Today, the sixteenth of May, I am having a new book published: The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts (Algonquin). It has already received very fine reviews and I am hard at work on the sequel, but.…
As artistic events go, the official publishing of a book is one of the quietest of artistic events. In Edward Gorey’s The Unstrung Harp–which is, I think, the best depiction of a professional writer’s life—he described, and showed, this kind of publication day. Very soundless. The applause is shall we say, mute. So, anti-climactic. I suppose one might have an event like the opening night on Broadway (or a new Harry Potter book in the stores) or even a gathering of friends and a glass of something, but for me, truly nothing actually happens. Well, yes, you can purchase the book online this day.
As I write this, whereas I have an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy), I have yet to have the actual book in my hands, which will be slightly different. I am curious: What will the heft of the book be? What kind of paper did the publisher use? How will it feel?
Yet, as I say, I am working on the sequel; the next book is pretty much done (I just spoke to my editor about adding one word) and there is yet another work, undergoing revision. Then, too I need to be thinking about another promised book.
Is there any art as quiet as writing? These days, hardly the scratch of a pen. Just tap-tap-tap.
2 thoughts on “Musings on Publication Day”
Publication day for most books is not a party. Anne Lamott has a good description of it in Bird by Bird. The blogosphere and other internet gathering sites are places you can hear the sound of one hand clapping… Glad you let your friends know.
I’m clapping for your latest.