The Great Big Book…

…has been out for about a month now. This is what I wrote back then:

Getting the word out on these things has always been a struggle. My publishers do the best they can, but let’s face it — a new Tom Tomorrow collection isn’t exactly a new Stephen King novel, and there’s only so much time and effort they’re going to put into it. So with luck, we get some newspaper articles here and there, or maybe a mention in Salon, or maybe people just happen across it in the bookstore or whatever. Sales are always respectable — they keep publishing them — but this is the first time I’ve put out a collection since I’ve been blogging, since I’ve had a way to directly communicate with those of you who are most likely to buy the damn thing, without having to beg & plead & cajole the media for whatever brief mentions we could scrounge up. Which has always been sort of a losing game — I’m more the tortoise than the hare, and I’ve never had the sexy hook for the newsmagazine article: hot new internet cartoonist!, or whatever — but this time, I’m able to bypass all of that and just say to you directly:

Please, buy the book.

Many of you responded, for which I am deeply grateful — for a few days, the book made it as high as #13 on the Amazon chart. Unfortunately, it didn’t stick up there — it was down in the hundreds for several weeks and these days, it’s bouncing around between 1,000 and 5,000 at any given moment.

It may not seem like it, but I really am trying not to flog the thing relentlessly here, because I’d get just as sick of that as you would. But as I said a month ago, this site is ultimately all I’ve got. In the intervening month, I’ve had one booksigning and maybe three or four interviews and — well, that’s been about it, really. Maybe there’s more media in the works — publishers don’t like to discuss these things with authors, probably for fear of raising unrealistic expectations — but I can’t help but feel a sense of dissipating momentum, a strong start which fizzled out due to — well, due to whatever. That’s an entry for another day, I think. The point for now is, if you like what I’m doing I hope you’ll support it by purchasing the book.

Okay, I’ll shut up about it for awhile now.

Except, um, for one Update here. Because who am I to argue with my readers?

I’ve bought a copy of the Big Book for myself, and I’ve recommended it to numerous friends. I think that it is important for you to point out these features when you mention it in your blog:

1. It’s cheap ($17!).

2. It’s got a large color-plate section.

3. It contains a lot of previously unpublished material, including the original versions of cartoons deemed not-appropriate-for-public-consumption-at-this-point-in-time.

4. The book contains the collages and cartoons that preceded “This Modern World.”

5. There are a bunch of annotations, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, etc.

6. Again, it’s cheap.

The Big Book of Tomorrow deserves a more detailed push than simply “buy it.”

Sorry to stick my nose in, but I don’t think your casual fans and blog-readers know what they’re missing.

And here’s another (and I swear I am not making these up)…

Hi Tom. I bought the book (pre-ordered it from Powell’s) and just finished reading it a few days ago. The thing that most struck me (and I’m sure you, too, as you compiled the material and reviewed it) was the scary similarities between the first Bush administration and this one.

I hadn’t remembered some of the events, the common thinking, the policies, the lies, the economic issues, etc., until reminded by some of your strips in the book. I went back and did some reading and . . .

well, let’s just say my fears for our country changed. Now I fear that we’re not just being ignorant and stupid, but we’ve completely forgotten that we’ve been here before — collective amnesia.

Anyway, can you give people more of a taste of what’s in the book? I would have bought it anyway, but the jaw-dropping strips from the eighties and early nineties are enough to make it worth the price (which wasn’t that bad to begin with). It is a historical digest with a tone that is utterly appropriate to the subject matter and its ramifications.