Today is “Launch Day” for Deliberate Motherhood, a book that has been in development for a full three years.
It’s a dream come true for us here at Power of Moms, and I thought I’d celebrate our book launch by creating a behind-the-scenes tour of how this book came to be. (Maybe this will help you with your own book project or other dream-in-the-making.)
(1) The Pie-in-the-Sky Idea
I think every worthwhile dream starts out feeling a tad impossible. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was six, and when Saren and I first started brainstorming the possibility of a Power of Moms book, I got so excited that I took a photo of my journal and then stuck our logo on it. (You know, so I could see the vision.)
Saren was raised by best-selling authors Richard and Linda Eyre, so she was the one with all the confidence. I was just thrilled to participate. Together, we decided to create a book centered around the 12 Powers of Motherhood that we feature on our site.
(2) The Announcement
Because we didn’t want to write this book alone and because we hoped it would become a special offering from our Power of Moms community, we issued a call-out to our community asking for their submissions.
The page with all the information is on our former site, but I included a little screen shot of the email announcement here (sent in early November, 2010).
(3) The Submissions
We were amazed to receive 170 emails in response to that call-out, filled with beautiful stories and words of wisdom. That’s when we realized this “simple” book project wasn’t going to be quite as simple as we thought. But that’s okay! We made it work, and here’s how:
(4) The Decision-Making
We knew we needed to have an impartial judging system to select the pieces that would be published in the book, so Alisha Gale (who is still our main editor here at Power of Moms) jumped into action.
She took all 170 submissions and divided them into 13 Google Documents (one for each of the 12 “Powers” – plus one for the “undecideds”). The names of the authors were carefully cataloged into a private/separate Google Spreadsheet, and within the 13 content Google Docs, the names were replaced with numbers.
Saren, Alisha, and I then created an evaluation form (also within Google Docs) that we shared with the board members and previously-selected authors who were going to help with the judging.
I’m actually going to include this link to the live form, in case you’d like to see it (but please don’t fill it out, okay?). Google Forms are my favorite. You can create drop-downs, multiple-choice options, and paragraph-text capture, and all the entries are automatically gathered into a single spreadsheet you can sort however you’d like.
Once the judging was complete, we evaluated the scores and created brand new Google Docs featuring the “winners” for each chapter.
(5) The Editing
This was perhaps the hardest–and most lengthy part. Each chapter had one main author/editor, and she was responsible for compiling her words–along with the winning supplemental pieces into one cohesive chapter.
This part was also tricky because we were working with 12 busy mothers–with more than 45 children amongst us (I’m ball-parking it), and you know how tough it is to make time for heavy think work. But each editor was incredibly dedicated, and after months of emails back and forth, working together in partnerships, and then asking Catherine Arveseth and Allyson Reynolds go through all 12 chapters looking for any overlap or inconsistencies, the book was finally ready to be brought to life.
(I also need to note here that there were many, many other steps that went into this process by wonderful board members, book team committee members, and dear friends. I can’t possibly list everyone’s name here, but please know we are incredibly grateful for them!)
(6) Getting it to Book Form
Although today’s book is being launched by Familius Publishing, we initially self-published through CreateSpace, a company owned by Amazon. Their website walks you through the whole process, and they ship on demand, so you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars in printing costs. Magnificent, I think.
Chantol Sego, one of our authors and board members at Power of Moms, offered to create the 250-page book document for us using one of CreateSpace’s templates. Wow, that was a huge job.
Then Saren and I made final little edits, added in the photos of the authors, and got it ready to upload to CreateSpace as a PDF. My computer screen looked something like this for weeks:
(7) The Title
In the meantime, we didn’t know what to call this book. We’d brainstormed ideas early in the process (see this screen shot of a Google Doc Saren and I shared back in April of 2011):
But then we created a new list and put together a survey that went out to our whole Power of Moms community.
After reviewing the results and the additional comments, we decided on Deliberate Motherhood: 12 Key Powers of Peace, Purpose, Order, and Joy.
(8) The Cover
This was another huge process, initially. We held a photo contest within our community and then invited everyone to vote on the top submissions.
There were so many beautiful images, and the winner was this one:
Once we had the photo and the title, we needed someone to bring them together, so we turned to Rebecca Walters of www.merrakai.com, who serves on our Power of Moms board. I still remember the day when Rebecca finished the design work and ordered a print-out from a local shop. I was elated:
(9) Our First Printing
Soon after that, we uploaded all of the files into CreateSpace’s website and ordered a proof. Eric took a picture of me when I opened the package that arrived in the mail. Ahhhhhhh! So excited.
Shortly after that momentous day, the book was released on Power of Moms, and CreateSpace began shipping books around the world.
(10) Publishing with Familius
We were happy with our book. Really happy after two years of work. But then we received an email from Christopher and Michele Robbins from Familius Publishing, and after a few phone conversations and emails back and forth, we decided it was time to take Deliberate Motherhoodto a broader audience–one we couldn’t reach by ourselves at Power of Moms.
After being sold solely through Amazon for seven months, our book came down and received a makeover. You know what it looks like now, but I thought you might like to see some of the initial ideas:
Here is the final cover. I love it.
It’s exciting to see that these days–with technology and social media–a group of mothers with an important message can actually share that message. Voices that long ago would have been confined to a few city blocks can now be shared globally with the click of a button.
But this isn’t just exciting for us. This is exciting for you. Think for a moment about your dreams and about all those things that may have seemed impossible in the past. It takes a lot of work to make these kinds of things happen. But mothers aren’t afraid of work. Not when it’s coupled with the hope that we can actually make a difference.
I love Power of Moms. I love the deliberate mothers who gather together with us. I hope we can be the means of helping you achieve your goals. Thanks for being with us as we celebrate the achievement of one of ours.
QUESTION: Is there a specific goal or dream that you’re excited about right now? (Seriously . . . we want to hear about it. And it will inspire other mothers if you take a moment to share.)
CHALLENGE: Will you please take a moment to help us share Deliberate Motherhood with the world?
You could connect with us on social media:
Share this page about the book (tag us and use #DeliberateMotherhood)
You could buy the book! If you do and send a copy of your receipt firstname.lastname@example.org, you will receive a link where you can download Power of MomsDeliberate Mothering Podcasts ($20 value). Learn more about that here.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1bneRJC
You could post a review on Amazon: http://amzn.to/16214WX
And add Deliberate Motherhood to your books on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/
If you’re part of a book club . . . please consider picking Deliberate Motherhood as your next book selection!
Thank you so much!