Author, Actor, Playwright, Excellent Parallel Parker

Rules of the Lake and Ashes to Water are now available for Kindle and Nook!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In Which I Cope with Post-Publication Depression

A big box arrived yesterday. Even though the June 16 publication date for Ashes to Water isn't here yet, there it was, that box, resting on the frame behind my mailbox. Oh, be still my fluttering heart.

When my first book, Rules of the Lake was published, I didn't see the book until I stumbled across it at Barnes & Noble. I don't know what happened there. I eventually got my personal shipment, of course, but by then I'd already held it for the first time, so I didn't really have that open-the-box experience.

There's an open-the-box moment in the beginning of The Kite Runner, remember? Amir's wife asks him if he wants to be alone with the new arrival. It was sweet of her to ask, but Amir said no. I didn't want to be alone either, but I was the only one home, so I opened it.

Yeah, a bit anti-climactic. After all, I'd been giving away review copies for months, and the publisher had sent a jpg of the dust cover wrap-around, so I already knew they spelled my name right. A few surprises, nonetheless: the cover of the actual book is not cloth; it looks like the dust jacket was fused to the cardboard, front and back (to accommodate libraries, I'm guessing.) It's 392 pages on white-white paper, set in 11 pt Plantin type, which is large, but not too large.

I opened it, and read a random page. I was anxious. I kept thinking I'd come across a typo, or stumble on an unfamiliar  dip in the prose, but no, it read as I remembered. No mischievous book gremlins had rearranged the type, torn pages, or scrawled crude drawings in margins. I'm pleased to report that it smells like a book.

I'm having a little post-publication depression, I think. After all that work, planning, and promoting, here it is, and now all that part is over. Even so, what happens now is not entirely out of my hands. I still have to push, plug, flog and blog it if it is to find a readership, and while a handful of reader reviews have surfaced (thanks, you guys!) I haven't seen any critical reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly—you know, those guys, which I nervously await.

So off we go, my book and I, into the world. I'm optimistic. And so far, my first book is showing no signs of jealousy.