the birth of a book

Self-publishing a book is the closest I’ll ever come to birthing a baby.


This baby and I have a lot in common: we both love chocolate!


I’ve never had any children, but working on Chocolatour has been a birthing process like no other in my life.

I conceived the idea for the book back in 2009. It had a long gestation period of just over three years. I guess I have something in common with elephants, as I hear they carry their young for a long time, too!

But all kidding aside, it really does feel that I am now in the birthing stage, and my baby will be born in less than one month. I can hardly wait for its delivery. I’ve had a sneak peek (just like when parents get a look inside via an ultrasound.) And I like what I see, but can hardly wait to hold it in my hands.

Here are some tips you need to know to birth your own (baby) book:

1. Put together a great team of experts to help with your delivery. I had a self-publishing coach (midwife), designers and photographers to make sure the ‘baby’ will look just right, and a established, well-respected printer (doctor) who will ensure delivery is safe and in a timely manner.

2. Don’t try and rush things. The baby will be born when it’s time has come. I’m not the most patient person, and I kept trying to rush the gestation period, wanting to take shortcuts and try to get things done quickly. A premature baby may not have been fully developed. It may have had irreversible birth defects that would affect the rest of its life and how the world receives it.  I’m glad my team of experts encouraged me to let nature take its course and to take all the time I needed to ensure we had a safe delivery.

3. Every detail counts. Some of the small stuff may not seem important to you at the time in the grand scheme of things, but when you’re dealing with the art of creation, every little detail does count. You want your baby to come from the best blood line possible. You want to be sure you are taking care of yourself so that the baby has the best possible chance of survival, and that you’ll be around to see it grow and be welcomed into the world.

4. Having one baby is never enough. You’ll want to have more! My own ‘baby’ is not even born yet, and I’m already planning the ‘birth’ of my second and third children. Spread apart, of course. A planned birth for 2015 for the second ‘child’, and 2017 for the third (Volume III of Chocolatour.)


The cover of Chocolatour shows chocolate wrappers and packaging from around the world.


Now, of course, every parent likes to show off pictures of their babies. So here’s a pic of my baby: front cover image. I tried very hard to upload the actual image of the cover, but somehow, WordPress and pdf’s don’t get along, so I’m working with what I’ve got. It gives you a good sense of what you will see when  you get to meet my baby.


Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

36 Responses

  1. I have nominated you for the “Shine On” Award! Read about here, please, and let me know if you are going to accept it! Thank you!
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…A Poem and An Award(…and some rule-breaking!)My Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thank you very much for nominating me for the Shine On Award, Lorraine. As I am due to do a post on my writing blog this week, and have many writer friends who have great blogs, I will graciously accept the award and post my entry later today. Cheers, and have a super day.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…for the love of JuniorMy Profile

  2. Simona says:

    Oh, I loved how you did all the comparisons with the time being pregnant, ultrasounds, giving birth and having a midwife. I did find it amusing but in the same time it kept me reading. Great tips on how to birth a book. Yours looks delicious!

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks, Simona. The analogy continues. We’ve got a few “complications” that will delay the birth for good reasons. Proud mamma will have to wait just a bit longer.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the birth of a bookMy Profile

  3. Jeri says:

    I couldn’t agree more with not rushing things. Too many books are hastily done, but that certainly won’t apply to your book. As always, looking forward to the delivery!
    Jeri recently posted…On My Mind: Learning to Read and WriteMy Profile

  4. Linda says:

    Congratulations….almost, Doreen! I know exactly what you mean. The baby analogy is perfect. As a matter of fact, in my projects with editing and designing books, I’ve felt like a Douala! Just before the thing actually slips into the world, the excitement is just like waiting for the baby to slip through the canal into waiting hands.
    Linda recently posted…Snow, bluebirds and the big bad wolf.My Profile

    • Doreen Pendgracs says:

      So glad you and others like the birthing analogy, Linda, and that you have felt it yourself. Another writer mentioned the same feeling tonight, and she didn’t even know I’d written this post!

  5. Pat says:

    Can’t wait to see your bundle of joy and look forward to your new family members down the road!

