I've received sporadic reports that Lake Erie Stories is beginning to arrive in the mailboxes of the people who were kind enough to support my little endeavour by preordering her online.
I read a piece by a fiction author on the New York Times web site the other day who described the arrival of a new book as being "like a mist." He's largely right; you sign off on the final proofs, then you wait. And wonder. A few weeks later, your publisher will tell you that they've received some finished copies. You check them over. Then silence. A few more weeks pass. Then you notice (thanks to the Internet) that a few local stores are stocking your book. A friend will comment on how good their newly received copy looks. Then more silence. Then (hopefully) a review or two. More silence.
The excruciatingly long timelines still involved with book publishing are a surprise to many in our "just-in-time" world. Lake Erie Stories has been in print for almost four weeks now, and I'm just on the leading edge of any kind of response. This can have a torturous effect on the already fragile psyche of an author, particularly a first-timer like me. I've seen enough now to know that the book is in fine shape from an editorial standpoint, and my anxiety level drops a little bit daily -- but some days I just want to hop out of the car and give it a good push. To really see what it can do.
More on the ongoing debut of Lake Erie Stories soon. Meantime, if you're interested, click here for that New York Times piece. It was originally written back in 1987, but much of it still applies today. It's an amusing look at the birth of a book.