Tue 4 Nov 2008
Today–drum roll–it’s ELECTION DAY! And, oh by the way, KISSING GAMES OF THE WORLD is now officially available in stores.
The whole concept of a Publication Date is interesting. Before I ever had a book published, I imagined that Pub Date would be, like, the Best Day Ever. You know, along the lines of brass bands and balloons. Flowing champagne, barrels of monkeys. At the very least some puppy dogs.
Turns out that Pub Date is pretty much like any other day, though. You wake up and brush your teeth, feed the dog, check your email. Drink a cup of tea. The marching band doesn’t show up. The faucets are not flowing champagne. Later, when it’s obvious that lobsters and caviar aren’t going to be showing up, you leave the house to go out to buy something for dinner.
That’s when you see a bookstore. A bookstore! Your book will be on a shelf, FOR SALE. Perhaps, you think, you might even see a real customer picking it up and considering whether to buy it. How cool would THAT be!
DON’T DO IT. I repeat: DO NOT LET YOURSELF GO LOOKING FOR YOUR BOOK IN A REAL STORE. Your book is not on the shelf. They are sorry, but they never heard of you. They look at you as though you are a pitiable wretch, someone who’s obviously delusional. Perhaps an escapee from a nearby mental institution.
"You have a BOOK out?" they say as though they are speaking to a very dim kindergartner. They go over to the store computer and push a few buttons and peer at the screen. Why, yes, there IS a book there with that name on it, the name you’re claiming is yours. How interesting. But no, no. They don’t have any plans to order it. Sorry. They can’t order EVERY book that comes out, you know. They give you a pitying smile and turn to the next customer, a REAL customer who is not making rude demands.
You go back home to throw back some jello shots before you get back in your bed. Later your friends from all over the country start phoning to say that they looked for your book in every bookstore in practically the entire nation, and it was to be found NOWHERE, and what happened? Was there some mistake with the date?
You disconnect the phone and get under your bed. Pub Date has claimed another victim. Too bad you didn’t plan ahead and have something else to think about.
But today! Today was my Pub Date, and the nation was kind enough to provide a wonderful distraction. It was as fine a distracting day as you are going to find. An entire election happened. And a more exciting election a person couldn’t ask for! I went and voted, went out to lunch with friends, went for a walk downtown. I didn’t pass a bookstore. No one called to say, "Oh, I didn’t see your book ANYWHERE."
I’ve had two glasses of wine, and OH MY GOODNESS THEY’VE JUST CALLED THE ELECTION FOR BARACK OBAMA!!!!
Now THIS is the best Pub Date EVER!!
Oh, I have to go. I’m crying.