Quote of the day: From Dreams from My Father, by B. Obama

From the preface to the 2004 edition of Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama (New York: Three Rivers Press, p. vii):

"Almost a decade has passed since this book was first published [in 1995]. . . .

"Like most first-time authors, I was filled with hope and despair upon the book's publication—hope that the book might succeed beyond my youthful dreams, despair that I had failed to say anything worth saying. The reality fell somewhere in between. The reviews were mildly favorable. People actually showed up at the readings my publisher arranged. The sales were underwhelming. And, after a few months, I went on with the business of my life, certain that my career as an author would be short-lived, but glad to have survived the process with my dignity more or less intact."

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3 Responses

  1. Oh, I’ve ordered that book. Isn’t it great to have a literate president (elect)!? I can’t wait to read it. It’s also lovely to know that all other authors feel the despair over their writing that I often feel. Hahhahah. OK, I shouldn’t laugh but schadenfreude and all. I can’t help it.

  2. I think it’s the anti-climax that is hard. All those weeks and months and years of working on a book…and a sort of fizzle when it is done. I can’t wait to see how it comes out, though! (and in Obama’s case, it was a sleeping best seller, huh?!)

  3. What I love is the moment when the first finished copies come out of the box from the printer. *That’s* not a fizzle! I also like galleys, or advance reading copies, because they give the impression that the seemingly unending project might some day be a real book.

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