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  • tonyauffret

Book Publication Day or Public Humiliation day?

A blog incorporating 50 book titles from the Cranthorpe Millner catalogue.

Congratulations Publication Day has finally arrived. You have been chasing the dream for quite some time now, after all it has taken a couple of years to get from that first sentence to the published book. When you first began you were leaping into the unknown and had always wondered if it would be good enough but today is the day that your dreams will come true. A day to celebrate or is it?

What does the phrase ‘publication day’ suggest to most people. A day full of books signings and champagne? A delirium of dreams that sets you alight, where restless souls chase you from venue to venue, perhaps even island to island, as your whirlwind tour takes you across the UK? Had you been forewarned that what you were about to do was undertake the walk along dangerous ways masquerading under the guise of a collection of dreams. When you think you might reach for the stars, it’s wise to remember it’s a long way to the moon.

And afterwards? Do you think there will be partying between dusk and dawn, there’ll be smoke on the water as you raise hell whilst being careful not to end up comatose? If you don’t know, how can you be sure that such a thought isn’t just a lingering lunacy that has spanned many lifetimes? What makes you think there’ll even be any smoke and water?

You may even think that all this will just happen, that you do nothing and a day of celebrations, where it seems like smooth sailing, just happens? If so, then prepare yourself for a revelation; you’ve been deceived, you’ve got the wrong story. A story that may lead you to feel that you are the victim of a darkly bound betrayal. Don’t get me wrong, you may feel, perhaps, that hope became the enemy, but in reality it is more like hope is missing but not lost. Don’t be downhearted. Publication day may not be what you had imagined but it is not as though you have been pushed out to the edge of civilisation.

For me, publication date tends to be quiet and I suspect for many others publication day is simply the date on which pre-ordered books are sent out. Whatever happens or doesn’t happen there will be no cuts and bruises. The family will be pleased for you, families are always at the heart of a life. You can be a smug dad, you deserve it, and you will always have the warmth of a mother’s love. No doubt Shakespeare’s lady was there for him on such a day, not sitting there watching Shakespeare’s clock but organising a party to celebrate. The messengers may not be out spreading the word, and there may not be messages from the Gods written mysteriously in the stones but you will enjoy the day because you were there. There will be green shoots and new beginnings, of a sort, but parties, I suspect, you have to organise yourself.

Excitement and anticipation may lead to insomnia the night before but I suspect all you will get when publication day is over is a good night’s sleep. What will you dream of while sleeping? What will you be thinking of before sleep overtakes you. The cold distance between your expectation and reality, or will you just be proud of your achievement? That is where you will find joy’s playground.

And in the morning, finding yourself still alive (surprisingly), listening to the news on the BBC, news from our own correspondent. News that seems to focus on the less pleasant happenings, unsavoury business, sometimes an obituary that could run under the by-line of the death of smoker. News that makes you hanker after times past, and all our yesterdays when the world seemed a better place. Then booting up your laptop, you check out Amazon and Goodreads to look at sales and reviews. That’s when you find out if you had a successful publication day, or if it was just a public humiliation day?

My apologies to those Cranthorpe Millner authors whose titles don’t feature above, and double apologies to those whose titles do. It is a bit of a sombre read though, in my defence, I do have to say I was constrained by the titles that we all thought up.

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