Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Thrill of A New Book

Yesterday, I received in the mail my copies of a book to which I contributed material. This time around, it was a collection of essays, rather than a short story anthology. Still, and as I often do, I took a picture of the new tome and posted it to my Facebook and Twitter pages, with a variant of "Behold my precious," or some such thing, and was greeted by assorted "Oooos" and "Ahhhs" from my friends and followers.

I've been doing this writing thing long enough now that some people might consider me something of a "salty sailor of the sea," and all that. Want to know something? I still get excited by the sight of a new book I've written, or to which I've contributed a short story or essay or whatever. I'm like a kid on Christmas morning. I fondle that first copy when it comes out of the box, before rooting through the box until I find the copy in the best condition, and put it on my "brag shelf" along with my other books. It's almost a ritual. All that's missing is an announcer on the PA system and some music to provide flourish as I cut a ribbon or something.

And then there are the stores.

I don't care what anybody says. For a writer, nothing compares to seeing your shiny new book sitting on the shelf at a bookstore. NOTHING. It's the major leagues, an Oscar and an Emmy, and maybe even the top prize winner on America's Funniest Videos, all rolled into one. Nothing is cooler than walking into a bookstore and seeing the fruit of so many months of labor staring back at you. No, I don't hang around long enough to see if anyone actually buys a copy; that'd just be creepy.

Then there are the bonus locations: grocery stores, drugstores, airport bookstores, and so on. The Star Trek books tend to make it to most of these venues, and the managers who know me at my local grocery and drug stores even make a point to order a couple of copies each month, whether mine or another writer's.

I don't just make this a little song and dance for me, either. If I have time to handle the logistics, I'll involve my readers, too. When a new book is due to hit shelves, I put out a call for readers to get "action shots" from the stores. The first five or six to post to my blog with photographic confirmation of the book out in the wild get some kind of prize.

To this point, no injuries or deaths have been reported from people trying to be the first back with evidence, and we always try to keep things from escalating to Mad Max levels, but you never know. Keep your fingers crossed.

So, for those who might ask, "Does the thrill ever go away?" the answer is an unequivocal "NO!"

This stuff never gets old.

(Sidebar: I realized this morning that this is my 50th post for Novel Spaces. I think that means a set of steak knives, right?)


Charles Gramlich said...

absolutely. To see that cover, to hold a copy in the hand. Wow.

Marissa Monteilh said...

Congrats on your new release, Charles! Looks great!! And action shots? Oh my goodness, love it! I've got to try that. Enjoy the thrill that truly never gets old!!

Liane Spicer said...

Wow! Happy 50th post, Dayton! Maybe you can collect them into "On Writing" by Dayton Ward, like the Stephen King book. Seriously.

No, that's not the steak knives. This one is the engraved silver letter opener.

Congrats on the new book! No, it never gets old. And since the big chain on this little island doesn't carry my books, I prize the "action shots" from a B&N in Little Rock, Arkansas that former Novelnaut Phyllis Bourne sent me, and the one from Emilija, a fan in Montenegro, and even reported sightings in stores and libraries. Good for the soul.

Anonymous said...

I'm nowhere near the level of a Stephen King, but it's a nice thought!

And feel free to make use of the action shots idea. I certainly don't lay claim to it. :)