WHAT I WISH FOR MY NOVEL ON ITS PUBLICATION DAY
1. Feel the wonder of your unique birthday.
2. Enjoy my surprise when I see you on a shelf someday and there you are all bright and complete like you were always a book and not just an idea.
3. Enjoy being carried out of a bookstore, jostling in a bag with new book friends and fresh bookmarks.
4. Get to know the other books on the shelf at the bookstore and library. Who sits beside you? What have they got to say?
5. Take a breath when that stack of library books you're in gets squeezed tight as you get carried home. That's love.
6. Develop a hobby to pass the time in the To Be Read pile.
7. Dream about yourself in film and on the television. Any fantasy picks for your actor portrayals?
8. Be happy you've got reviews and don't be bothered by your critics.
9. Love the moment someone drops you in the bath, falls asleep with you open on their lap, or closes the last page with a contented, if regretful sigh. You're living your best life.
10. Be okay when you're left on the subway or the train or a bus. Accidents happen. It's exciting when someone new picks you up and takes you home.
11. Have fun at the book clubs. It's all about *you* and there's nothing more fun than readers with wine.
12. Get used to hearing yourself read out loud. [Sorry in advance for the stumbles and missed pronunciations.]
13. Get in your sassy groove—you'll love ink signatures styled across your title page and someone saying, "Thank you!" as they take you home.
14. Don't get too vain as your cover is endlessly admired. Your pages will get dog-eared.
15. Try not to mind the coffee cup and tea mug stains. It means you're real, my tattered book friend.
16. You will not stay lost under the sofa forever. There are brooms and dogs.
17. Smile at the strangers from the book kiosk at the airport. You might be heading off to Dallas, or New York, or San Diego!
18. Keep a positive attitude when you're traded in for someone else to buy. Nothing lasts forever. Get to know your new reader and used bookshop friends.
19. Enjoy a library "hold." Pretend you're floating in space.
20. Even a book as modest as you will kinda love the social media likes and retweets and faves. It's okay to enjoy the love.
21. Be proud you put yourself together. Go out and meet the world. Have your say.
22. Get used to a mess of margin notes, unusual bookmarks (napkins, paperclips, pencils) and the neon look of highlighted paragraphs and underlined sentences. It's all good.
23. Fall in love with the voice of your audiobook reader—meet your alter ego!
24. Be proud of your author. She's your biggest fan.
25. Don't apologize for the hundreds of pages of drafts that got you into such fine shape. And try not to be bothered by that killer typo we all know is in there, lurking, waiting for someone to find.
26. Refrain from rewriting yourself in your head every time you glance at a random page. No point.
27. Take the review with a grain of salt and a tolerance for debate. Never read the comments.
28. You'll look gorgeous in a holiday bow and wrapping. Preen a little.
29. Treasure the contentment of simply keeping someone company.
30. Celebrate your uniqueness! You're forever the story you are and a fabulous one-of-a-kind. Don't be bothered by comparisons or those shouty bestsellers.
31. This book birthday celebration is all about you. Take it in. Smile, a lot.
32. How about that whoosh! after a Buy Button purchase. That rocketing mail truck delivery. Who says books can't have fun.
33. Admire your brand new face. Believe me when I say the creases and stains to come are beautiful too. Oh, a word of advice—try not to bend your spine the wrong way. It hurts.
34. It's nice to be ordered, it means someone wants you. But if you get picked up and set down, don't cry. Readers and books are a match made in heaven. Your person is coming.
35. Let them reread you—often and fondly. Nothing better than old friends.