A Book Update (It’s Coming!), Plus 2 Giveaways to Win Your Own Copy
You know that feeling you have when you’re 40 weeks pregnant and waiting for the baby to arrive? Maybe you still have a million things to do on your to-do list, but you know that the baby could arrive any day now – maybe tonight, or maybe a week from now. All those weeks of waiting – waiting to get pregnant, waiting for ultrasounds to see a heartbeat, and waiting for morning sickness to pass. You wait and wait as the weeks of pregnancy tick by, ever-so-slowly at first, then faster and faster, then perhaps slowing to a crawl again at the end. Well, all of this is how I feel about the arrival of my book in readers’ hands. In mere days, it will begin shipping to interested parents all over – maybe you! I’m not sure if I’m ready, but it is really happening.
I have a hard time with uncertainty. The date that my book would ship has moved around a bit this summer. First, I was told it would be July, then late August. Now I hear that it may be sooner – that the book has been “released” from the Johns Hopkins University Press warehouse, and it will be loaded on trucks for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indigo, and other sellers over the next week or so. The only date that really matters is the day that the book starts arriving on your doorstep and into your hands.
I finished writing this book more than a year ago, in late June of last year. I was just finishing the first trimester of my pregnancy with BabyM, and Cee was a three-year-old who really needed her mama. The book took me 18 months to write, and then there was a year of additional work to go from manuscript to book. We finished the copyediting stage just a few weeks before BabyM’s birth, and I painstakingly pored over the page proofs, searching for errors, with a sweet newborn sleeping in my lap. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I got to hold a real copy of the book in my hands for the first time. It’s a strange feeling, to see so much work transformed into this tidy package of a 286-page book. It’s done. No more editing or second-guessing or adding in one more study.
For 18 months, this book was a huge part of my life, almost like another child. It was long days of reading research papers, outlining on index cards and my dry-erase board, writing annotated bibliographies, and nervously calling scientists for phone interviews. It was writing and writing and then editing out half of what I had written. And behind all of that was me – a mother watching my daughter grow from a toddler to a preschooler, balancing time with her and time for work. I will also always remember this book as a labor of love through which I struggled with secondary infertility and three miscarriages, desperately wanting another baby for our family. For a long time, this book was a private passion of mine, but it is about to become public. Now I’m imagining it on the nightstands of parents and parents-to-be. I’m imagining it as the topic of conversation between mothers. In many ways, this is thrilling, but it also humbling and terrifying.
The terrifying part of it came back to me when I walked into a local baby boutique a couple of weeks ago. I had my one-and-only precious advance copy in my diaper bag, and I thought I’d ask the owner if she was interested in carrying my book in her store. As she flipped through the pages of my book, she started interrogating me, kindly, about the subject matter. “Do you write about cloth diapers? Babywearing? Are you an advocate for breastfeeding? What do you think about cosleeping? What do you say about vaccines?” I’ve been in my quiet little evidence-based parenting world for so long that I felt unprepared for this line of questioning, but I understand where she’s coming from. These are the topics that new moms wonder and worry about, and she wants to provide accurate information without angering or alienating anyone. I tried my hardest to write a book that would do this, but sometimes moms are a tough audience. But still, all of the confusion and controversy around many of these topics is exactly why I wanted to write this book.
I did my best to explain to the baby store owner that this book is not about my parenting philosophy. It’s about science. It’s about all those questions that I wondered about when I had my first baby, and it’s about me digging through the science looking for answers. I wasn’t trying to defend my choices or tear down anyone else’s. I just wanted to understand and share the science and get as close to the truth as I could, while recognizing that the complexity of parenting decisions means that it would be unreasonable for there to be one right way to care for babies. While there are parts of my story in the book, I tried to leave out my opinions and personal preferences. There are plenty of those all around the Internet, many masquerading as fact. I hope that my book helps parents to make evidence-based choices and then relax and enjoy their babies.
I am forever grateful to everyone who has read and commented on my blog these last 4 years. When I first started blogging, I had no idea that anyone would actually read my posts – much less a book. It’s still a small audience in the blogging world, but I think you’re just about the smartest and most respectful people in the blogosphere. You’re the first people that I thanked in the acknowledgements of my book, and I mean every word:
“This book would never have happened without the gracious support of the readers of my blog, Science of Mom. They convinced me that there are other parents, like me, who want and need evidence-based information on parenting. They inspired me to get started, encouraged me to keep going, and were patient when my blog grew quiet so that I could focus on finishing the book.”
To celebrate the upcoming release of my book and to thank you for your support, I’m offering two giveaways for copies of the book, and you can enter both of them. Both giveaways will be limited to entries from the U.S. and Canada.
1. On GoodReads: I’m running a month-long giveaway for 10 copies of the book on GoodReads. If you’re not yet on GoodReads, it’s easy to sign up. I’m new to GoodReads but enjoying browsing through books and following authors on the site. Click here or the link below to enter the giveaway. And while you’re there, consider following my author profile.
2. On the blog: I’m giving away 2 copies of the book here on the blog this week. Enter by leaving a comment on this post. If you’re so inspired, tell us a bit about why science matters to your parenting decisions and/or how you find evidence-based parenting information. If you’re not inspired, or your baby is crying, or your toddler is having a tantrum, or your child is giving herself a haircut, or you’re just too tired to think… just leave a comment to say hello. This giveaway will close at midnight on August 5, 2015 and the winners will be chosen using random.org.
Oh, and please spread the word about my book to other parents and your local bookstores! You can support a local bookstore by ordering through them, and while you’re at it, encourage them to carry a few copies of my book. My publisher is also offering a special discount code for Science of Mom readers. Check this flier for the code [PDF]. You can also order from any of these sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indigo. Thanks, everyone, for your support!
P.S. I’ll be traveling this week with both kids on my own, so my ability to respond to comments here may be limited. Think good thoughts for smooth travel for me, please!