It's an oddly exhilarating feeling when boxes of books sent by the publisher show up on your doorstep. I've gone through it a couple of times before, but those books were annotations of existing texts; this is the first time I've received copies of a book that I conceived, pitched, researched, and wrote from scratch. It's a heady feeling, a bit like that first time you see your byline on a newspaper or magazine article, but a lot more intense. Then again, this represents a year's work, plus another year of waiting and edits, and some more waiting, and then more edits. (And yet, as always, even after multiple edits, I still see things that I'd like to change! Perfection is so elusive—in a book or in anything else.)
At any rate, they're here! This publisher was a bit more generous than the last with "author copies," as they're called; most of these are destined for reviewers, and of course, three of them will be sent to the three winners of our "name that blog" contest.
The receipt of the books does bring up a couple of questions I get fairly often: 1) What tools and techniques do you use when writing longer nonfiction? 2) Exactly how does one land a book contract?! Those are both incredibly interesting questions, and I plan to talk about both subjects in upcoming posts. (Short answer to the first one: Mostly Microsoft OneNote and some additional digital tools, many used mainly for interviewing. Short answer to the second: Mostly luck, and maybe a bit of skill, experience, and perseverance. But, honestly, heavy on the luck.)
If you're looking to have your copy signed, I'm happy to do that for you; just arrange shipping both ways—or if you're local, drop by the house or visit me at Sandhills Publishing. (Call first.) Otherwise, there will be a book signing at the SouthPointe Barnes & Noble, most likely during the Lincoln Arts Festival on September 24th and 25th. [UPDATE: The signing is scheduled for Saturday, 9/24, at 2:00 p.m.] Hope to see you there, even if you don't need a book signed! (I'll post more info when we firm up the date.)
Thank you all for your support and for accompanying me on this journey.