Publishing a book is by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Well, outside of parenting. But interestingly, it turns out that book publishing and birthing a baby have a lot in common. In fact, much of my publishing process seemed to mirror what it was like having a baby in the NICU (beside the looming threat of death). So much uncertainty, lots of stomach-churning ups and downs, good news and bad news scenarios, days full of sadness and others full of hope.
And one other strikingly similar aspect of book publishing and life with a baby in the NICU, is the unexpected emergence of Angels.
The chapter in my book about Andy the cop, the angel who appeared on that snowy Boston morning and found me that parking space so I could spend a few precious moments with my daughter, seems to be a reader favorite. And there are so many other angels who influenced our story, just as there are angels that appeared along my book publishing path.
One of the greatest and most influential angels was an organization called Hand to Hold.
Right around the time my first publishing offer fell through, I received an email from a woman named Babs who’d happened upon my website through an internet search. Babs referred me to Kelli Kelley, the founder of Hand to Hold, who read my book and declared “We have got to get this book into every NICU in the country!” And with the backing of a national preemie organization, I was soon on my way to securing a literary agent and a new publisher.
Needless to say, I’m incredibly devoted to Hand to Hold, but not just because of their influence in my book’s publication. Hand to Hold’s Mission is about helping preemie parents heal, so their babies can do the same. They focus on providing peer-to-peer support by matching “graduated” preemie parents to act as mentors to those just beginning their experience. I often wonder how different my own experience might have been if Hand to Hold had existed twelve years ago.
Which is why I am so thrilled to announce my participation in Hand to Hold’s fundraising campaign called For the Love of Babies. As a participant in their Snoball Challenge, I will donate all my proceeds from Preemie book sales through the months of February and March.
But I need your help to make this a success!
How can you help?
1.) Share the news on your Facebook page and Twitter feed. Copy the link to this page and paste it right into your newsfeed. http://www.kaseymathews.com/a-hand-to-hold/
2.) Post a review of Preemie on Amazon.
3.) Email a few friends and tell them why you think they would enjoy reading Preemie.
4.) Choose Preemie as your book group selection. I’ve shown up for several groups that were within driving distance and Skyped with those that were not. The wine and discussion were wonderful in all instances!
5.) Consider giving Preemie as a gift. More and more, I’m receiving letters from those who’ve had no personal experience with premature birth, yet find the universal life lessons found in the book both healing and transformative. I can mail you a signed book plate if you’d like the book personalized.
6.) Donate a copy to your NICU. Again, I’ll happily send a signed book plate.
7.) Finally, Donate directly to Hand to Hold’s campaign!
And please, If you have questions, thoughts or suggestions, leave them in the comment section below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you so much your support.
With blessings and gratitude,