I got an email last week from a teenage relative. She had recently bought The Homework Helper Guide to Chemistry, opened the book, and saw my name in the acknowledgment section. She wanted me to know that she thought that was pretty cool because she knows me.
I love the books I represent, but will always be surprised and thrilled when I hear from someone I know that they’ve randomly picked up a book I’ve worked on. It is really, really cool to know that the books I love are being read by thousands of others, even cooler when one or two of those thousands are people I care about.
I will never get tired of hearing stories like that. I will never, ever get tired of seeing “my books” in bookstores, and one of the biggest thrills of all? Walking through an airport or riding on a subway and seeing someone enjoying one of “my books.”
Humble gratification, silently ingested. I like that.
Looks like you chose the right career, as in, the one most personally satisfying. :) Not many people can say that.
One of my professors said once that he was glad he wasn't Stephen King because when he walked through a subway car and saw someone reading one of his books, he felt awesome for hours.
Whereas if Stephen King were to walk through a subway car and NOT see someone reading one of his books, he'd feel glum. :-)
Seriously, though, that's cool about your niece finding your name in a book and thinking to tell you how proud she is of you.
That extra boost of personal satisfaction is important to everyone. I'm sure there must be a lot of things about your job you DO get tired of. But yes, I can imagine that must be one hell of an uplift!
That must be an awesome feeling. Hopefully someday I'll know what you're talking about. Knowing that we're being read is what all of us writers crave.
I get excited that I have blog followers, so I can only imagine the joy I feel someday when someone I care about is reading one of my books.
It's important to love what you do and equally important that you feel good about what you do. Glad to know you have both.
I loved reading this. It was touching.
I can envision this - you helped bring something to life. How amazing to see that in the hands of strangers, touching people's lives.
That's wonderful. :)
I can imagine it's very gratifying.
What is Avogadro's number... and what does it mean?
What are the strongest chemical bonds... (and it's not James)!
acid base reactions yield -->
Haste yee back ;-)
It has to be a wonderful feeling to know that you've had a part in someone's writing journey. I know that when my writing friends are successful, I'm proud of my little part in their success. (Be it only encouragement and critiquing...) Thanks for sharing, Jessica.
True story- not long after my first book came out I saw a woman reading it on the ferry. I was so excited that I couldn't resist going up to her and telling her I was the author.
As she's telling me how much she loves the book, I see the cover a bit better and realize- it's NOT my book. She asks me to sign it so I signed the other author's name and then slunk away.
Moral of the story: Make really, really, really sure it's your book.
My best friend was all, "I know I'm not a writer and my vote doesn't mean much, but I love your writing." I was like, "The whole world combined doesn't mean as much as your opinion."
But I promise not to put her endorsement in a query letter. ;-)
I have two favorite moments:
1. Someone included me on a mass email of "a really funny article you have to read" -- and he didn't realize it was a humor column I had written for American Way Magazine.
2. I was in Border's browsing through books. I picked up a book and leafed through and read, "A very perceptive comment by" and I turned the page and read, "Joe Mullich, who said" ... and then went on to quote an essay I'd written.
Those little finds are a hoot.
I'm just a lurker who reads everything but rarely, if ever, posts. But Eileen, I just had to come on and say that was a great story.
Thanks for sharing that, and yes, a great lesson there.
I can't believe how many writers DON'T thank their agents in their acknowledgments. Honestly, agents and editors? Must-thank people in my acknowledgments because those are the people who get us writers where we want to be.
Think how authors feel! And us wanna-bes who are hoping for just ONE book with our name on the cover, not just dozens...
As an author, I feel the exact same way!! I cannot wait to one day see someone at a bookstore browsing around and then choosing MY book to take home! :)
I don't know why I didn't think of agents and editors as regarding my book as one of theirs, and having the same pride in it that I do, but you all deserve that pride, too. My editor gets so excited every time I forward an email or review for her to see. It's definitely a partnership you should be proud of.
Great little post. Had me feeling happy for you. It seems like a kind of magic...
Good for you, Jessica, for helping to bring great books to the world. I can not wait to thank my amazing agent in my book - it's one of the things I'm most looking forward to. ;-)
Love this! You've got a great heart!
I bet you feel just as satisfied as the author does when this happens, and you have every right.
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