the book and admired the charming indentations, italics, and graceful vines around the title page. My book’s design was so beautiful.

When I saw the art work for the cover, I fell in love with my book. I recognized the neck-down woman in the photo, my protagonist, just the way I wrote her. Her black shoes are slightly scuffed and she’s wearing a lovely silk coat. Hey, wait a minute! The roses in the fabric are just like the roses in the fictional floral chintz sofa she shares with her mother—“how could there be so much blue and purple in pink roses?” The cover designer read my book!

When the actual proof pages arrived on my doorstep I carried them to my office and couldn’t stop gazing at the beautiful font, the delicate curves of the c, the charming lilt of the capital W, and the exquisite beauty of the M. The experience reminded me of studying a grainy sonogram and admiring fingers and toes, imagining the soft flesh, anticipating the day when I could hold the living, breathing infant in my arms.

I’m expecting the ARE (advanced reader edition) in the near future. Until then, I’m taking deep breaths and counting the days.

Any advice on how to survive the wait would be appreciated!

Cindy Jones

My Jane Austen Summer

William Morrow/HarperCollins

March 29, 2011


  1. This is such an exciting time! But you are doing the right thing by writing the next book. Once you get the first book out there, you'll find that the write-a-book, promote-a-book cycle is very time-consuming.

  2. Cindy, congrats! I remember asking my editor what to do for my own PPS (pre-publication syndrome). She just laughed and told me to remember to breathe (kind of like my Labor and Delivery nurse). I'll tell you to enjoy the ride and don't ever forget that no matter what happens, after this you'll always be able to think of yourself as a published author; no one can ever take that away from you.

  3. Congrats, Cindy (from a fellow HC/Avon author!). Your book looks gorgeous, girl! Just wait'll you get your ARCs. You'll be positively giddy. :-)


  4. Cindy, the book is gorgeous, and I can't wait to read it!

    You're doing all the right things, so as Judy said, just remember to also breathe.

    In a way, I envy you right now, with only the one book to focus on while you begin crafting something new. Enjoy the relative simplicity while it lasts. :-)

    March 29 will be here before you know it...

  5. Cindy! Congratulations! Your book cover is a real stunner. All the advice above is perfect :)

  6. Karen, Thank you for the reassurance and the welcome into this amazing group of authors. I am so fortunate to be here and I appreciate the support!

    Judy, I am taking a deep breath as I write this. Isn't it funny how often writing activities lend themselves to birth and marriage analogies.

    Susan, Thank you! I think we share an editor, who, btw, mentioned that she LOVES you.

    Therese, I remember wondering, after my second child was born, what I had done with all my free time when I had only one. PS: I have been staying up WAY too late reading your beautiful book which I finished last night. Just the right mix of deft and complex, and a wonderful reminder to live in the moment. Thank you!

    Maria, Thank you! I'm so glad you like the cover.

  7. Congrats to you! Yes, the cover is gorgeous. That's such a sigh of relief when it turns out better than you'd hoped for.

    Keep writing and enjoy the ride. It will all come together beautifully.

  8. Cindy, I think that makes us publishing sisters! (Aw, I love Lucia back! She rocks, doesn't she?) :-)

  9. Writing the next book is the best therapy. And try to enjoy every moment. It's easy these days to get angstful pre-pub, but you only have a first book published once.

  10. Thanks, Malena. I appreciate the reassurance. I really didn't know what to expect.

    Susan, Lucia rocks big-time. I had no idea an editor would be so kind and patient. After the ten years of uphill struggle to publication, its such a comfort.

    Lauren, I have a next book underway and I love diving into it. Really good therapy, you're right.

  11. Oh, hey, thank *you*! I like your use of adjectives. :-)

  12. Congratulations! I am not an author, but I am a mom and this post made me laugh out loud. I look forward to reading your book.

  13. Congrats, Cindy! The cover is totally fab-- can't wait to check it out!

  14. Teresa, I'm so glad it made you laugh--thanks for telling me!

    Brenda, Thank you. I'm in good company for the long wait!

  15. The cover is beautiful! Can't wait to read it...and admire it in person!

  16. So exciting! The book looks lovely and I can't wait to read it! Congratulations!

  17. Keep a journal. It'll help you deal with the angst and it's kind of fun later to go back and read about the pre-pub days. Work on the next book. And dream.

  18. Oh, Cindy, you already know how excited I am about your new baby, um, debut book!! The cover is gorgeous, and the premise is one I'm itching to read ;).

    As for what to do during the others have already said, keep working on the next book (post-release promo takes a lot of time!) and, if by chance you have an office as cluttered as mine, spend time now cleaning it out and preparing it for all the extra things it'll need to hold: advanced reading copies, author copies, postcards/bookmarks and other promo material, important documents, new book contracts (!!), etc.

  19. This is such an exciting time. I spent my pre-pub days reading marketing books and thinking up schemes to sell more books. It's a fun way to deal with the nervous energy. Also, I'm really happy that I completed the rough draft of my second women's fiction novel before the first one came out. Whenever I felt too overwhelmed or anxious, I said, "Just keep on writing." Hope that helps!

  20. Hi Cindy,
    We're living the same life... My book debuts in January, and I couldn't agree more with everything you've said. Yes, the ARC copies were the sonogram come to life--only no spit up, and it slept through the night!
    Your cover is lovely!! Best of luck with your book!

  21. I read this book and its really nice for study because its tell us how to care your baby with easy way thanks for share it statement of purpose for llm .