Avi WordCraft blog

Upon seeing my newest book

LoyaltySome twenty-three days after the presumptive official publication of my latest book, Loyalty, I received actual copies of the book. Under normal circumstances, I would have held the book in my hands at least four weeks prior to publication. The reason for the delay? Not clear. Let us put it down to those infamous supply chain problems and leave it at that. 

How did the book arrive? 

I am at my desk working on a new book. 

There is a knock on my door. I open it and see a UPS man moving away having left on my threshold a large box. It had come to Colorado from Indiana. Ah yes, from HarperCollins. 

I open the box and there are some twenty copies of my new book. As per the standard contract, I get 20 copies. From here on, if I want more, I have to buy them, all be it at a hefty discount. 

(I will send copies to family, and even some extended family. Some friends. Will they read it? Sometimes I know. Sometimes I don’t. Once that distribution is done I’ll have about five copies left.) 

How does it feel to have a book in hand that I began—in one sense or another—more than two years ago? 

To begin, it’s gratifying, and though I have published a lot, it’s always exciting in a muted way.  

But while it may seem odd, when I glance at the book my first thought is, Did I really write this? It seems extremely big—word-wise—and since I am working on another book and, as always, struggling to make it happen, I truly wonder how I did it. I kid you not. 

I note the dust jacket. Some slight suggestions for changes I made were done. That’s gratifying. 

Then I examine the book itself, the paper, the print, the binding, its heft and feel. Feels good. 

I pay particular attention to the maps in the books. I’m seeing them for the first time.  I have always enjoyed maps in books. (I knew a book collector who exclusively sought out books with maps). In this instance, designing the maps was not so easy. When I wrote the book, I had tracked down a (replicated) map of 1775 Boston for research. It was sent to the book designer in Brooklyn, New York. It never arrived. We searched for another map. But since my original map store had closed—Covid?—it wasn’t easy. Map found, but then, since Boston itself has undergone a physical transformation, we had to identify sites. 

Map enjoyed, I flip through the book, and sense how the book reads. Looks good. I try to identify the font. Not sure I can. 

Then I go to the title page, sign the book, and date it, “2-22-22.” I like that configuration. 

All that done, I put the book on my shelf in chronological sequence with all my other books, next to Ragweed and Poppy, my previously published book. Utterly different.​

Loyalty looks good. It will sit there, quite untouched. But I will note it and feel satisfied. There, I think, that one is done. 

Then I return to my desk and continue working on my next book. 

I wonder, Will it ever be finished? 

5 thoughts on “Upon seeing my newest book”

  1. How wonderful that you continue to experience such awe and delight in seeing the published results of months and years of your efforts to make stories come to life! I finished reading Loyalty last week after being the first person to borrow it from the Chester County Library. It was a marvelous read and indeed, it has “written by Avi'” all throughout its pages! A touching, adventurous and insightful story that is actually rather timely with the state of our nation and world today. Thank you for being a writer of reading!

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  2. Love your blog, thoughts and writing. Know that you are cherished by me and my family always. Sending love from Los Angles, California.

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  3. I can imagine the wonder and the thrill that courses through you as you hold your new creation. Hopefully one day I can experience it. Looking forward to reading LOYALTY.

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  4. I just finished Loyalty about a week ago and really enjoyed it. I’ve been on an American Revolution reading binge lately and this added to the different perspectives I’ve read. And it loved the map. I referred to it continually throughout my reading. It helped me feel like I was living the story along with Noah and his family. Thank you Avi!

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