Not Nervous, Just Nervous
Posted on May 9, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 56 Comments
In the e-mail, a question about the book release tomorrow:
Are you nervous?
About the book release? No. The book is done, I wrote it as well as I could, reviews are in, we’ve done all the pre-publicity we could to let people know it’s out there. I’m pretty satisfied we did a good job launching the thing. Now it’s up to the folks who buy books to decide about it. I’ve been to this dance before; this is my seventh novel and (I think) my 14th full-length book. It’s never not exciting, but this part I’ve got down pretty well.
I am nervous about the book tour — I have the slightly paranoid fear that only three people are going to show up at each stop. I know this isn’t an entirely rational fear, all things considered, but it doesn’t stop me from having it. So, you know. If you happen to be in one of the towns I’m visiting this tour, and thinking to yourself, “should I go see Scalzi on his tour?” the answer I would give you is ZOMG please come please please please And bring friends. Lots of them. Like, everyone you know.
To sweeten the pot, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, the people who come to see me on tour will get a sneak preview of the novel that will be coming out in 2012, i.e., a super-exclusive peek that others will not have and which you can lord over them until that book comes out. And really, who doesn’t like that. Time permitting, I may also read from The Shadow War of the Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City, using my Shatneresque voice — which is, of course, the only sort of voice that particular piece of work should be read in. In short, tons of ridiculously silly fun would be had.
So, yeah. Help me laugh at my tour paranoia, would you? I thank you in advance for your co-operation.
You have friends in Seattle! We’ll be there to cheer you on!
Working plan is to be at the May 12 stop, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to drag anybody else along…
I am coming to see you this week in Cincinnati. I am hoping you will deign to sign a book for me. And maybe read to me a little bit, or tell me an amusing story about your life. Or whatever. I’m very excited.
You’re also doing that surprise thing in Seattle, right? Right?
I know two who will see you in Lexington. I am aware that two is not three, but it is most certainly more than zero. If you count yourself, that would be three. That may be something.
Enjoy your day tomorrow slightly more than today.
I just wanted to make clear thing surprise thing not required. Still going to Seattle to see you. There, I’ve completely sold out.
Coming to California anytime soon?
Never mind–I see you’ll be in San Francisco, right across the bay from me, this Sunday. And darn it, I’ll be playing a concert at that exact time.
I know myself, and 2 others are planning a whole trip around coming down from vancouver to the seattle stop. I know personally I’m so excited. I pre-ordered my copy of fuzzy nation from the university bookstore to make sure its available when I get there.
My fiancée and my roommate are both very excited to see you in San Francisco…so very excited that I have become vicariously excited, as well. Perhaps excitement via osmosis! (Having never had you on my radar, my fiancée handed me a book , and told me to come here , a few months ago and it didn’t take me long to become a convert) If you have no lunch plans, before the show, come with us to O’Reilly’s–the Best Irish Pub in the city!–and you won’t be disappointed.
I’ll be at the stop on the 11th. I doubt I’ll be alone.
No worries. Albuquerque folks will be lined up around the block.
Well, we’re doing an event together at the Poisoned Pen, so perhaps you could just cast your solemn and lonely gaze over my legions of fans, their eyes twinkling and countless as the stars, and perhaps shut your eyes and pretend they are all there for you.
But, if three or three hundred show up, you must give it your all. Be brave, little Scalzi!
You basically reminded me to put this on my Outlook and make sure I go. If it wasnt you, I wouldnt brave the UW area drive from my office in south lake union, but, hey, it is you.
I dont want to load you up with presents, but do you want any Seattle chochkies?
I wish you were coming to my neck of the woods, so that I could get you to sign my copy. Really is the best thing I’ve read in years.
The tour will be smashing!
Also, makes me happy to see others get nervous about such things. Makes it easier when the rest of us experience nervousness.
Have fun on the tour and we’ll see you in Phoenix and Scottsdale at the end of it.
At your Borderlands signing I shall of course be strewing rose petals in your august path as you stride among the thronging supplicants bestowing blessings.
Now you’ve just succeeded in rubbing the “Scalzi isn’t coming anywhere NEAR you” fact in many, many faces.
See you at Powell’s on the 16th, and I’m bringing a friend who was coerced into reading the original Little Fuzzy in anticipation!
Last fall I actually went to a reading/signing at University Bookstore where only two people besides myself showed up. I felt so sorry for the writer. They must be planning on more for you since they’re charging five bucks for you.
You stopped a notch too far east, dagnabbit. Lexington is not generally doable for me, but if you ever take a book tour to Louisville, I promise I’ll be all over it.
I’ll be there to see you in Columbus on Thursday – can’t wait!
I have the slightly paranoid fear that only three people are going to show up at each stop.
That’s not paranoia, that’s just low self esteem. The paranoid fear would be that the same three people show up at every stop.
I’ll leave the identities and motives of those people to your fertile imagination.
[That’ll teach you to skip my town.]
