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?)