Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Helicopter Authors

I work for Berkley Prime Crime. That means every nine months I have a new baby. September, May, February...So far I've had eight little darlings, with another one on the way. Mind Your Own Beeswax's due date is May 3rd. I can't wait! And like every new parent, I want my baby to succeed.

The difference between human babies and these new additions, though, is that they arrive already grown up, with all their beauty fully realized. Right along with all their flaws. No time left to mold and shape. That parts done. So we launch our newest into the world.

We authors want them to succeed. Really, really bad we want that. So we become helicopter authors, hovering, ready and willing to sweep away every obstacle that gets in the way. Helicopter parents use cell phones to accomplish their missions. Helicopter authors use the internet. It's our umbilical cord.

And we work hard. Surf for reviews. Attempt to head off the bad ones. Sing our newborns praise on every social network, every forum, every blog we visit. Every single second that we aren't creating our next baby, we're protecting this baby in every way we can. We watch sales numbers at book sites all day, every day. And we keep track of our peers' sales, too, because we want our offspring to be better, do better.

The thing we miss is that, at this point, our baby's future is really out of our hands. We've raised them the best we could. We infused them with all we had. Gave it our best shot.

Now it's up to them.

We have to learn to let go. To realize that some of them will meet our expectations (and more). And some of them will disappoint us. But no matter how they turn out, they will always be our babies and we'll always love them.

So tell me, are you a helicopter (fill in the blank)?