I call it the twilight zone. It’s that fateful time between when you’ve corrected your proofs and when the book comes into the world. Apart from social networking yourself up the ass, there is nothing you can do: you’ve written your book, it’s been committed to type, it’s going to the printer, it will emerge with its own jacket and bar code. Fine, if only the writer could put his brain on ice, or escape to a tropical island, or whip himself into a frenzy attacking a new project. The last is the only inoculation I know of that staves off pre-publication shpilkes.
You can not help but dream that your book will hit the list, that you’ll banter with Colbert, opine on NPR, that the movie rights will be sold. To Clooney! To Scorsese! To Spielberg! The only good thing about Oprah going off the air is that perfectly reasonable people no longer think they are going to be her guest, or should be. Never, not once, has a writer ever said to me that he thinks his book will have a modest success or almost no impact, even though most books don’t sell enough copies to feed a small family in East Islip for a month. Writers are dreamers, and never are the dreams more heightened than awaiting publication. Finally! Finally! An editor I know once likened book publishing to the funeral business given how many books get buried. Sadly, more people will probably show up for your funeral than your book signing. Oh dear lord, I am feeling the darkness today. Beautiful weather always brings out the worst in me.
What’s the worst part?
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