Actual conversation from Wednesday afternoon:
Hey. Guess where I am?
So many possible answers. The back of a truck?
No, fool! I’m at Books a Million in Monroe, Louisiana, and I’m holding a copy of your book!
It’s right here on the shelf! Three copies in Literature and Fiction!
It’s not up at the front?
No. Should I talk to someone about that?
I don’t think it has front-of-store placement at Books A Million. Just Borders and Virgin.
Well, I’m gonna talk to somebody.
You can recommend it to one of the booksellers.
That’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna find the coolest-looking girl up there and tell her she has to read this book.
It can’t hurt.
Pa-am! You’re in Monroe. Louisiannnna.
You see this book? My best friend wrote this book.
Yep. My name’s in it, too. Wanna see?
See? Right there. That’s my name. That’s me. You should buy this book.
It’s really good. I’m not just saying that. Buy it. Okay?
Well, okay! Thanks!
Okay, now they only have two copies. I’m gonna bring one up to the front.
Did you just sell one of my books?
I just sold one of your books to a fifty-year old woman in Monroe. You can do that in Monroe. She likes Chick Lit. She’ll love your book.
You knew her?
No, but… hunh. I know what’s good for her.
You just sold one of my books.
I’m fixin’ to sell some more. I gotta go. I need to talk to that salesgirl.
The book has been in the mid to high 200’s on Amazon for the past twenty-four hours. This is apparently quite the feat for a book that technically hasn’t been released yet, and more than one person from Simon and Schuster yesterday gushed, “We love your fans!”
Not as much as I do. Thanks for spreading the word. Thanks for writing to tell me where you saw the book, and who you forced to read it.
Many of you have written over the past couple of days complaining that you lost sleep finishing the book, and that you’re bone tired the next day. Well, if it’s any consolation, I can’t sleep. At all. I was up all last night, wandering around.
I’m like a zombie. There’s physically nothing I can do but sit here and obsess about where my book is on the Amazon sales rank, or in the New Releases – Humor section, or on the Movers & Shakers list (I confess I’ve gotten my friends involved in this, like it’s a video game. One of us gleefully emailed yesterday: “You just beat Lance Armstrong and Ann Coulter! You are taking over the world!”)
What’s funny is that my book might just have hit its peak in popularity three days before its release date.
I wish this angst and anxiety resulted in some kind of profound knowledge about myself, or about the business of writing. But really all I do is think about how people are reading the book right now, and I wonder what they think, and I wonder what they think of me. I hope it’s entertaining, and I hope I did my job well.
At least the book tour will feel like I’m being pro-active. And tonight we’re throwing a party to celebrate the book. So today, instead of hitting reload a million times, I’m going to wash my kitchen floor. That’s pro-active, too.
But I’m a crazy person this week. Next week: I’ll enter an actual bookstore. And then I’ll dork out in public.
There have been more Oakland donations, but if I spend any more time on Amazon today looking up links I will crash my browser for the sixteenth time. Thanks for your continued support of the Oakland Public Library, and I’ll put up the new donations next week.
Oh, and the classic entry. By popular demand, here’s Menstrual Girl, which I think started the whole “Why girls are weird” thing in the first place.
God-Shaped Hole. You think the title of my book gives you weird stares. Sometimes this book reminded me of Anne Heche’s writing. It’d be like:
“Do you want to call your father?” I asked him.
“I don’t give a shit if that asshole lives or fucking dies,” he spat.
I got the feeling his father was still a sore subject for him.
Ya think? Anyway, the book was great for the two baths it took to read the entire thing. Eventually I was just waiting to see how he was going to die. That’s not a spoiler, it’s written on the front of the book, inside the front cover, on the page after that, and in the first sentence of the novel. Then it’s also on the back. The blurb says “This generation’s Love Story,” and I wonder if the omitted words before that quote were “Aspires to be…”
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