My publisher just made a big mistake. They e-mailed me a list of the
places they’re thinking of sending me on my 2007 US book tour,
and I said, “How about I put this on my web site and ask what
people think?” And my publicist, Martin—I think he must be
new; it’s the only explanation—said, “Good idea.”
What Martin fails to realize is that I have just cleverly arranged
for everyone who will be upset that I’m not coming to their town
to be angry at him instead of me.
should have done is what all my previous publicists did:
present the schedule only when it’s nailed down. That way I’m left
helplessly trying to explain to irate, neglected fans why I’m
visiting four cities on the west coast but none between L.A. and
Instead, what we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a tentative
schedule. And the publisher wants to know what you think.
So go ahead! And remember: there’s no reason they couldn’t send me
to every town in America, if they cared enough!
Okay, that’s not true. I was exaggerating for comic effect. The
number of cities is probably fixed, due to financial
reasons and the fact that I’m not that famous. But if you’ve
got a good reason why they should send me to one place and not another,
post in the comments here and Martin will read it.
Here’s the list:
- Ann Arbor
- San Francisco
- Either Madison or Los Angeles
It is actually very cool for a publisher to do this. In fact, I’ve
never heard of one asking fans where they’d like an author to visit
Update: Whoa! That’s a lot of comments. I
found out that Martin
is on vacation this week, so I guess he’ll come back to a nice surprise.
Wait, I mean, “violent argument.” That’s it.
the comments of my last blog, member Ralf observed that
there’s a German edition of Company coming out, and
they’ve posted the cover online. I’m glad I have people like
Ralf to tell me these things. He’s more up-to-date with what’s
happening in my career than I am. From now on I’ll get him to
write my blogs.
The German cover is very interesting, because I have absolutely no
idea what it means. Now, I’m used to foreign publishers making
that I can only hope make more sense in their native language and
culture. Especially if it’s the Germans, who are yet to publish
a book of mine with anything even vaguely resembling the original
title. (Syrup became “Fukk” and Jennifer Government
is “Logoland”.) Because “chefsache” does not, as you might assume,
mean “company.” It means “top priority case.”
My guess is that it must be common German management-speak, like “action
items” or “Let’s take this offline” or “We’ve outsourced your
job to India.” But the cover is more perplexing. I honestly
can’t figure it out. And I’m usually good at this kind of thing.
Once in high school I sat for an IQ test where they gave me sets of
cards with pictures on them, and I was asked to arrange them to make
logical stories. I scored lower on that test than anyone. My problem
was that I kept seeing logical stories that weren’t there:
I would arrange my cards in
a sequence that made perfect sense to me—that spun tales of pathos
and drama, of tragedy and triumph—and look proudly at the teacher
only to see her eyes flick down to the answer sheet, and return,
sympathetically, to meet mine.
After that, they wouldn’t let me near sharp objects.
But this one is a mystery to me. Is that guy exploding? Why? And
why is he wearing sunglasses? Help me out here: what do you
think this cover means?