A fun ritual of the publishing process is friends sending you pictures of your book when they happen upon it in bookstores in far-away places. And it’s dorky of me, but I must confess that I still get a cheap thrill or two out of that. Writing any book, even a short one like this, is an ungodly amount of work, so its physical manifestation out in the world feels like payoff, you know? Maybe the closest thing to “official” validation that you’ll get, and it means less in the era of electronic publishing than it used to — but it still means something.
Even if you never make the bestseller lists, well, at least you’re in the store. You made the field; or perhaps got the late-season call-up to make your big-league debut and have an at-bat. And it doesn’t matter if you miss the cut or strike out, because you’re still part of the official record (even if it’s only in the fine print). In my case, that means a copy of “Losering” is in the Library of Congress and will be available for perusal long after I’m gone. Cool!
Anyway, here’s a picture that the fabulous Holly Gleason sent from the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York City, showing “Losering” in the vicinity of books about the Beatles and Arcade Fire (as well as one subtitled “The Miserabilist Guide to Music”). If you write books, you like to see ’em on shelves out there — especially readers’ shelves, of course.
But getting onto store shelves is step one.