Another literary milestone

I’m on eBay.

Yippee!!! Do I have no shame? My first uncorrected proof of Threads is on eBay (current price 99p, don’t all rush) and 3 whole people (possibly including me) have looked at the page. Hooray!

Six months ago, I didn’t know about the whole eBay-proof rite of passage, along with royalty rates, the possibility of foreign translations (as opposed to domestic ones, obviously), the very existence of uncorrected proofs, the reviewing process, the dangerous, utterly pointless addiction of ego-surfing on Amazon, the dizzying thrill of the NYT bestseller list or – and this until this morning – the importance of having a view on wibbling.

Then I found a few blogging authors to follow and some of these mysteries were gradually revealed. Each time a new one appeared, I would madly google and see if I qualified. Except for the NYT bestseller list, of course. Amazon has been the most fun. I’ve been up at 35,000th and down below a millionth and all, as far as I can see, on the basis of about 4 pre-ordered copies by members of my family.

The eBay one was the most disappointing until today. A big, fat zero, in fact. Nobody felt the need to flog one of the beautiful, Penguin Classics-like, yellow and white stripy copies that were sent out a few weeks ago. Were they keeping them all for posterity, with an eye on Harry Potter-like auctions in years to come? Or had they realised that absolutely nobody would be interested? Not even at 99p? I have to say, I didn’t really mind, or care, or think about it much, but there must have been some residual interest in the whole thing, because when I found a link to ME on EBAY today, it was a RESULT! Another box ticked. Another milestone met. What a shame that Henry Fielding and James Joyce didn’t have the joy of online auction houses to lighten their literary days.

Wibbling was different. I didn’t learn about wibbling from a blogging author (only to find that I didn’t have any, or qualify, or whatever it was). Instead, I learned about it from my lovely publisher. Because we’ll have to decide what colour to have it on the hardback edition of Threads.

Beyond the fact that it involves choosing colours and creating an artefact, which are just about my favourite things ever after writing and listening to my children giggling, wibbling now qualifies as my second favourite word (after semi-autobiographical). I can’t believe that by sheer accident, without even knowing it existed, I have entered a world in which wibbling not only matters, but is fun to manage.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but I seriously love my job.


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