Book notes

The book should hit stores on Thursday, and the week after that I’ll be on tour, so blogging will probably be light. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who pre-ordered so far. I’ve mentioned this several times before, but I don’t assume that everyone who visits this site memorizes every word I write, so forgive me for repeating myself: this one is important to me. This is sink-or-swim time.

After more than a decade with St. Martin’s, it was painfully clear that while they would publish the books, they were simply not ever going to put much effort into promoting them. I’m not the only person who’s ever had this experience with SMP; I saw one relatively well-known author refer to them bitterly once as “St. Tombstones”. My own editor there was perfectly willing to sign me on again, but even he agreed it would be a lot better for my career if I could find a new home somewhere else.

So I asked my agents to shop around a proposal to other houses. I guess they gave it some amount of effort, but they came back empty handed, which left me feeling pretty discouraged. However, at around the same time, I had agreed to let John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton use a panel out of context from a cartoon on the cover of their book, Weapons of Mass Distraction, as long as they published the full cartoon inside — but when I got my copy of the book, the full cartoon wasn’t there. I called up their editor with every intention of reading him the riot act, but somehow by the end of the conversation, I had a new publisher instead.

So now I’ve got people actually making a push, though I’m still a little on edge — the publicist I was working with for the past several months left the job rather abruptly, and I’m afraid something important may fall through the cracks. (When an author loses an editor, this is called being “orphaned” — I assume the same term applies here.) At any rate, the material in this book is strong. It’s good work, and I’m proud of it, and I want this book to do well — which means putting myself out there a lot more than I usually like to do. (Believe it or not, I’m generally pretty interview-shy, at least when I don’t have anything specific I’m trying to promote). As some of you will remember, the Colbert Report was initially interested in having me on, but unfortunately that fell through, for reasons unknown. (Speaking of which, I’m officially abandoning my little “fake feud” riff — I got too much email from people who thought I seriously had Colbert confused with O’Reilly.) (I shudder to imagine the email Colbert himself must receive.) The Daily Show, meanwhile, hasn’t given us a final “no” yet — you can send them a note of encouragement here, if you’re so inclined (use the drop-down menu). Who knows, maybe it’ll help. And if by any small chance I have any readers out there in a position to help me get the word out about this book to audiences that might not otherwise hear about it — i.e. reporters at daily newspapers or mainstream magazines, producers at radio or tv programs, organizers of book festivals, whatever — please, shoot me an email.