One of the best parts of having written a book (and having written is always A CLEAR SKY FULL OF STARS times better than having to write, or actually writing) is all the exciting behind-the-scenes stuff that makes you feel FANCY.
Because really, I have always thought authors were fancy. They have fancy books that used to be just a pile of paper with a rubber band around it. But fancily, that pile of rubber-banded paper gets fancy! With fancy pages that have been fancily designed by fancy people. And authors are fancy because people read their books! They are fancy because they do interviews. They are fancy because—well, they’re fancy and that is science.
It feels very, very strange to feel fancy. I am still self-conscious about it. Who am I, to feel fancy about being an author? Who am I to think that I’m fancy enough to be an author in the first place? I type things in emails like, “my editor just sent my the final pass proofs!” or “my publicist says that I should run naked around the neighborhood with jingle bells on each buttock” and I feel like an asshole, and it’s always an effort not to backspace that shit. Because I want to share what’s going on with my life, and these are real things, and they are fancy! I can’t even tell you how long it took before I stopped deleting the email signature I added to promote my book before I sent an email, thereby entirely eradicating the entire point of having an email signature.
And secretly, obviously, I’ve been enjoying being fancy. I was totally overwhelmed the first time I ever saw my cover (as reproduced above), which I could not believe had I completely lucked out in getting, because it’s really so beautiful, and it really captures the whole spirit of the book I think (“fanciness”). I am still a little wowwy wow wow every time I see it and I might keep a copy of the image on my phone. Oh man, I should totally make it my desktop!
And then there was the first time I looked at copyedits, which were difficult and hurt my heart because Goddamnit, don’t you judge my habit of stacking thirty nine evolving and competing metaphors all on top of each other! Okay, probably you should judge that. Okay, probably you made my book better, Copyeditor. Fine. And that was thrilling. Because look at my words all being taken seriously, that is adorable! And FANCY.
Then the page proofs, where you see the font they chose and the design of the inside pages and marvel at how enormous margins suddenly make your book look exactly like a book and there’s a picture of you at the back smiling all author-like (and, dare I say it—of course I do! FANCY AS FUCK). And it’s like a Frosting Giant took you into their frosting arms and whispered into your ear, “Eat me, darling. Eat me all up.” It is exactly that exciting. And slightly terrifying. It really, really is.
I’ve been reliably informed that the proofs are clean and sparkling and shining and all finished and galleys have gone out to Major Media Outlets and now is the time when marketing kicks into high gear and I’m writing sentences in my emails like, “My publicist just got in touch about the marketing campaign! PLEASE SAVE ME WHAT WAS I THINKING?” Events are being planned (people of SLC and San Francisco, where should events be thrown?). Events! My book will be the center of an event. My book IS an event! My stomach is full of joyful terror!
Most terrifying is that things called “outreach” and “pitching” and “connecting” are happening.
And I am trying really hard to ignore the major embarrassment and discomfort associated with “reaching out” to “contacts” to say “please pay attention to me and my book. HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! OVER HERE! I AM FANCY.” I have a to-do list, and a list of people I love in my pants. You should be getting an embarrassed, bashful email soon. Because that’s totally endearing.
So that’s what I’ll be doing for all December and January, I suppose. I don’t think I actually hold a real live physical book in my hand until February, when it releases live and untethered into the world, and I am not allowed to slap it out of people’s hands and run away crying. I know I’ll be alternating between fear and happiness and vague embarrassment and more happiness and major bashfulness and a lot of silliness. And extra super-duper fanciness.