Earlier this year I finally got to see my first piece actually published in a real book, entitled The Pressures of Teaching, which anyone could buy in a store or online. You can even preview a copy of it, although my chapter is not available in the preview.
It is a funny thing seeing your writing printed in what most people see as legitimate publication. There is a definite sense of accomplishment. I didn’t mention it as much once the book was finally available, probably because it seemed like the process took an eternity. Still, it was great to receive a small check for writing and a couple of free copies of the text earlier this fall. I even had an acquaintance discover the book and my piece all on their own, mentioning it when we saw one another. It was a truly pleasant surprise when he congratulated me out of the blue and had a copy of the book with him. At that point, it was the first time I had seen an actual copy.
Overall, getting something published like that was a great feeling. I only wish that they would have got the spelling of my last name right. Seeing my my last name misspelled has become a pretty commonplace experience in my life. Apart from it not being the most naturally phonetic, I am convinced that the proximity of the “A” and “S” keys on a keyboard further increase the chance of error. Still seeing it misspelled in print gave the goof a kind of permanence that was disappointing. I guess I will just have to write enough more material to make sure that no one is confused about who I am or how you spell my name.
What is even kind of cooler, however, is that the publisher, Kaplan, will be running an ebook promotion, beginning Tuesday, January 4. So anyone with a Nook, Kindle, iPad, or eReader can download a copy free for a limited time. I am sure that it will even work on an iTouch or computer with a proper ebook app, although all of the details are not yet available.
I should mention again that I already got paid for my contribution and receive no additional compensation or royalties from the publisher for sales of the book. So whether you buy it or download it for free makes no matter to me. I would just love to know that people actually read it.
Lastly, in another promotional effort the editor, Maureen Picard Robins, has begun a blog with the same title as the book. As luck would have it, the first post she wrote references my essay, which is a wonderfully kind gesture.
So, if you get a chance, download a copy on Tuesday and have a read. I would love to hear what you think.