It was quite a day for me on Tuesday. My book, PACIFY ME, A HANDBOOK FOR THE FREAKED OUT NEW DAD came out. May 12th, the release date. So I put Griffin in the car and drove to Borders Books. I had to see it for myself.
I walked in and immediately looked at the new released. Surely it would be in the center, right? Non-fiction? Check. OK, not there.
So I started looking around for myself. There were no employees with all the cutbacks everyone is making. It was a two floor Borders and I think there was only one person per floor, and they looked annoyed. Like me.
Finally I asked someone who looked like they were trying to avoid me where the parenting section was. I found it and looked for my book. Nope. OK, time to look for help. Let’s see: no one, no one, no one, a tumbleweed, OK, a bored girl stocking a shelf. Great. She looked up the book and found it. She brought me to the parenting section and looked. It wasn’t there. She looked perplexed. “Maybe it’s in the back,” she said and went into “the back” to look for it.
She may have gone into “the back” but she didn’t “come back”. I waited and waited and Griffin was getting fidgety. So I went to the bargain books and found a kids book with big alien faces and googly eyes. 10 moth old heaven. He loved it so I brought it to the register to pay for it.
There was a long line. When I say long, I mean there was one person in front of me that seemed to be reading the dictionary to the one cashier on duty. Well, if the girl was lost in the “back” that only left one other employee to run the rest of the store. So I had to wait. Impatiently. Finally when this idiot in front of me finished his two hour transaction, and as I was about to check out, the lost back room stock girl found me. She held my book in her hands. She said to me “It was under a lot of crates. I had to really dig to find it.”
Great. My book was buried, and not even in the part of the store with the actual customers. But then I was already in line and this girl did go to a lot of effort to get the book. So I felt a bit guilty. So… I bought the book. Yes, I ended up paying full price for my own book. It was a weird feeling. It filled me with a mix of pride and stupidity.
Now, the publisher told me release dates for books are not like movies. In fact, my release date was moved up so the bookstores could have time to get the book out and on a father’s day display– WEEKS later. Unless of course you’re Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling. Then release dates are kinda like movies. And I think this is a good thing. Slowly, books are getting outmuscled by movies, television, the internet, and video games. So when there is a big event for a book being released it’s awesome because it reminds everyone that hey, books are cool, cheap, and the best entertainment for your brain. Come on back. They miss you. Oh, and if you don’t see MY book on the shelf, please ask for it. I’m sure it’s in the building somewhere.