Sunday, January 30, 2011


Meet the new baby

It’s a bit like an early announcement of a blessed event: another new book on the way. As the book’s creator, like an expectant mom, you feel a bit shy. Hesitant. There’s a hint of a blush in your cheek. On the other hand, what if something goes wrong? But you have to stiffen your spine. Because, really, an author does have to let people know when a new book is going to be ‘born’. And as your book family grows, people will comment about how these little volumes are being published at such a rate. Some will make remarks of the ‘Have you found out what’s causing it?’ variety. Har de har. Are they hinting at the need for literary birth control?

Shyly, you give the book’s name: I’ve decided to call it The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder. It is the fifth in the Charlotte Adams series.

Then one day, the cover arrives. FedEx! It’s real. It’s not just a jumble of words on pages, second thoughts, corrections, obsessions and red ink. The book is alive. It breathes. The cover flats take a place of pride on your fridge. The digital version will replace your photo on Facebook (or your dogs’ photo perhaps). You will be adding the title to your sig line and dropping it into conversations, blogs, chats in the grocery line and greetings to neigbours. You’ll probably sing it in the shower. Bookmarks featuring the new cover will be slipped casually onto counters at your hairdresser, bank, post office, you name it.

This baby is real! It can be preordered. Reviewed. Discussed. Put on wish lists.

You enjoy the moment and try to drag out the good feelings as long as possible. The next big deal won’t be until your author copies arrive and you head into the book launch phase. You’ll soon be busy dropping into bookstores and turning your ‘baby’ face out on the shelf, leaving bookmarks in key areas of the store and shaking the manager’s hand, while grinning like a maniac.

And then the reviews will start. In the book world, this is the equivalent of ‘Will everyone realize that my baby is beautiful?’ Hint: some will; some won’t.
In the meantime, it’s good to get some sleep while you can. Soon enough you’ll be lying awake worrying about those reviews as well as early sales and ‘numbers’ on certain online book vendors. All to say, I am enjoying this phase when I have all the promise of the cover and the sky’s the limit.

That reminds me, there’s a cover for The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder in this very blog. So, tell me, friends, do you think the new baby’s beautiful?

Mary Jane Maffini rides herd on three, soon to be three and a half, mystery series. You can check them out at


  1. Very cool! Mischievous. I like the colour too, it's eye-catching!

  2. Congratulations MJ - I like the cover. Reminds me of our trip to Muncie. I'm thinking I might have gotten off lucky if the arm extending from the passenger door is any indication of what goes on in your Mazda . . .