Sending my book baby out into the world

Jan 27, 2017 | 28 comments |

My very first published book, The Cottage at Firefly Lake, releases on January 31. Although advance review copies are already in circulation, the shiny, finished book doesn’t hit shelves and e-readers until next Tuesday.

In the author world, a book release is called a “book birthday.” Much like the birth of a child, the excitement, and also anxiety associated with birthing a book and sending it out into the world, are immense.

Although I’ve had months to prepare for this day, it still feels somewhat surreal. The characters who have lived inside my head for so many years (much longer than a nine-month pregnancy!) all of a sudden will have a life independent of me.

When English Rose was ten months old, I returned to my day job from maternity leave and left her at a nursery near our home. The staff were kind, the learning opportunities wonderful, and I knew she’d have experiences that would enrich her life and growth.

Yet, as I left her there and hid behind a door to peer through a high window at her little blonde head bent over a brightly-colored toy, I had a lump in my throat. It was her first big step into the world without me and, even though she was ready for it, I wasn’t sure I was.

As I look ahead to next week, I have a similar feeling about my book. With the help of my wonderful agent, editor and publishing team, The Cottage at Firefly Lake is as good as I can make it. However, once it goes out into the world of readers—via libraries, bricks-and-mortar stores and digital platforms—it’s out of my control.

People I don’t know will read my story and talk about it in ways I can’t anticipate. Some of those ways will warm my heart. Others will hurt because although people never tell you they dislike your baby, that’s not the case when it comes to authors and their book babies.

Much like parents of teenagers, authors must develop a thick skin, effective coping strategies and remember why they write for publication in the first place. For me, it’s about sharing my stories to bring even a small measure of the joy, comfort and hope to other readers that books by my favourite authors have brought to me.

English Rose thrived at her day nursery and soon made friends. That big step towards independence was but the first of many she’s taken in the past thirteen years.

As for me? After release day excitement (and celebratory ice cream), I’ll go back to writing my next book and then the one after that, working hard and continuing to learn my craft to tell my stories in the best way I can.

For those of you who read my book, thank you. I hope you fall in love with the world of Firefly Lake and take the characters into your heart.

If you spot it at your local library or store, or read it on vacation or in your favorite cozy reading spot, please take a picture and send it to me ( Authors love “shelfies” and seeing our books “out in the wild.”

And if you haven’t already done so, you can sign up for my author newsletter here. The first issue goes out on January 31 and includes details about book inspiration and a special giveaway, just for members of my VIP reader community.

You can also pre-order in mass market paperback, audiobook or digital format via Amazon, B&NiBooks, Kobo,  Google Play and Chapters-Indigo.


  1. Crystal

    It’s a wonderful story! I will be posting my review on 1/31.
    I can’t wait to read more 🙂

    • Jen Gilroy

      Very kind of you to comment, Crystal. Thank you! I’m so pleased that you’ve read an ARC of “The Cottage at Firefly Lake” and enjoyed it. I look forward to your review. Thanks, too, for finding and supporting my blog. You’ve warmed my heart! 🙂

  2. Lally Brown

    Wishing you a very happy book birthday Jen, from across the pond! Lovely sensitive blog that says it all! ?

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thanks so much, Lally. Lovely to ‘wake up’ to your comment and good wishes on my side of the pond! I appreciate you reading my blog and taking the time to comment, as well as your support and (virtual) friendship.

  3. Lynn Folliott

    Another touching blog post for a very special day!Wishing you a very happy book birthday Jen! Love the photo of English Rose! What an adorable little girl!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Lynn. I appreciate your good wishes, support and kind words. I always thought ‘baby’ English Rose was adorable, too!

  4. Arlene McFarlane

    Sweet blog, Jen. And wasn’t your dolly a cutie!

    Thick skin, ahoy!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Arlene. Thick skin…ditto! And yes, I like to think that English Rose was an adorable baby although I “may” be a bit biased!

  5. Sue Bavin

    Less than 48 hours to go, Jen! My lovely husband ordered a copy for me months ago. A parcel arrived from Amazon yesterday and he presented it to me with a proud “Here it is.” His face fell when I said it was a few days too soon to be your book. This time next week, however, I hope to be immersed in the world of Firefly Lake. Sending you all good wishes xxx

    • Jen Gilroy

      You’re such a staunch support to me, Sue, and a dear friend. Thank you for sharing this journey with me and for all your good wishes. Thanks to your “lovely husband” too. It’s so special that he ordered my book for you. xxx

  6. Jean Bull

    Good Luck with you Book Baby!
    May it bounce high up the charts!!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thanks so much, Jean. I appreciate your good wishes and your comment made me smile!!

  7. @JanBayLit

    RT @JenGilroy1: Sending my first book baby into the world! #TheCottageatFireflyLake @ForeverRomance is here 1/31 #S…

  8. @janecrabb

    RT @SusannaBavin: Her debut novel is published tomorrow. @JenGilroy1 shares the excitement & the butterflies #TheCo…


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