I’m about done reading “Little Fuzzy” and I totally see why you had to revisit this. It’s a great story, and Little Fuzzy is awesome. So awesome I’m making a puppet of it (Him/her?). After all, who the hell doesn’t want their own Little Fuzzy? It hit me kind of like Mother Thing in “Have Spacesuit Will Travel.”
I will definitely buy your book, and hurray for professional fanfic. :D
John, in Seattle you’re going to be at Kane Hall on the campus of the University of Washington.
That’s where all the BIG authors go. Your Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett types. Peter Hamilton and Steven Brust were at the Bookstore, not Kane Hall. They’re expecting a crowd, not 3 people.
Getting a signed copied at the Beaverton Powells a week from today! My first book signing, actually, and I could not be happier about it being on of yours :-)
Look at it this way, being nervous keeps you human. And seeming human will help you from seeming conspicuously like the smartest guy in any of the rooms that you’re in and thereby giving the impression of being a pompous douchebag, which is always how superior people are perceived by insecure, inferior beings. Translation: being nervous will make you vulnerable and charming and will help you further ingratiate yourself with your audience, especially those who are green with envy at your brilliance and talent. Everyone roots for the nervous guy to triumph. Go, embrace your inner nervous guy! You will win the day.
I will be at the Columbus event, so that makes three. Anybody else is gravy after that right?
I think I’ve mentioned before that the auditorium in Seattle seats, like, 700 haven’t I?
When can you give us more info about the group signing on May 20th at SFWA?
I’ll be there tomorrow at Books & Co in Dayton – and I’m bringing an extra book to sign, if that’s okay (The God Engines – which I really loved!) :)
I’m hoping to make it to Books and Company tomorrow. Got my school’s “Spring Picnic” event right after school, so I’ll be spending at least a couple hours either stuffing hot dogs in buns or monitoring elementary school kids in those big bouncy contraptions. If you see in the line a slightly twitchy guy with some red stains on his clothes, that’s me. Hopefully the stains are just ketchup and not blood.
I am hoping to be there for the Cincinnati gig! (Seeing as how I live there, it should be doable.)
Crikey, given the number of Seattlites on this comment thread and projecting out, Kane Hall will be filled to bursting! And if word gets out about Shadow War…O.M.G. :-) Better hustle my butt over to the U Bookstore tomorrow!
I am planning on driving to Lexington on Friday the 13th.
Our regular baby sitter apparently doesn’t have her priorities straight and is getting married the week you are in Seattle. We’re scrambling to find a backup so we can see the big show!
I will be very, very far from your tour, but rest assured that I will be watching the inevitable Youtube video of at least one of your stops. So if you find you’re speaking to a nearly empty store one night (Ha! As if!), you can just sort of add a +1 in your head to the number of people eagerly glomming onto your every utterance.
I’ll see you tomorrow night in Dayton (well, Beavercreek, actually)! Living in suburban Cincinnati, I’d normally go to the one at Jo-Beth, but I have another commitment on Wednesday night.
Oh, and an early Happy Birthday!
What Mike @25 said.
Dude, Kane Hall is the big time. You haz arrived.
You do realize that there is a large Scalzi fan population in the Puget Sound area.
I just hope I don’t go into and aphasic fan boy squee fugue when I’m waiting to get a book signed.
Can’t wait to see you here in the Pacific Northwest!
I’ll be at J-beths in Cincinnati on Wednesday. I’m ditching the kids at grandma’s and bringing my husband.
I may totally geek out and go to BOTH the Seattle and Portland events. Because I can.
I expect Borderlands will be packed. Happy birthday!
Definitely looking forward to your Portland stop!
oh god, please do the shadow war of the night dragon in that voice in Seattle.
Thanks for writing John. I enjoy your work very much.
If you like gallows humor, this might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZoJ5OKmEJY
If you don’t, though, I’d give it a miss.
Will be at the Greene tonight. And with a friend. So you’ll have at least two!
I’m trying to talk a couple of people into driving with me–at these gas prices–through the wilds of rural Ohio to get to downtown Columbus on a Thursday night. This is a lot of effort. I’m arguing that your appearance will be worth it.
You need to visit your Canadian neighbours next time.
Don’t worry, John – we’ll be there.
BTW – when should we meet you in Ann Arbor?
I have the slightly paranoid fear that only three people are going to show up at each stop.
I feel you here. It is one of the delights of work-for-hire that you don’t have to risk being Spinal Tap at the instore.
I’m so excited I’m hauling my lazy self all the way to the UW bookstore tonight to make sure I get a book and an extra ticket. Does anyone know when they close Kane Hall? ‘Cause someone should tell them, what with all the Scalzi fans, we’ll probably be running a bit late into the night. 2am sound late enough?
thanks for signing my book and the cupcake was delicious! though the cake looked better…
Being from Louisville I very much wanted to attend your Lexington event. Unfortunately, I’m out of the state at a training conference all week. Moment of WIN: training is in Columbus, so expect at least one non-employee at that bookstore!
Everyone agreed it was worth it!