Ellen Jensen Abbott, Kit Grindstaff, Nancy Viau, and me
at a Barnes & Noble Educator Reception
One thing I’ve learned after the release of two previous books is that – unless you’re JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney, or someone else in that stratosphere of authorhood – release dates are just a suggestion.

If you’ve pre-ordered a book on Amazon, it will be sent to your Kindle on the release date, and generally, Amazon tries to ship in advance so the book will arrive on the release date. (Sometimes they miss and it arrives a day early or a day late.) Sometimes, if Amazon miscalculates how many books to stock, they can run out and list your book as “out of stock” on the release date – which is really devastating. (This happened to a blogger friend of mine.)

As for book stores, they don’t have the space or inclination to store books in their back rooms until the release date. If it doesn’t have a strict “sell date,” they will unpack books and put them on the shelves as soon as they arrive. Their goal, of course, is to see them walk out the door with paying customers as soon as possible.
A picture of the book “in the wild” sent by a friend.
I’m right next to Luke Skywalker, uh, I mean
Johnny Tremain. (Really, doesn’t that look like Luke?)

That’s why my first two books were on shelves in advance of their release date and why I was able to sell copies of The Eighth Day last Wednesday, at a Barnes & Noble Educator Reception seven days ahead of its “release.” (Would’ve been cool if it was eightdays – but since we had sleet and snow last Tuesday, it’s just as well it didn’t happen that way.)

Does that mean I’m not looking forward to tomorrow, April 22, the official release date for The Eighth Day? No, of course I am! But when people ask what I’m doing to celebrate, I tell them it’s a regular work day. My husband won’t be home to share a glass of champagne with. But I will turn up the volume on my phone so I can hear all the Twitter notifications for Happy Book Birthday Tweets – and so can my students. We might even do a Happy Dance for each one. (While keeping our heads down and nose to the grindstone meeting our Common Core learning targets, of course …)

And by the way, remember Book 3, the one that gave me so much trouble? I sent the manuscript off to my editor. That’s worth a Happy Dance, too!