I have been pondering this question for the last few days because my fifteenth cookbook, WHOLE GRAINS FOR BUSY PEOPLE, is being released by Amazon.com today.
I received an advance copy of the book from my editor on December 8 and ceremoniously wrote Author’s Copy and the date on the title page. This was the first time I held the real book in my hands and yet, 3 months ago I’d received six copies of bound galleys. These looked and felt a lot like the real thing, but were just uncorrected proofs pretending to be books.
Two weeks ago, I received a box holding the complementary copies promised by my book contract. These came directly from the warehouse. Now I had a stack of books to give away to friends over the holidays, but no one could order the book or find it in a bookstore.
The official publication date of the book is January 7–the date that’s marked on the shipping cartons, the date that bookstores are supposed to display the book on their shelves.
I think it’s fair to conclude from the chronology above that a book doesn’t have a birthday. Would you agree? What I deduce from this conclusion is that it’s up to me to mark the special moments in my life. Otherwise they easily pass unnoticed.
I almost didn’t attend the graduation ceremony for my PhD. It felt silly to don a long black gown and dopey hat, then march down an aisle to solemn music. But after going through that age-old ritual, I realized that such ceremonies put special moments in boldface, placing markers on the otherwise seamless flow of time.
So, happy birthday to you, WHOLE GRAINS FOR BUSY PEOPLE. Or, as Geoffrey Chaucer said some six hundred years ago: “Go forth little book…”