On Seeing My Book in the Wild

So this week we are celebrating a huge personal milestone in my life:  the publication of my first novel, Silver.  I'm kind of overwhelmed.  It's wonderful and terrifying. 

I thought I would celebrate by sharing my experience of seeing my novel in the wild for the very first time.

Me (in days before release):  I'm not going to go look for it.  I don't even know if Barnes & Noble picked it up.  It might not be there, and that would be sad.

Then on Friday, September 1, out of the blue, on Twitter, author Victoria Scott tells me she saw (and bought) Silver in a Dallas B & N.  *I may freak a little.*

An hour later, Donna emails that she called her local B&N in Fort Collins and they had it! She is going to get a picture.  *cue squeeing here.*

Donna emails a picture of Silver with Gilt and Under the Never Sky!  *more squeals*

So I get up the nerve to call my local store.  I feel like a kid making a crank call when the customer service lady picks up the phone, all panicky and full of adrenaline.

Me:  *clears throat*  I'm calling to see if you have a book in stock?

Her:  No problem.  What are you looking for?

Me:  It's called Silver.  By Talia Vance?

Her:  *typing*  *typing some more*

*Extraordinarily long pause while I brace myself for bad news.*

Her:  Looks like we have one.  Do you want me to pull it off the shelf for you?

Me:  NO! (I want to see it on the shelf.  That is the whole point.) *calms self*  I'll just come by and pick it up.

Her:  Okay.  Thanks for calling.

So my husband, son and I pile into the car and drive the twenty minutes to the book store.  I ask my husband to take a picture of the front of the store when we get out of the car.

Him: Why?  No one cares about the front of the store.

Me:  I care.  This is a momentous occasion.  We need to document it for all time.  This is the store where I will see my book on the shelf for the first time.  This the first act of the story.

Him:  Really?  No one cares about the front of the store.

Me: *glares*

He takes the picture:

We walk/run to the YA section, and I still am not sure where we will find it.  Parnormal Romance?  No.  New Releases?  Not there.  New Fantasy?  No.  Not there either. 

I start to panic.  Flop sweat and everything.  Maybe the nice lady got it wrong.  Silver is a common name, and maybe-

Son:  There it is!  *He points to the bottom shelf of the YA fantasy section.*

I am shaking when I actually see it on the shelf.  Not just one, but four pretty copies all lined up together.  [note to self: if you ever decide to use a pen name, go with a last name at the top of the alphabet, so your book is not on the bottom shelf.]  Still, even on the very bottom shelf of the YA fantasy section, it looks cool!  It's right next to The Hobbit- that's pretty amazing company if you ask me (or my children).

Once I confirm that the book is actually there, I walk over to the customer service desk, only slightly braver than I had been on the phone.

Me:  You have my book- the book that I wrote- here- in the store. It's my first book-

Her:  *smiles at me like I'm a stray kitten* Would you like to sign the stock?

Me:  Yes, that would be great.  If you don't mind.

Her:  It's a great accomplishment to have your book published.  Do you have a special pen you like to use?

Me: *takes out my silver sharpie* I do.

Husband:  Wait, let me take your picture.  *takes picture*

Her:  Thanks for coming by. 

Me:  Thank you, really.

Her:  Hey, is this Silver?  People have been calling about this book.

Me: *feigns surprise* That's awesome.

Son: Wasn't that you, mom?

Yeah, it was pretty awesome.


What lucky customers of your B&N!!

Also, congratulations on your book. :) I can't wait to read it and find out why so many book bloggers have been talking about it for MONTHS. (Probably because your writing is just as amazing in published format as it is on here... :)

And I say NAY to pen names! That's your work and you should be able to show it off proudly! I never understood how much time, effort, work, and dedication went into writing & publishing a book, and I've definitely learned to love books more with that knowledge.

Thanks for sharing. :)

This has to be a fabulously *cool* experience, almost as if Silver is now a separate being from you. Wait, it IS a separate being. It's OUT!
So happy for you, Talia.

Congratulations regarding your publication! Seeing your book in stores is something that can't be explained, only experienced, to KNOW how it really feels.

So happy for you :-)

Thanks! It was really fun to see it out there. It meant a lot to me, because before I started writing, I found all of my books by browsing at my local B&N. So now there's a chance of my book reaching readers like me.

That is so cool! I'm laughing how your son outed you about the phone call. But she said "people," not "a person," so there had to be more than one call!

Uh, the others weren't you as well, I'm assuming. :)

Congratulations, Talia. It's thrilling to see it on the shelves.
And in the picture taken as you signed the copies, you look beautiful. I can't wait to read it!

Talia, what a wonderful story! Love that the whole family treks over to B&N. Congratulations!!! Can't wait to start reading. Have a wonderful book launch!

Beth, my son completely sold me out!
Thanks Pat and PB, it was really a fun thing night for all of us.

LOL. Good for you, Talia. (I laughed out loud at your trepidation, at not even being sure it was picked up). I visited mine on release day at my local indie, where I knew it would be. I haven't yet braved B&N. Congratulations! (And I'd have wnated a picture of the store front, too!).

This is an awesome post!!! It must be amazing to see your book in store. And so nice that they you sign them!

P.S your son totally sold you out! Luckily she said 'people', meaning more than one, had been enquiring! :D

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