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks, Pat. I think you’ll like it, as you are highly visual as I am. So far, it’s getting positive feedback from those who have seen the draft. I hope you had a great holiday. Talk soon.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the birth of a bookMy Profile

  6. Catarina says:

    What a wonderful allegory, Doreen! Especially love this part of it: “A premature baby may not have been fully developed. It may have had irreversible birth defects that would affect the rest of its life and how the world receives it. “My grandmother apparently always said that it doesn’t show how long something has taken but how it’s done. Wish you the best of luck with Chocolatour Doreen!

    • Doreen Pendgracs says:

      Thanks so much, Catarina. We do indeed get frustrated with delays, and I ‘ve now learned it may take an extra week for the ‘baby’s’ arrival. But it will indeed be worth the wait.

  7. A.K.Andrew says:

    What a fabulous analogy Doreen- I can really feel your excitement about it in this post . It makes absolute sense to have in your mind your next project and the stage you are at. Especially as it will be Vol 2 as it were. I’m thrilled for you your work is almost there’s. I love what you say about collaboration. I really don’t understand writers who want to do it all alone. Of course some of it has to be a solitary pursuit, but not the whole kit and caboodle. as always I admire your determination Doreen 🙂
    A.K.Andrew recently posted…5 Books made into Films – Which Version is a Modern Classic?My Profile

    • Doreen Pendgracs says:

      Thanks so much, AK. It’s meant alot to me having you in my corner to help cheer me on. Thank you for that.

  8. Congratulations!!!! What an exciting process to go through. I know you’ll be so proud of your new baby as you watch it grow and grow!

  9. Spoken like a proud mother-to-be. I look forward to meeting your baby soon. Congratulations!
    Angela Joseph recently posted…Who Else Wants A Compelling Headline/Title?My Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks, Angela. Just found your comment, as the notification had ended up in my junk folder! Don’t know why that happened. I guess I’ll have to check it more often. Cheers!

  10. Andrea Buginsky says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been through the process myself, and I know exactly how you feel. I don’t have children either, except two adorable four-legged ones, so I know what you mean about finally feeling the gestation and birthing process. For me, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Karen Cioffi says:

    Doreen, congratulations on seeing your dream fulfilled. Best wishes for you book’s success!
    Karen Cioffi recently posted…By-Pass Marketing and Book SellingMy Profile

  12. Doreen, congratulations on almost coming to the end of this first birth. I’m sure you’ll find that the second and third will be easier in some ways, but different enough that it will be equally as exciting.

    I look forward to meeting this “baby.”

    I love the analogy.

  13. Irene Gordon says:

    Hi Doreen,
    Great to hear that baby will be here in less than a month. I look forward to receiving the birth announcement.

    I’ve been editing my next baby for the past week and am anxiously awaiting its arrival in the fall.

  14. Geek Girl says:

    Huge Congrats! I can’t wait to meet the ‘baby’. 🙂
    Geek Girl recently posted…Best WordPress Plugins for Developers and DesignersMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks so much, Cheryl. We have such a pool of talent in the BHB group. I’ve really been inspired by your accomplishments over the past year. Cheers!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the birth of a bookMy Profile

  15. Glynis Jolly says:

    Congratulations Doreen! Well, a little early but I hate being late. I wonder if I’ll ever conceive. The creative juices seem to be still in me. I hope it doesn’t last too long.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks for the good wishes, Glynis. And remember to believe in yourself. Part of the reason I’ve been doing these posts is to encourage other writers to believe in themselves and their projects. If you do, your dreams will come true.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the birth of a bookMy Profile

  16. Congratulations, Doreen! I’m happy for you that you’re about to see your dream come true. You’ve worked long and hard on this. Thanks for sharing and best wishes!

  17. Harry Hobbs says:

    Congratulations Doreen on bringing the project this far and we look forward to the arrival of your “baby” I appreciate how you have shared everything with us so we can all learn.

  18. Susan Cooper says:

    How cool. I can feel the excitement in your words, it is palpable. You have earned the right to be excited. It will so a awesome to actually see it in it’s final glory. BRAVO my friend. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Breville Mini Pie Maker User Experience: FoodMy Profile

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