Kevin Brown Historian

History of health, medicine and naval history

Baby arrived a month early – my new book, Passage to the World. Offspring looking good.

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There is something magical about that moment when you first see the offspring of your mind emerge into the world and the child looks good. It is especially exciting when copies of the book arrive a month before the due date. According to Amazon, Passage to the World: The Emigrant Experience 1807-1940 was due to be published on 30 April 2013. It arrived healthy and fine-looking on 4 April. A premature baby can thrive.

When you’re researching and writing a new book, it all feels very personal, but after it has been submitted to the publisher it takes on a life of its own. After copy editing and proof reading, the book is just words. Then the first copy arrives -and it seems as if this new book has nothing to do with you. Once in the world, the book has taken on its own existence. You may have laboured to bring it into existence, poured in passion and love, but now it is something separate.

Did I really write that? Are those words, those thoughts, those ideas really mine? Yes, and no. The author, having writ, moves on. The book too has become the property of the world – or rather those who have bought or borrowed a copy. It must survive on its own strengths and how the reader perceives it. Now that it is in the world, it must make its own passage.

Of course, the publisher and author can help ease the way by publicising the book. However, what matters now is what the reader thinks. Reviews, letters, emails, kind words can all make the father feel proud.

I present my book to the world:

http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Passage-to-the-World/p/3869/

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