It all started in a little post office in the Haight in San Francisco, where I waited with seven thick envelopes full of query letters and sample chapters to be sent out to the first round of literary agents. I remember everything about that day. Waiting in the long line, fanning all the envelopes out so people around me could see the addresses in New York and key words like, "Agency" and "Books" and "Media Group." I desperately wanted someone to ask me what I was sending because I was so excited about it. No one did. But I remember sending texts to my most important people as soon as I left the post office. "Sent them out!"
This was back in early 2007. After numerous returns to that post office in the Haight, I made my way to the post office in Astoria, Queens where I continued to search for representation for my manuscript. Those visits were somewhat less charming. The most horrible man in the world worked the window there and never cared what I was doing. I hated the Queens post office and wasted a lot of time and a lot of money sending things out there.
The tiny tiny little post office in Clarkson, NY was always good to me, and the postal employee smiled as I came in once a week with a new batch of samples to be sent out. "I'm trying to publish a book" I sheepishly offered one day. He just smiled and nodded.
What was I expecting?
When I moved to Boston, I sent almost everything out by email. It was cheaper, faster, and preferred by almost everyone in the publishing industry. The JP post office is important to me because that's where I sent off my agent/author agreement when I finally found representation. We all know how that turned out...
Anyway, today I went to the post office to send out a few new orders. People have been buying my book online and I just about pee my pants every time this happens. When the postal worker asked me if the envelope contained anything perishable, poisonous, flammable, blah blah blah, I answered no.
"Is it a book?" he asked.
"You got it. Good guess." I replied.
Looking around, not even thinking of it, it struck me that I was sending out the actual book that had lived so many different stages of its life in post offices. Getting excited and not thinking of my volume I shouted, "It's my book!" Checking myself and returning to an indoor voice I said, "I wrote the book in there."
Nodding and smiling the way I've seen a thousand times before in post offices he said, "Good for you, hon."
It made my entire freaking day.