I just got my author copies for SEEING IS BELIEVING, my eighth book, and I swear I felt exactly the same sense of excitement as I did when I got the very first one, DRAGONFLIES AND DINOSAURS.
The fact that it's twenty months and seven sets of author copies later doesn't seem to make any difference to how I feel about their receipt. I wonder how many books I'll have to publish before I become blase. I'm willing to bet that it's going to be a lot more than eight.
So here's how it goes - I answer the door to the UPS guy, see the Harlequin diamonds on the side of the box, and desperately restrain myself from jumping up and down and screaming. Until he leaves. But the minute I close the door behind him, I pull out the very first copy my fingers touch and put it on the SPECIAL shelf with copies of my other books, including all different versions of them (no translations yet, but an Australian edition, an English edition, a large print hardcover edition, some tiny sample books). There's a copy of my first book from my book launch with signatures of almost everyone who came to the launch. A copy of that book from Powells' Books in Portland with their label in it and a copy of the Powells' map.
I pull out a bunch more copies and put them on the promo shelves, easy to reach to send out to conferences or as contest prizes or to just give away to friends and family. Now comes the tricky part.
You haven't seen my apartment, but it's small. Okay, let me rephrase that. It's tiny. Four hundred and ninety-five square feet. I have a kitchen, a tiny bedroom and a tiny bathroom. The biggest room is what I laughingly call the great room. It is a dining room, a living room, an office, a library and a music room. Really. I was at hotel in Las Vegas and I swear the bathroom was bigger than my great room.
The hard part is finding room for the two boxes. I have them in my bedroom closet - good thing I don't have too many clothes. I have them underneath my desk, but that space is pretty much done. With this book, I have to find somewhere else to put the boxes. And they have to be at least somewhat accessible. And no, they won't fit under my bed. That already stores paper product - printer paper, toilet paper, kleenex, paper towels. And I'm not talking about a large quantity of those things, but just a normal couple of weeks worth of supply.
I'm tempted to get a storage space offsite - I could put the stuff from my downstairs (very small) storage locker in there and put the books in that locker. I just keep thinking that I'll get rid of some of that stuff and end up with more room. Now, I'm not a packrat, not by any stretch of anyone's imagination. Can't be, living in this tiny apartment. But there are things I can't throw away and don't use all that often. China, some of my mom's stuff, a couple of boxes of expensive reference books, Christmas and other decorations. Maybe ten boxes all told?
Anyway, the boxes of books are beside my desk right now but sometime over the next 48 hours, I will figure out where to put them. I'll probably have to get rid of something to do it, but it'll happen.