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: