Mama Knows Breast




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An Update on My Book Mama Knows Breast

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It finally feels real. My editor Melissa showed me a draft of the cover illustration and it’s pretty cool! They’ve hired an illustrator whose work is really hip, colorful and fun. She’s expert at drawing cherubic babies, as well as moms who look like they could handle any dirty diaper thrown at them with aplomb.
And now, I’ve just Fed Ex’ed my corrections to the first layout to my editor. For the past 4 days I’ve been utterly consumed by going over the book line by line. (I had to buy a pencil to do this). I have to say, I’m amazed that every time I read it, I find something to re-write.
Some of you have asked how I got to this point. So here’s a bit of Mama Knows Breast history. It all started in March of 2005 during a family vacation in Miami. I off-handedly commented that since I was breastfeeding, this would perhaps be the only time in my life when I would actually look like all the other bikini-clad buxom babes strutting around. A family member, who has had a long career in book design, responded: “You should write a breastfeeding book!” Hmmm…not a bad idea I thought.
When we got home I spent hours searching the aisles at Barnes & Noble and surfing the internet to see if anyone had written a “hip” guide to breastfeeding. I found plenty of books about breastfeeding. Books that are great if you’re looking for detailed, problem-specific advice. But I didn’t find a book that matched what I had in mind; a book that would give people practical information in a fun, light-hearted manner; the book that I wish someone had given me when I was pregnant and utterly clueless about breastfeeding.
So I wrote a book proposal. I learned how to do this years ago in journalism school from a class taught by renowned author named Sam Freedman. This 50+ page document had a sample chapter and an overview essay that detailed the book’s contents and potential audience.
The proposal was basically a pitch document that I used to find an agent. I sent it to 10+ agents and kept getting rejected. Then a cousin told me about her friend Abby who was writing a book called The Crafty Mamas: Book of 50 Fast, Fabulous and Foolproof Projects for Baby Gear. I met Abby and she introduced me to her agent Katherine at Curtis Brown. Katherine “got it” right away. I signed on the dotted line and she started shopping the proposal around (after she had me re-write it a few times).
Of course publisher after publisher rejected the book. Until finally, the folks at Quirk Books “got it.” I turned in my first draft last August and we’ve been editing it for the past few months. Finally, the end is in sight. There will be two more sets of layouts to review. Sometime this spring we’ll wrap things up and the book will be published in September.
At this particular moment, I have one thought…it’s a good thing the gestation period for human babies is shorter. If it was as long as that of this book, we may well be extinct.



7 Responses to “An Update on My Book Mama Knows Breast”

i worked in book publishing for a little while many moons ago…it was quite an arduous process then and if anything has only gotten worse! congrats on surviving the looooong gestation :)

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book! Congratulations and I hope the rest of the process goes smoothly!

Wow Andi, that is really cool! I’m glad you told the story of how this got started because it is very interesting. It’s amazing how many people it had to go through before someone “got it”. Well, I am SURE it will all be worth the wait. Your book sounds really great and I cannot wait to read it!!! I will definitely be pimping it out on my site. :-) Congratulations!!

Congratulations! Good for you for sticking through all the initial rejections and subsequent re-writes. There’s definitely a book in my future — at some point — so reading your post was a true inspiration.

That’s very interesting and exciting Andi! Congratulations on getting to this point!

Congratulations! You need to have a big book release party with lots of babies!

I am so excited for you. Having self published I did not have to go through what you did but the best piece of advice I have ever received is – think of yourself as a book promoter not an author. It seems like you already know this but I thought I would throw it out there! Can’t wait to read it!

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