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And Johnny, I’d Like to Plug My Book

Johnny Carson: As if you didn't know.I remember as a child watching Carson propping up his guests' latest book on his prop desk (why's he need a desk? he got a stapler in there?) and the camera cuts to a … Read More

By / September 27, 2007

Johnny Carson: As if you didn't know.Johnny Carson: As if you didn't know.I remember as a child watching Carson propping up his guests' latest book on his prop desk (why's he need a desk? he got a stapler in there?) and the camera cuts to a close shot of the title. I thought nothing of it.

Now I'm an author and, while Johnny is gone, the thought of my book being pimped on TV is nothing short of pornographic. I turn on my Tivo'd Daily Show and wait for John Stewart to say, "And tonight, author of the engaging memoir about stupid business decisions, David Silverman."

Of course, that's not going to happen. Mostly because the show I'm watching is taped. And also, I already sent them a nice email and they said no.

I can't speak for all authors, but I can for myself and several friends. We are schizophrenics, all of us. We want nothing more than for you to buy our book and love it, and yet, when the chance comes to sell it to you, we kind of shrug our shoulders and say, "Yeah, um, it's about losing $4 million and ruining this business in Iowa and putting 200 people out of work. So, OK, I think it's maybe interesting to some people. I mean it's no Salman Rushdie, but it's a nice book."

The fact is, we feel guilty for trying to sell ourselves, and yet we secretly check our Amazon ranking every night at 2 am. (I just did, and I don't want to talk about it.)

Well, earlier this week I went to my cousin's funeral where two things were hammered in my head by all my relatives:

1. "The gravestone has two dates and a dash. What really matters is the dash and what you do with it."

2. "Hey David, how are the book sales going?"

So, without further ado, I give you an excerpt of Typo: The Last American Typesetter or How I Made and Lost $4 Million, as animated by the amazing Scott Bateman. And then I shrug my shoulders and smile hopefully.

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