The Friday Five – Debut Author Edition

Five things they don’t tell you about having your first book published…

1. You will not have time to eat lunch for a few weeks. You will get used to this and will keep bananas in your car to make up for it.  When you forget about one of them, fruit flies will come and hover around your steering wheel, but rest assured, this is part of being a published author.

2. You will say things like this to your spouse:  “Honey, guess what? My sales ranking is 31,472 right now!”  By the time you have finished explaining what this means (that someone — probably your Aunt Betty– bought two books)  your sales ranking will be 487,249.

3. People will stop you in hallways, hardware stores, and bathrooms to ask:
    a) When do I get my free copy of (insert title here)?
    b) Can you have your editor publish my book?

4. You will not suddenly feel wise and gifted in all things writing.  You will continue to write chapters, go to bed, and wake up in the middle of the night in a panic that you may be hit by a bus before you have time to revise.

5.  There will be wonderful moments of signing books and talking with kids who love what you wrote.  And there will be moments like this one, when a fellow teacher told me about a phone call he got at his house. 

“Hello, is this Mr. C?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Did you lose a copy of SPITFIRE?”

“Well, no, I didn’t lose a copy. But I do have some copies in my classroom that I’ve loaned out to students.”

“Oh.  Because I just ran over one on Lynde Street. It has your name in it.”

(Happily, said copy only suffered minor tire marks and was returned slightly weathered to Mr. C’s classroom library the next day.  But still… )

By the way…Sunday will be one of those lunchless days.  I’ll be at the Chronicle Book Fair at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls, NY from 11-4.

I’m reading from SPITFIRE, participating in a panel discussion on historical fiction, and signing books.  

I’ll be set up next to the Dog Ate My Homework Bookstore table. (Isn’t that the greatest name?)  If you live near Glens Falls, please stop by and say hello!

13 Replies on “The Friday Five – Debut Author Edition

  1. Go, Kate, Go!

    What a great Friday Five!

    The Burns family is excited to have its own copy of SPITFIRE. It is next in our TO READ pile …

    Best always,

  2. A mix of the two… My editor, who also serves as publicist, marketing guy, etc…(it’s a small house!) suggested this particular event because his authors have done well there in the past. It’s only about an hour and a half from my house, so it’s an easy one. Most of the other events, I set up myself and just keep my editor informed.

  3. Re: Go, Kate, Go!

    Thanks, Loree! I’m sure you could relate to some the things-they-didn’t-tell-you when your book came out (though I doubt anyone ever found TRACKING TRASH in the middle of the road!)

  4. Buy a big box of the FiberOne bars with caramel and chocolate and keep them in the car. They are like dessert, only with 35% of your daily allowance of fibre, and they don’t draw fruit flies.


  5. Re: Great Friday 5

    Thanks! Next weekend will actually be the first one without an event since the book came out. Except for this one, though, they’ve all been pretty short, family-friendly things that the kids enjoyed anyway.