Friday, June 20, 2008

Wanna buy a book?

Over at my publisher-mate Louisa McCormack's site, she's written one of the funniest blog posts I've read in months, about how people react when they find out you wrote a book. Many want to know who your publisher is, more than what the book's about. I guess they just want to make sure you're not going to say Simmons Publishing and that someone – ANYONE – other than your husband or parents thinks that it's a valid book. Fair enough. Can I really blame them? It's actually an easier question to answer than the other popular one: "What's an upside-down dog?"  

My favourite part is when someone says "Oh, I'll take a book, if you want" as though I've got too many zucchinis in the garden and I've already made enough zucchini bread to last a lifetime and what on earth am I going to do with the rest of these tubular squashes, so thank you for saying you'll take one! 

My favourite reaction, though, when I tell someone that I don't have any copies of my book lying around (since it's not like they're Girl Guide cookies) but that they're at Indigo or Chapters, is one of distress or confusion, like I've just told them that they'll have to drive to an island in the Arctic and catch a fish then feed it to a polar bear without getting attacked if they want a copy of my book. So then, I usually end up feeling so badly that I'm inconveniencing them that I offer to pick up the book for them. To which they usually always agree. And then I cannot possibly ask them to pay me back (so NOT Emily Post-like), so then it ends up being a gift, and I slip the receipt into my Taxes file and try to forget about it until Tax Time when the Hubs asks me just how many times I've bought my own book at Indigo – and why. 

A lot of times, okay? What's it to you? It's a write-off anyway, right? Then I bribe him with chocolate-covered peanuts so he won't make fun of me.

I don't actually mind buying my own book. I thought maybe it would be embarrassing if the bookseller noticed it was me on the back of the book, and then he'd be all like, "Oh no one else buys your book so you have to,  huh?" But I think that's being a little narcissistic on my part. I've written ONE book. Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts I'm not. Also, it's clear that makeup and airbrushing does wonders to make the girl on the back of my book look like some long-lost relative of mine, and not me. 

One time, however, the bookseller actually commented: "Good book. Pretty funny."

I wanted to leap over the counter and hug him. I didn't. But oh how I wanted to. 

1 comment:

Laural Dawn said...

I have to admit I would have assumed that you would have a whole bunch of your own books at your house. (I totally would).
My grandfather wrote books, and people ALWAYS asked him who his publisher was. I've always thought that was a weird question.
After he died I found one of his books at a garage sale, and it was the coolest moment ever. It was so unexpected to see it sitting there. (and of course I bought it).