I have two children. They are both unique and wonderful in their own ways. But here’s the thing; they didn’t show up at the same time, and that means my wife and I experienced their births in different ways. You can never have your first child a second time. It is equally true, however, that the second child comes with its own set of unique challenges and rewards.
The Ten Thousand will be available on Amazon, May 1st.
What does that have to do with being an author? Publishing my second book was a lot like having a second child. Here’s what I mean, publishing for the first time is full of first time experiences. The first time you complete a manuscript. The first time someone reads what you’ve written. The first time you see your story turned into cover art. The first time you hit the “publish” button on Amazon and see it listed right along with all the other books. The first time you make a sale. The first time you get a review, and on it goes.
Okay, so now comes along book number two. On the one hand, you feel more confident because you’ve been down this road before; it’s not so scary. As a pastor, I have visited a lot of couples in the hospital after they’ve welcomed a new child into the world. It is always easy to figure out if it’s their first child or one further down the line. First-time parents will barely let you get close enough to see the precious bundle of joy. Second and third-time parents will often hand the baby off to you to hold for a while, so they can get a break.
And so it was with writing my second book. There’s less of a learning curve. There’s more ease moving through the process, and I can even change the way I did things the first time around. But there’s a flip side to this. When I wrote my first book, I didn’t have another book to look after. Taking care of a newborn is difficult enough as it is, but when you’ve also got a toddler running around, your time gets divided in uncomfortable ways. And that’s what I had as I worked on my second book, a toddler that needed to be looked after.
Many people (including myself at one time) think being an author is about writing a book. That’s like saying the being a parent is about bringing a baby into the world; it’s only partially true. If you’ve ever had a child, or watched anyone who has, you know the hard work begins once they get here. After a book is written, it has to be promoted, or no one will ever read it. And here’s what I learned along with a lot of first-time parents, it’s hard work.
Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not complaining. Learning to promote my book has been fun, and I’m still learning by trial and error. But I didn’t appreciate the time and focus it takes. So, book number two got set aside for a while as I helped book number one get up on its feet, taking its first few steps. As a result, my second manuscript lay half finished and neglected for weeks. I felt like a bad parent who had given too much attention to one child, and not enough to the other. When I got back to it, I had to read it from the beginning to get back in the story’s flow so I could finish it.
Well, I am happy to say, baby number two . . . I mean, book number two has been successfully delivered and will be available on May 1st. Like a proud parent, I go to my Amazon author page (it’s like an Amazon nursery for your books) and look in on my two literary children from time to time. And also like a proud parent, I won’t stop you if you’d like to see them too.
And just so you know, book number three, The Heir, is coming along nicely. I don’t have a delivery date, but I hope the more I do this, the more efficient I get. Stay tuned for more on this in the months ahead.