A Moment of Jen
THE NEXT BEST THING — In Stores July 3rd!

Saturday, April 20, 2002
posted by Jen at 4/20/2002 11:41:00 AM


Oh, and greetings from Washington, DC, where my tour is OVAH!

I had my last reading last night at the Barnes & Noble in Bethesda, which featured what I think was my biggest, most enthusiastic turnout yet. It was so cool to meet so many women and men who loved the book and felt that it was telling parts of their own story (although that's still weird, because there's a part of my brain that's convinced that the only story GIB tells is my own, only amplified. This tour has taught me that it is not so).

It was a really wonderful night, because of the crowd, and because the store had a ton of books on hand and said they were selling well, and because lots of people bought more than one copy (whoo-hoo!), and also because my husband came down for the reading, and I finally got to see him again!

I've had a wonderful time on the road, and I've met so many great people, and I've been in so many airports, and....well, it's probably a good thing that they're sending me home now. The stuff that would have rolled off my back when the tour began is now starting to feel very personal.

For example, yesterday, doing drop-ins, my very cool escort and I visited what's been described as DC's pre-eminent independent bookstore, where they had two copies of my book. I signed them, and asked to meet the manager. "I'm on the phone," he said brusquely. I waited. He returned.

"Hi!" I said. "I'm the author of this book, and I live in Philadelphia, which is pretty close to DC, and it's easy for me to get here, so I'm wondering if you're planning on getting more copies...."

He looked at me like I was something nasty he'd just peeled off the sole of his shoe. "If I sell these, I might," he allowed.

"Well," I babbled, "it's on the Washington Post best-seller list, and it's a Booksense bestseller..." (Booksense, by the way, is the organization of independent bookstores, so having a book on the Booksense list -- and having it be a Booksense pick, which GIB was -- is generally regarded as a good thing).

Now the bookstore manager was looking at me as if I was something nasty he'd peeled off the sole of his shoe that had, regrettably, started talking. "We'll see," he said.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I felt like I could read his mind, and his haughty expression. We are a literary bookstore, he seemed to say, and we have no need for smut such as yours. If it's smut you want, we've got some first edition Henry Miller around here somewhere.

Which I know was one of the risks of calling my book GOOD IN BED, and having a cover with naked legs and cheesecake. There'd be a handful of readers -- and, alas, bookstore managers -- so put off by the title and cover that they wouldn't bother to dip inside and be impressed with the scintillating prose, the poignant observations, the starred review from Publisher's Weekly. Note to bookstore managers, and readers -- you can't always judge a book by its cover.

So if you're in the DC area, and happen to stop by the city's pre-eminent independent bookstore (I won't name it, but you can probably figure out what it is), feel free to stop by and ask if they've got copies...and when they'll be getting more.

Finally, a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who came to the readings, everyone who sent me email, everyone who bought the book. Thank you so much....and please know that I'm working very hard on the next one, and I hope you'll all like that, too.

But right now, Adam and I are going to see the baby elephants at the zoo!
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