The box arrives. You know it’s the box, because the return address is your publisher. You start to rip it open, but then hesitate. Go get a glass of water. Return to the box. Check email. Again, back to the box. You decide to lift it up, much like a child on Christmas morning. What does it feel like? Oh, it’s heavy! Of course it’s heavy, it’s full of books. Your books! It had better be heavy after all the months, likely years, that it took to give birth to those puppies!
Eventually, you bring yourself to open it and, reaching in, pull out one copy. You run your fingers across the cover, admire the artwork, cluck in satisfaction over the colors you approved. You flip through a few pages and suddenly see yourself as the customer, deciding to buy the book. Or not.
That’s when it hits you, the overwhelming realization that you’ve gotten yourself into a predicament. Because, unless you start pounding the pavement, both literally and figuratively, you will be the only one holding that cluster of bound pages with the oh-so-pretty cover on top. No one else will be pondering whether to purchase the book or not, because no one will know it exists. All those long nights of work and endless days of revising and editing were only leading up to this moment of clarity.
Now you understand; it’s only just beginning.