July 01, 2020Ugly Babies

Do you have an ugly baby?

Do you know it's ugly?

You take it out in public and show it off. You get those strained, polite smiles from friends and strangers.

They can plainly see that baby is ugly.

They can also see that big, proud grin on your face ... you are so stinkin' proud of that baby! You want to show it off to everybody!

But that is an ugly baby.

You are oblivious to the fact and they can plainly see that, too. Thus, the strained smiles. The stammered, awkward compliments. They see how proud you are. They don't want to hurt your feelings.

Truth will set you free. But speaking truth is not easy or pleasant sometimes. Most people don't like confrontation. So instead of going through the unpleasantries of saying what might actually help you, they take the "easy" way out and tell you what they think you want to hear, or else, they avoid being around you altogether.

So you continue in your delusion. You take that baby everywhere you go. Showing it off to anyone who will take a look. And you remain blissfully ignorant of the cold, hard fact ... that is an ugly baby.

Of course you know I'm not talking real, actual babies. If you have a problem like this with a real baby, I don't know how to help you with that ... perhaps you should've married someone better looking? Or maybe it's not your spouse ... maybe the problem is YOU! Either way, you'll have to go elsewhere for help with those kind of issues! I'm not qualified to fix that!

But perhaps I still can help a bit with your ugly baby ...

I'm talking about the "babies" we creatives birth ... the drawings, the paintings, the stories, the music, the sculptures ... all the wonderful creations we love and labor over.

This is a real problem for many self-publishers. They hope, dream, sweat, labor, wait years and spend thousands and end up with an ugly baby, a lighter wallet, and a garage full of books.

Lately it's a subject that seems to keep popping up in conversations with authors, in workshops, in an email exchange with a book marketer a few weeks ago ... the ultimate ugly baby ... the self-published book.

Sometimes they stick out like a sore thumb. We've all seen them ... those books. The ones that look just a bit off. Sometimes you can't really put a finger on it ... what is it about them that looks off? They're good ... but they're not great. They're nicely put together ... but not quite professional. They don't have that slick, polished, top-quality look and feel to them. They frankly can look "homemade". And they get passed over on the bookshelves.

Not funny.

And it doesn't have to be this way ...

So this month let's discuss our ugly babies and what we can do to pretty them up and get them out of that garage.

And you won't need a plastic surgeon ... well ... maybe ...

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  • Dixie says:
    2020-07-02, 11:37:51
    You had me going there at first, good topic.
    Sometimes it might be ugly on the outside, but when look within the beauty is there.
    But book-babies have to look good on the outside and the inside ... ugly covers won't invite readers inside for a closer look ... no matter how terrific it is!- Sherry A Mitcham
  • Kathy says:
    2020-07-01, 13:41:23
    Not only do the self-published produce ugly “babies” on occasion, but everyone of us has the potential of producing ugly offspring of his own. Not books but how many of us have developed the ugly habits which we think are just fine-and-dandy but others see “ the truth?” The world would be a better place if we hold one another accountable for our habits/ actions/words !
    Accountability? Checks and balances? Hmmmm .... novel ideas! You'll like the rest of July's blogs, Kathy!- Sherry A Mitcham
  • Nancy Long says:
    2020-07-01, 10:41:14
    Love this article.
    Thanks, Nancy!- Sherry A Mitcham