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

Saturday, August 24, 2002
posted by Jen at 8/24/2002 09:28:00 AM

Finally got to see last week's "Sex and the City." I have a suspicion that the show may have exaggerated the glory and grandeur of book parties. I haven't had one myself -- not yet, anyhow -- but I tend to doubt that they attract the crowd of avid paparazzi that Carrie entertained. (Think about it....how often have you seen author's photographs in the gossip columns? And no, Ethan Hawke doesn't count).

But the show did nail one thing perfectly. In the scene where Carrie and her awfully nice limo driver are getting their celebratory hot-dogs, and the driver tells the guy behind the counter, "She wrote a book!" and the guy replies, "Oh, yeah? It's gonna be in bookstores?" This is EXACTLY what a lot of people ask when they hear you've written a book. (Or, in the alternate version, you'll get acquaintances stopping you at parties or in the gym to breathlessly report that they saw your book! In a bookstore! And ohmyGod, you must be so excited!)

This always confused me. Of course the book's going to be in bookstores. People need to buy it somewhere, right? And the Book Fairy isn't going to be stopping by, so yes, the book is going to be in bookstores!

I still don't understand why that's so many people's first question. Maybe because there are a lot of people writing books that are only available on their websites, or at online stores. Or maybe they're picking up on the gap between writing a book, which is one thing, and getting a book published, which is something else. Either way, next week it looks like we get a SATC with Carrie dealing with bad reviews. Maybe she'll be able to give me some tips. And then I'd like a scene of the quartet sidling into a bookstore and subtly reshelving Carrie's book so that it's smack dab covering up the new Tom Clancy and/or Anna Quindlen. Because that's another true thing -- once your book is in bookstores, you spend a lot of time fretting that it's not quite in the right place in the bookstore -- the right place, of course, being the most visible perch on the center display area -- and that it is your duty as a protective author to relocate it a bit.
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