On being published


Last week my eighth book (a diatribe called 'La puta feina') was published, and for the eighth time I am in the state I first experienced when the first book came out ten years ago: a quasi-neurotic restlessness akin to that of a lover who fears he's about to be jilted.
The process is always the same: first of all, the publisher praises the b'jesus out of the book (almost all writers get this treatment, as few publishers bother to bring out something they don't think is worthwhile; the catch is that their opinion is as fallible as anyone else's). The publisher then raises my expectations to the nth degree by assuring me it's going to sell like hot cakes (not unusual either, as most publishers desperately want this to happen).
No sooner has the thing appeared in the shops than I am on the prowl, cruising for readers' opinions with the alertness of a randy cat.
From here on in, my behaviour becomes increasingly erratic. If I know someone has a copy of the book, I scrutinise their body language for tell-tale signs as to what they think of it. I pester the sales assistants in good bookshops everywhere with questions about the book's progress. I check the best-seller lists on the internet at least three times a day. I bore my girlfriend stiff with a daily analysis of how the book is faring, based on all of the above.
In fact, there is absolutely no way I can tell at the moment if the book is going to sell or sink like a stone. Meanwhile, my fretting refuses to let up, as relentless - and about as interesting, now I think about it – as one of those never-ending drizzles that hit Barcelona around this time of year.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -