The first few days after a novel’s pub date are tough. There are few real sales numbers to obsess over. Just the sound of people all over the country (hopefully) turning pages. There were a few promising signs. Kelly, one of the managers at my local Barnes and Noble said she was a fan and that Lilac Girls was selling. My sister’s friend said they’d sold out at her Iowa bookstore. But it was still a mystery.
Then I was in the UPS store yesterday shipping Lilac Girls to someone when my phone rang, a New York number. I answered the call to hear Lilac Girls’ incredible Ballantine team on speaker telling me I’d made the list. I stepped outside, babbling something incoherent and asked “Are you sure?” “Yes, you made it,” they shouted back. Then came a call from my agent and we reminisced about Lilac Girls and she told me landing on the list as a debut novel was a rare thing and assured me it was all true. Even after another call to my husband, a huge fan of The New York Times, who was just as thrilled as I was, AND seeing it for myself online, it still didn’t seem real.
And then today proof arrived at my door in the form of the most heavenly-scented flowers. “Congratulations on becoming an instant New York Times Bestseller.” It was signed Team Lilac.
So it’s finally sinking in. Guess I can relax now and stop worrying about sales numbers. After all, I’ve got Team Lilac on my side.