Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Day After, Part Two

Actually the title for this blog should be, "How Amazon Ruined My Launch Day And Turned It Into A Brilliant Day", but that's a too long title and would mess up twitter.
My launch day was supposed to be January 17.
Great things were planned by the publisher, and my plans included a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, just for me. And, well, virtually for the publisher.

What a weird day yesterday was.
It should have been a normal, lazy Christmas break day, but it wasn't.
After getting out of bed, brushing my teeth and making coffee I turned on my computer to see this on my Facebook wall:

"YAY! Amazon just mailed me to say Mariam's book "The Distant Shore" has been shipped!"

My coffee nearly dripped straight from my open mouth onto my much beloved MacBook.
For a moment I was totally disoriented, I even thought I'd slept for fourteen days, but I thought that only for less than a second. Not even I can sleep that long. Thirteen hours, yes, but fourteen days? Nope.
So I scuttled over to Amazon, to my page, to see this:


It had jumped, within a few hours, from a rank 1.500.000-and-something into the national Amazon bestseller list!
Of course it didn't stay there. Sold out. Sold out books don't stay at the top for long, and Amazon lists fluctuate all the time.
Publisher worked very fast, and within 24 hours "Distant Shore" was back in stock, and it's merrily selling.

Yes, there is a but, even though it really means nothing in the grand theme of life.
I sat here, crying "YAY MY BOOK LAUNCHED!" across the internet universe, but it was just that: it had launched because Amazon did not stick to the official release date, not because there was the big launch party, or the twitter celebration I wanted, or... my bottle of Veuve. I don't even have a copy of my own book yet because the mail is taking so long!
It was a bit like lighting a match when you expect fireworks. Just like that.

Publisher asked me if I was happy, because they were, after recovering from the initial shock, and after some thought, I replied, "I guess so. Actually, more stumped than happy. Kind of."
There was a pause at the other end. Then, asked in a quiet, soft voice, "Stumped?"
"Well, yes!" I said, "It's sort of... hm. Over before it ever started. Feels weird. No momentum, like."
Again, there was a pause.
"Ok," publisher went on, "So this box with your author's copies that hasn't arrived yet. There's something else in it. It's a surprise."
And goes on to tell me that they wanted me to have the contract for book 2 and 3 BEFORE "Distant Shore" was launched, to show me how much they believed in me, and that they are convinced I'll write one bestseller after the other.


Yes, I was told, that's what they believed, and that's what they wanted.
So... I said of course I'd sign! They were happy, and I was happy, too.
I mean, REALLY happy. Danced all over twitter with the news!
Because I believe most writers have one good book in them, but it's not sure if there's a second, or a third, or even less, more than that.
But, "Yes," publisher tells me, "You do. You can. You will!"

Am I living a dream, or what? Did I go to sleep sometime two years ago, and I'm dreaming all this?
I think I am.
But then again, I never want to wake up. Ever.
And I hope this friendly, funny and bright publisher person will always be around in this dream.