Gail Carriger is out and about, touring for the release of her newest book Etiquette & Espionage. But she took some time to dig through her archives of antics and stories to share with us something about what it’s like to be an author. In this guest post she talks about what it’s like to experience seeing your book in a store for the first time, and the emotions that go along with that. Take it away Gail!
First Shelf Sighting ~ Gail Carriger
The first time I saw my book on a shelf in a bookstore it wasn’t in person. Instead, there it was, blurred by cell phone camera inefficiency, taken by one of my twitter followers in Minnesota. It was a week before Soulless was supposed to be released, so both she and I were taken entirely unawares and understandably confused.
Well, it turns out, bookstores can do that with certain books: shelve ’em when they get ’em. No gag order. Mine was one of those books.
A small but enthusiastic following had been anticipating Soulless, and they were quite a buzz to find it arriving early. Suddenly, the spies-I-didn’t-know-I-had went to work and began reporting in from around the country. Soulless spotted in Indiana! In Texas! In New York! Thousands panic! (Oh, wait, different headline.) And then, finally, a dear friend snapped a shot if it in my home state of California.
A day or so later I was out shopping with a couple of girlfriends, as you do. We were consuming those Vietnamese beverages with the black tapioca in them, affectionately referred to by me as “Drinks with Stuff!” This process, three shopping females plus drinkies, involves much chittering and slurping and sideways perambulations. And thus engaged, we wandered by a Borders.
“Ooo,” says I, “can we go in and see if they have my book?”
And so we do. And there it was! The chittering and the slurping became more enthusiastic as a result, which attracted the attention of one of the green t-shirted staff.
“Can I help you?” says she.
“That’s my book!” I crow.
“Would you like to sign it?” says she. Crazy authors, she’s thinking.
“Really? Of course! I’d love to.”
And so she disappears and returns with a whole stack for me to sign, right there: Drink with Stuff! in one hand, cheap pen in the other.
As we leave the store one of my friends keeps saying. “I can’t believe they didn’t’ ask you for ID or anything.”
“Oh, of course,” says I, “because there’s a mad plague of crooks masquerading as small time authors dashing into unsuspecting stores and demanding to sign books they haven’t written.”
“Well, fine. But it’d be pretty funny if there were.”
And with that I leave you to ponder what is obviously a untapped criminal market.