Monday, November 30, 2009

The Book Signing

Carrying the all-but-two unsold books out to my car from the bookstore, the manager helping me says all authors feel this way: "All you want to do is write a book and then you have to go out and be an author."

It wasn't so bad, not really; I don't know why I was so nervous the night before. All went smoothly as far as was within my control and that of the store. My dress and scarf looked spiffy, a lime-green jacket with red Christmas scarf. The store had everything ready: a table with a red cloth and stacks of my books with a big illustrasted sign. An announcements came on, "Come meet Pat Caplan Andrews and her Santa Book!" Several came to meet me, but only two people bought my book. Both of them were agreeable, slightly weird middle-aged ladies who probably took pity--because I was flogging pretty hard!

And even while questioning the waste of time, in a way I have to admit it was fun: getting my press release in the newspaper and having friends congratulate me. Even while feeling the futility of sitting there watching the too-few customers trailing through the bookstore--and even fewer likely readers for the book--even then, I compulsively made notes under the table for things to do next year.

Is this some kind of compulsion I should stop so I could spend more time actually being a social human being--or doing nothing for that matter? Is it a hobby that suits me well because it gives me a chance to agonize? Is it my wretched muse flogging me along?

I've always disliked writers who write about the pains of being an author--and now I are one!


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