The first copy of The Great Big Book of Tomorrow arrived from the printer today. I guess this means it’ll be showing up in bookstores soon.
I sort of held it out at arm’s length and peered through it carefully, terrified of finding some major mistake which I now have to live with but at first glance, it looks, well…
Pretty damn good.
Paper stock looks good, printing looks good, color section looks great, everything appears to be printed right-side-up and in the correct order.
My books up to this point have always been straightforward compilations of about two years’ worth of material. This one’s more of a Greatest Hits package, featuring work from all the previous books, a bunch of rare stuff that’s never been reprinted anywhere else, cartoons from the first year or so of the Bush Imperium…and did I mention color? A huge chunk in the middle, color so vivid, your damn eyes will bleed.
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:
I mean, not if the money’s a hardship for you I spent a lot of years living on a tight enough budget that twenty bucks could make the difference between whether or not I got to eat lunch for a week. But if you can afford it, and you appreciate the work I do, and you appreciate the fact that this site exists, this is your chance to show it.
If we sell a lot of these, really fast, there’s actually even a chance albeit a remote one that this thing could show up on bestseller lists briefly. I’m not counting on that, by any means, but a high initial demand could mean a lot to me. Given the current state of the publishing industry, if this thing doesn’t move, it may well be my last collection, at least from a major publisher.
I put a whole lot of work into this thing. Twenty years worth, in terms of the actual content, and well over a year’s work putting it all together. And I guarantee, you leave this thing in your bathroom, and you will have reading material for months.
(And, a note to my fellow bloggers if I’ve linked to you, sent traffic your way, helped out in any way letting people know about this would be a nice way to return the favor.)
Update: in response to several queries about a book tour I’ll do a signing in New York in August, and maybe a couple more here and there as my travels permit, but for the most part, no, sorry…my publisher doesn’t really spring for that sort of thing, at least not for me…
Update 2: damn, y’all are a supportive bunch. There’s a grindstone with my name on it right now, or, um, my nose’s name, I guess it would be (grimaces, moves right along) but at any rate, I just wanted to post a quick thank you for all the kind words. (The book is currently at #172 on Amazon I have no idea what that means in real terms, but it seems like a good thing, given that it’s risen from #25,000 or so.)
Update 3: make that #100, with a bullet, baby. (Of course, by tomorrow morning it’ll be back to #25,000, but you have to enjoy these things while they last…)
Update 4: Reader Bill E. writes in to point out that the book is now at #69…one below…wait for it…Stephen King.
I’ve been telling my publisher for years that you people are out there, and that a little investment in publicity and touring and so on could reap much greater rewards. This keeps up, they might actually believe me.