One of the wonderful traditions of the publishing business is author copies. When your book is published, a box shows up with however many free copies of your work are specified in your contract. In my case, it's twenty.
I'm fortunate to be published by Tanglewood Press, a small, reputable children's and young adult publisher based only two hours from me, in Terre Haute, Indiana. (If you aspire to write for kids or teens, they're a great house to keep in mind. Unlike most publishers, you don't need a literary agent to submit work to Tanglewood.)
So last year when I heard that ASHFALL was in from the printer, I couldn't wait for them to be shipped--instead, my wife and I hopped in the car and picked them up in person.
I'm not sure I can adequately describe the joy of holding the result of three yeas of work in your hands in the form of a finished hardcover book. It doesn't exactly wipe out all the rejections, all the time spent agonizing over the perfect words, or the sleepless nights wondering if anyone will enjoy your book; but it does make all those worries seem less important somehow.
The other thing about author copies? Our cats love them, too. When I got home from Tanglewood, I laid the books out on the bed for a photo, and all three cats had to come check them out.
I figured that this year, when the author copies for my second book arrived, it would be no big deal. Been there, done that, right? Not so much.
When I got home from my taekwondo class Thursday night, there they were. Twenty hardbacks of ASHEN WINTER, and twenty of the new paperback edition of ASHFALL.
It was almost as squee-worthy a moment as seeing the first book. Aren't they lovely? Here's a close-up:
The cats--well, one of them, anyway--were pretty excited, too:
A huge thank you to everyone who bought, read, talked-about, or blogged about ASHFALL. You made the paperback edition and the sequel possible, and I owe my joy to you. Thank you.