The Smell of Fresh Books
At last the box arrived, borne of the shoulders of the UPS driver at dusk: twenty-nine pounds of book-flesh. I cracked the carton open and lifted out my first book.
My first book. After five years of writing and rewriting, of giving up and starting again, of writing other stories. My first book. First of many, I hope. I have a lot of stories to tell.
I inspected the outside. Hardbound, dust jacket, quotes from luminaries of rock music. Black, red, shiny. The photo of me from way back when, arm raised, driving home a song from a stage. I opened it just wide enough, in a middle part, to smell the ink. Wow. The smell of effort, of hope, of dreams.
I signed it as First Book and put it sideways in my office/studio bookshelf so I can see the cover from my chair.
I feel like a shipwright of some earlier time. I have crafted my vessel, tested it in the water. I am ready to sail it through the unknown seas so that others can see it and maybe order more ships from me. I am a shipwright. Books are journey-takers. I have built seven other books which wait in the shipyard.
Now to get some reviews and plot my course. Barnes & Nobles may not sound as exotic as the Land of Punt or the Far Indies, but for me, the journey will be new. I wonder what people will think of my writing? Does my story hold up? I am told it does, but who can say until the book is out there in the ‘real’ world. I am confident in my ability to get up and talk about the book and certainly to sing a few hits at my readings; that part will be fun.
I’d LOVE to sign your copy, Thanks!
My basic plan is simple: if a Barnes & Noble reading seats about sixty, I will try to draw two hundred. I will be on “Good Morning St Louis” (or city of the day) and Classic Rock Radio 100.9 every day. Barnes & Nobles at Noon or at Seven PM. Malls-O-Rama. My first is West County Mall in St Louis, Saturday August 13th at noon. The next Day I’ll be in Kansas City… Chicago August 23-25…and so forth, culminating with my speaking engagement at Harvard University November 17th. I’ll be here in Nashville at World Music September 8th. There’s a big West Coast swing in October. My ship will be sailing into many ports.
Here we go!