How I Learned My Book WAs Real, Seven Months AFter I Published It

The title of this blog post is entirely misleading, I knew my book was real because I wrote the thing and got sent 30 copies of it. I still have lots of them and they're sitting on my bookshelf in my living room and since my Airbnb profile doesn't mention the book (cause that would be weird), I like to think all my guests think I'm an unhinged fan, hoarding copies like a way cuter version of Mark David Chapman. But I digress. 

I also know the book exists because it has an Amazon page and because people hashtag it on Instagram with #allthelivesiwant and #alanamassey and I get Twitter @-s about it. But my favorite types of dispatch about the book are 1) when the book is photographed with an animal because I believe that our pets read our books and rifle through our bills in judgment when we're away and 2) when the book is photographed in a bookstore because then it has book neighbors and like, people have to look at my name even if they don't want to! 

So here are a few of my faves.

Alana massey All The Lives I want Powells Portland parents.jpg

The adorable elves I call my parents found it at Powell's in Portland! It was front-facing because it was special.

(I wouldn't put it past them if they actually moved my book from obscurity to this section, the sneaky beasts!) 

Sarah Hagi, a BeaUTIFUL genius, gave this compelling narrative of discovery from the wilds of Toronto. LOOK AT THAT CAMERA WORK! 

Uploaded by alanakmassey on 2017-09-01.
Alana Massey All the Lives I Want Womenscraft.jpg

Here it is in Womenscraft, a bookstore whose tagline is "The Spirit Of Feminism"!!!! 

And I am ABOUT that life. 

All The Lives I Want Barnes and Noble Front Table Alana Massey.PNG

Here's a tweet about it being on the front table at Barnes & Noble, Union Square, an NYC landmark where literally everyone has stopped to pee at least once. 

(I have heard that publishers pay to have it placed here but WHATEVER FOREVER.) 

All The Lives I Want Alana Massey Strand Bookstore.PNG

MEANWHILE ON INSTAGRAM, The Strand declared me their #WriterCrushWednesday and it got me pregnant almost immediately.

The baby is due in November and it is actually a book. 

Alana Massey All The Lives I Want Carrie Fisher and Rebecca Solnit.jpg

My friend Evan from grad school saw that it was placed on a table among heroes and legends!


OK, you get the idea! I won't share all of these photos but there are more and they have made days bright on SO many days since this book published. But reader, I must tell you, as much as I loved receiving all of these dispatches about the many destinations my book turned in, I still felt as though they might have been FRAUDULENT. Like, perhaps that people had taken pity on me and bought the book and placed it in a bookstore to make me, a lowly farmer, feel good.

That's because except for times when I was promoting the book in stores and there was an actual person in charge of making sure there were stacks of them present had I actually seen it in a bookstore. I was too scared all this time to go into a bookstore and see if maybe it was on the shelves. Like, I knew intellectually that there was not a massive conspiracy on behalf of my self-esteem to make clear that my book was in far-flung shops across the land, but I have as many delusions of mediocrity as I do of grandeur. Then on August 29th my internet was being a shitbag diva so I went to do work at Inquiring Minds, the local  book store in my town of Saugerties, population 20K. I went to leave AND THEN WHAT TO MY WONDERING EYES DID APPEAR ON THE "NEW RELEASES" SECTION:


Now mind you, it wasn't sticking out like that but I know my book's glittery spine when I see it so I pulled it out and let it shine there, the single copy (no longer a new release but hangin' with them anyway, like a BITCH WHO DOES WHAT SHE WANTS). 

Naturally, I also took this photo to commemorate the ordeal:

Alana Massey All the Lives I want.JPG

And that, my friends, is how I learned that the world did not conspire to convince me I had  a book possibly buying in the world. It is a good feeling after a lot of bad ones recently. Thanks for reading.