The Thrill of Finished Books

Before I worked in books I worked in magazines, where publishers sent us galleys of books for review, and then many months later, the finished copies.  It was fun seeing the final product, because sometimes the cover had changed, or the jacket copy was different, but it was more or less what you were expecting the book to be, if you’d already spent a great deal of time with the galley.  Now I work in books, and I can tell you that the thrill of getting the printed copies is so much greater, because I understand how much work goes into them.  You read a manuscript on submission, and then you buy the book, and then you spend months editing it, and copy-editing it, and talking to designers about the jacket, and to the marketing and publicity departments about selling it, and writing (and re-writing) the jacket copy, and then one day stacks of boxes arrive at your desk, and in them is the object that you’ve been working on for months, and sometimes years.  So there is a moment of excitement and elation that is not unlike Christmas morning when you open those boxes, a feeling shared by the authors who are opening them simultaneously, and excellently demonstrated by this photo James Hynes sent us on receiving the first copy of his new book “Next.”  The photo was attached to an email that read, “I’m very happy, and a little verklempt.  It’s gorgeous.”

“Next”, by the way, has been receiving some fantastic early praise—a starred review in Publishers Weekly, a glowing write-up in Texas Monthly, and a notice in BookPage that it might be Hynes’s best book to date.

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