Thu 08

Schlepping the Book

Machine Man I’d kind of forgotten what it was like to have a new book out. It’s like this:

  • Some people are incredibly nice and love the book and take the trouble to say so, which makes you feel like kissing their toes
  • Some reviewers say you are smart and you think, Hey, yeah, I am smart, I’m REALLY GODDAMN SMART
  • Some reviewers mistake your book for something else entirely and you have to remind yourself it’s not a good look for an author to post angry comments listing their CLEAR FACTUAL AND CONCEPTUAL ERRORS
  • You are invited to speak at festivals and bookstores and on radio, which causes you to gradually re-learn atrophied social skills like talking
  • Your time for writing shrinks and you start to panic because you’re not getting enough one-on-one time with your work-in-progress, which loves and needs you
  • Some people you haven’t heard from in years remember you exist
  • Some people take the time to email you how much you suck, which often seems to be a reaction not to the book or to you exactly but rather the fact that you are receiving attention, which infuriates them for reasons that are hard to know
  • Some people give oddly insulting compliments, like, “Of your four terrible books, this is at least fairly readable,” and honestly seem to expect you will be pleased to hear it
  • You notice things in the book you wish you had done differently
  • You kind of want to know how it’s selling but kind of don’t
  • Some people don’t seem to realize you have a new book out, and how is that possible, you’re spending all this goddamn time doing interviews and blogs and book trailers, have they seen that book trailer, HOW CAN THEY NOT KNOW

Basically, a strange time. And that’s even without a US book tour, which is usually a whole added level of surrealism for me. But I replaced it with the Skype tour, so I guess it balanced out. Actually, the Skype tour was far more successful than I expected. Or, more specifically, it contained far less crazy than I feared. I’m not saying you people are crazy. Not all of you. It was just that I was pretty sure that at some point I would find myself talking to a person who wanted me to join his underground resistance movement, and read his manuscript. But that didn’t happen. So thank you to everyone for being so nice and sane. The best part of book tours is getting to chat to readers—well, that and the hotel room service—so it was like taking just that part and condensing it down.

Tomorrow I’m off to the Brisbane Writers Festival, but next week, guess what? A clean calendar! I’m really excited about that. That means I can write.

P.S. I just realized I should probably link to some of the promotion I’ve been doing. To, you know, promote. I’ve been uploading YouTube videos, how about that? Here’s one:


This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Machine Man subscriber Paula (#3196)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "(insert something witty, eventually...)"
Posted: 4612 days ago

Max, How can you wish to have done things differently in Machine Man, when you kind of had the online version as your draft :)

Karan (#1376)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Quid Quid Latine Dictum Sit, Altum Viditur - Anything said in Latin sounds important"
Posted: 4612 days ago

Yay, new Max book on the way! I know machine man just came out, but any hints as to the next one? :)

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Posted: 4612 days ago

I liked your YouTube stuff especially the Google talk - seeing as I didn't know anything about you - now I do - keep on keeping on, Max - Love S. XX

Machine Man subscriber Ben (#3924)

Location: Alberta, Canada
Quote: "I don't wanna ride the elevator."
Posted: 4612 days ago

That is good Max, I like your style, get it out in the open and redirect attention to keep our secret resistance agreement quiet. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA... oh damn, I just gave it away, I'm sorry. :(

On another note, I am really enjoying the book. I had thought about reading beside the serial to see how you edited it but that seemed like too much of a pain in the backside for a first reading. I would even be done already but I am too busy being sick and thus sleeping. I notice I don't cough as much while reading it though... Machineman, its medicinal! GET YOURS TODAY!!!

Booked (#5627)

Location: Illinois
Quote: "We tell you what to read"
Posted: 4607 days ago

Just wanted to help Max schlep his book some more. We review it here and interview the man, himself, here Long live Machine Man.

Nate Murray (#1176)

Location: San Diego
Quote: "You can run, but you can't glide!"
Posted: 4604 days ago

Hi Max;

Loved Machine Man, but then again I've loved everything since Syrup (check the join date! ((I even have a country in Nation States))). My reason for posting tonight is a little selfish though.

Tomorrow (in California anyway) is my sister's birthday and I was hoping you could tweet her a quick 'Happy Birthday, Emily'. She loves your stuff, and in fact has already tweeted about Machine Man's excellence, you responded to her and it made her so excited. I was hoping you could make an awesome sister feel awesome tomorrow in 140 characters or less. Her twitter handle is @lantern_emily

If it can't be done that's cool, we'll both remain huge fans either way.

Thank you for your consideration,


Nate Murray (#1176)

Location: San Diego
Quote: "You can run, but you can't glide!"
Posted: 4603 days ago

You are, in fact, the man. Thank you.

yassir (#5641)

Posted: 4598 days ago

hey am here about nation states which i have been playing for the last 3 years and i noticed that most of the people in the game are leaving because of one thing and that is there is no war which you can declare on other nations in that way the game will be more strategic and much more interesting thank you

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4596 days ago

23 Sept 2011


The Boneyard. A new nationstates feature has arrived where you can use old names that have been reserved for 8 years for people who will never use them. I will be taking a rather odd name, which I know will be reappearing in 13 days. What will it be? Wouldn't you like to know? I'm not sharing. You could steal it...defeating my whole plot. It's so good, I'm going to use it as bargaining material for something I want. You know. there is power in it's name., it's not "Jesus Christ". Although there is power in that name...and I'm debating on trying to take that name since I can't resurrect "the holy empire of Jesus" which used to always be ranked #1 for most compassionate citizens, which I think is hilarious and awesome.

That is all.


Destructa (#5648)

Location: Silicon Valley
Quote: "A triple scoop of rage with giggle sprinkles"
Posted: 4596 days ago

Read and enjoyed Machine Man a few weeks ago. It didn't quite go down the path I was expecting. I loved Jennifer Government, and Company was cathartic. But today, a real-life news item catapulted me back to Syrup and forced me to comment here for the first time: Blk Water. A beverage. For real. It's coming true, Max, it's all coming true!

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