Friday, September 16, 2011
A book is a book is a book
When I was waiting for Doubleday and Dutton to finally publish my books -- nine months seemed so long! -- I'd ask myself when does a book become a book.
Is it when you finish the manuscript, or when you sell it? Is it when you turn in the revisions, or when the first galleys come out, or the first bound proofs? Or is it only when the book itself comes out in all its hardback glory? Or is really only when bookstores put it on the shelf -- or in the window! -- or when a newspaper publishes a review?
You could say a book becomes a book only when it's in a reader's hands. The point of a book, after all, is to communicate something, and there's no communication until it's received.
That may be true, but I gotta say, when I ripped open the UPS package today and took out the proofs for my new book, The Grand Mirage, I thought -- now this is a book! After so many years of working on it, seeing the book in print -- inky print on paper -- is a big, big moment.