Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Repeat after me: IN STOCK!

For days after my first book was published I carried it about in my pocket, and took surreptitious peeps at it to make sure that the ink had not faded.
...Sir James M. Barrie

HALLIE: There are those moments, though admittedly few and far between, when you realize that this crazy career is not all smoke and mirrors...

When you cash the check for the advance.
When you get a gander at the book cover.
The first time you hold a copy of your book in your hot little hands.
When you go to a bookstore and actually seeing it on display in the window!
When you're riding on a train (or subway or airplane or...) and there's an actual person, reading your book!
When I see that book you've written for sale on the rack at...not a bookstore, but BJ's!
Or when your daughter calls you from the Dallas airport to say the book is right there, in the airport book stand.

And then there's that moment like today I went to Amazon to see what was up with my new book, 1001 Books for Every Mood (official pub date some time in May) and there it was, IN STOCK! And suddenly what seemed ephemeral feels real.

It's a little like having a baby...because for months you don't think anything is happening other than that you're getting very fat. At least your book will not throw up all over you.

What moments make your journeys feel real?


  1. I've been going from bookstore to bookstore locally taking pictures of my book on the shelves (face out!). I have friends across the country who have been doing the same thing, and sending the pictures to me.

    But the thing I was looking forward to most (don't laugh) was smelling my book. Somehow that made it more real.

  2. I think it was when I saw the first version of the cover..with the title and my name. I thought, Holy Cow, it's really happening.

    And BTW, where the heck is the cover of 1001 Books for Every Mood???
    The kid is cute, but...

  3. I remember dancing a happy little jig when I got my ISBN. Seriously. But I'm sort of a dork.

    I'm still waiting to see some stranger reading it on a plane or train. I'm sorta scared about how I might react.

    And getting e-mails from readers around the country totally rocks.

  4. The first copies of Prime Time were on my front porch when I got home from work. It was pretty late, I remember, dark, maybe 10 pm.

    I ripped open one box, took a photo for posterity, then proceeded to read THE WHOLE BOOK. I was up til like 4am. I was almost crying with happiness the whole time. (Which made the reading a little slower.)

    Yes, Judy, I love my ISBN, too!

    Congratulations, Hallie!!

  5. I love Sheila's getting photos from the book in bookstores from friends...true friends. My daughters know that when they go into a bookstore and find one of my books, they are to turn it face-out on the shelf. Good daughters.

    The book cover (thanks Ro!) is "coming" to the right margin with a link to Amazon.

  6. The contract felt pretty real.
    The advance check felt really real (I had to breathe into a bag on that one).
    I haven't sniffed deeply of new pages or fondled either cover or ISBN yet, which sounds a little kinky, but I say bring it.

    What a fun topic. I'm loving the backstories.

  7. I called my mother the minute I got my ISBN number. I haven't memorized it yet, but I've thought about it. But it seems like I just keep waiting for the next fix, which in my case is cover art. My pub date is two years after the book was accepted, so I think I'm doing everything in slow motion.