In a new book I’m five chapters into writing, I say that Labor Day has long been my New Year’s Day resolution-wise. First, I hate New Year’s parties, but more important, the bittersweet transition from summer to fall always forces me to stop and prioritize, to gear up for a busy fall. (I’ll post the entire essay soon.) Not that summers are quiet anymore; this one has been especially busy as we kickstarted a slew of good books while planning the 2010 books and setting our priorities for the fall shows.
This fall, it’s another round of 9 regional trade shows, with which I have a love/hate relationship, but mostly love. They are hell to organize but the payoff is tremendous, especially as we bring authors and booksellers together, one of the best things we do. I’ll be at GLiBA and MBA this year, introducing a # of debut writers to booksellers, but also taking Garth Stein, Mike Perry and David Wroblewski on well-deserved victory laps. Our sales reps will showing the same love and care at their shows. I’ll be writing more about these shows in the coming weeks and giving thanks to the very forward-thinking and selfless reg’l execs.
And I do hope to get on track blog-wise here. Apologies, a wild summer: getting my daughter off to college (about which I wrote an essay for a father-daughter book coming out next year), editing a 172 page book of essays by booksellers called the Great Lakes Reader (to be ready by GLiBA; and 8 more regional volumes to come – booksellers, need more essays); teaching in Denver for a week; watching IndieBound grow and flourish; watching e-book sales grow faster than expected; reading great stuff on our fall lists; finishing edits on two winter 2010 original trade pb’s; launching a backlist-book-of-the-day blog with my associate Marcus; and finishing the last draft of Work 101, which Richard Hunt at Clerisy is going to publish. On the music front, my boomer5 blog is in full swing, if also slim for August, and I got to see the Subdudes, Tom Rush and Cracker in concert in cozy venues. (My summer anthem this year was Cracker’s Euro-Trash Girl.) I also accomplished the modest goal of not wearing any socks the entire month of August!
I am lucky enough to live on the same street I work, albeit six blocks away, and the street at my end is tree-lined, forming a shaded tunnel every summer. It’s a modest neighborhood, and in keeping with that, I heard a lone cicada walking home one night. I have never heard just one cicada and never one in the city. It was both a lonely and encouraging sound in an otherwise noisy August for this country. One voice, not raised, but I heard it perfectly. Is the cicada trying to tell us all something?