We often hear authors say, “My book is like my child.” I don’t disagree. Of course, it is. It’s their brainchild and it’s as dear to them as their own child. Let us stick with this connotation and try to understand roles of some of the key people associated with books in relation to a mother and her child.
Who is the Father?
So the first important relationship in a child’s life after his mother is of a father. Father’s typical role is to protect and provide. A Father helps his child grow by providing financial support for his education, medical expenses, food and means for a safe environment and a happy life. This is what a publisher does for a book. Indisputably it’s a writer who delivers it, but a publisher bears all the expenses of publishing, marketing, and everything that a book needs to grow. But there are millions of self-published authors, who don’t have anyone supporting their work. They are like the single parents raising their child all alone by bearing financial load and giving the required nurturing. They mostly get involved in all stages of a book publishing; starting from getting established in the market to reaching to the hands of the readers. It’s no surprise that being a single parent is one hell of a difficult a job.
Role of an Editor
Now, what is the role of an editor? An editor is a gynecologist, who makes sure you deliver a healthy baby with minimum complications. I truly believe that writers should take their editors as seriously as they would to their gynecologist during pregnancy. Just as, only a mother feels the baby’s movements when she is in her womb, but a doctor who performs the sonography has a clearer view of the child, an editor has more objective and astute vision of a manuscript. Just the way a doctor provides time to time medicine to keep your baby healthy, an editor gives you timely feedbacks to explain what is working in the favor of your book and what’s not. There is a professional term “Book Doctors” used widely these days for the developmental editors, who support the authors in the whole process of turning their draft manuscripts into a full grown professional book. If a doctor doesn’t perform his or her job with precision, you are bound to have complications in delivery. In reference to writers, if an editor does a shabby job, you’ll face troubles in delivering a potentially successful book.
There is another important role these days in a life of a mother and her child. Think for a moment that you are a mother, who just gave birth to a tender newborn baby, and you already have another baby conceived in your belly, moreover, you also have plans ready for the third baby that you want to conceive as soon as you deliver your second child…oh, that’s scary! At least if you are a single mother having no support of your partner. Now think about a similar scenario in the life of a self-published author. He has just published his first book, has started writing the second book, and his mind is already wrangling with the idea of the third book. Just like you can’t plan for another baby till your first child is grown up a little, especially if you don’t have a family support, you cannot focus on writing your second book if your first book is out there in the market and you know that you have to do all the marketing on your own to make your book a success. Here comes the role of a nanny. She is not the mother and hence probably won’t feel the same emotions for the child, but as she spends more time with the child making sure the baby eats & sleeps in time, is cleaned properly, is engaged well in playing, she also gets attached to the child. In the world of books and publications, it’s the job of a marketing and PR person. A marketing person supports the author in making his/her book a success by taking up all the tasks associated with marketing, creating the readership, and engaging in social media campaigns of the book. If you have a strong support of your marketing person, you can give your brain child in his able hands and focus on writing your next book. If your marketing person is not efficient, you wouldn’t have time to write your next book, as all your time will go into marketing your first book.
The more I work with indie authors and try to understand their issues and roadblocks, the more I learn the ropes on the role of an editor and marketing person in the publication industry. Because as a mother I know, if you have an amateur doctor and an inefficient nanny, how difficult your life would become.