Yesterday was a dream. After too many emails hounding the buyer, the day finally came where I saw my book in my goal store: The Barnes & Noble bookstore in the Loop.
Let’s rewind. If you haven’t read I Hate Your Face, you might not know that I attended and worked at DePaul University. My commute included passing through what is known as the DePaul Center, which includes the Barnes & Noble bookstore, a place for everyday book shoppers as well as students who still use physical books that can be found in the lower level.
For years I would cut through the store, mainly because in the winter it cut down the time I was outside in the bitter cold, or it was a nice break in the AC during the hot summer months. When I started developing I Hate Your Face, I would often glare into the wide storefront windows, knowing exactly where the memoir books were shelved. I’d slowly walk down the center aisle, prime real estate for published authors, and hope with awe that somehow my book would sit on those tables.
With self-publishing, I faced a few roadblocks. Typically, the few large bookstores that are left do not carry self-published authors. We are small fishys in a big, shrinking sea. And for those fancy published authors, center aisle displays are typically bought, not given. Two bumps, but I was persistent.
On the way to the memoir shelves in this store is a small section for alumni and staff of the university. On a whim, I called the store, inquiring on how to get on that shelf. I was met with extreme luck and a buyer, who was on his way out, but so helpful to get my book in stores. Lots of back and forth, I finally, FINALLY got my book to somehow get shelved in the center and in the Humor Essay section, both of which I am in disbelief.
Yesterday was the first day they were on display. Eager to see them in person, I drove downtown, ran down the aisle, and felt myself jerk to a halt as I saw it. Center aisle, New in Paperback. I cradled the top copy around like a small child and took pictures all over the store. A Beatles album was playing throughout the store, and as I walked it over to the memoir section, Paperback Writer and I again was jerked to a stop by the irony of its timing.
I am so grateful to all the local stores that are carrying my book, and even though this store is a major corporation, and it probably doesn’t need it, I am so happy and so grateful that its helped me see my dream achieved.