My Bumpy Path to Publication

When I was pregnant and so nervous about it — I’d had previous losses — the doctor told me I wouldn’t be happy until I have the baby in my arms.

And so it will be with publication. I am “pregnant” now — with a baby ready for publication, but this baby’s a book. I suspect I won’t really believe it until I am holding it (her?) in my hands.

Just like pregnancy, it wasn’t easy to get here. I’ve had plenty of misses: That graphic novel with an agent who would not send it out until I dotted every T and every I in the proposal…and basically missed the adult graphic novel surge (which is not over BTW); The New York Times Modern Love column, which led to many agents and meetings and… pfft.

In Hollywood they say the “overnight success” that took 15 years. I can only claim fifteen years of dreaming of a book, but not actually trying for the book. Now that I’ve spent a year writing the book (and another year before that writing the proposal) I can see in retrospect what it takes: unwavering dedication to an idea and the idea that you’re the only one who can do this.  

It makes me wonder about all my other stops and starts over the years. Had I applied that kind of tenacity to those other projects, maybe they’d have been my debut books.


Author: Amy Klein

Amy Klein is the author of "The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind," (Ballantine, 2020) based on her New York Times "Fertility Diary" column. Her writing on health, science, reproduction and essays has also appeared in Slate, Salon, The Washington Post, Aeon and more.