Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Opening night in Manhattan

Joe Kahn of the Boston Globe wrote a nice story about me and the writing of Look Me in the Eye. It’s online here.

My eight month wait came to an end today, as Look Me in the Eye went on sale. I walked around Manhattan, signing copies of my book at stores across the city. I even took pictures of the displays, but you’ll have to wait for the weekend to see them, because I can’t resize them from my laptop computer.

Amazon released a flood of books, filling the thousands of orders that have come in recent months. B&N.com did the same. The online retailers actually shipped books two days ago, so readers who bought online would get their copies of Look Me in the Eye today . . . as soon as everyone else.

Then, at seven o’clock, we had our opening night appearance, at Union Square Barnes and Noble. The seating area was filled to capacity. Crowds were standing on the floor behind, and watching the video monitors in the cafeteria below. My brother came out and introduced me, and after some back and forth, I read three passages from the book.

I talked a while, and we both answered questions. Then we signed books. Lots of books. Hundreds and hundreds of books. Then it was over. Nine fifteen, and the last book was signed. The floor displays – full at four o’clock – stood empty. The whole affair was taped, and I’ll let you know next week, when you can see it all online. B&N had each of us wired for sound, and they had three commercial cameras running the whole time. They’ve got a recording capability there that would make many TV stations proud.

It was as successful an opening night as anyone could have wished for. The events manager told me tonight was the first standing ovation they’d had for an author all year. I really did not know what to say. I thank all our friends, all of you who were there, and all who wished us well. I’ll see more of you tomorrow, at R J Julia in Madison.

We’re finally on the road . . . and where will we go from here?

25 comments:

Drama Mama said...

I am so excited for you. You represent everything my daughter can be one day.

Thank you, John. Thank you for writing this book.

Kanani said...

How wonderful.

I can't tell you how happy this makes me.

All weekend I thought about how you and your friends would be on the bus going to NYC. I've only been there once --have never been to Amherst. So it all sounded like a very big adventure.

Anyway, I thought about the anticipation they had waiting for the bus, driving there, soaking in the good vibes. And I was there, too, at least in spirit.

So over the weekend I wrote something for you and your Aspergian friends. It's on my blog.

Kim Stagliano said...

John, you and Augusten were like two Broadway pro's. Fantastic event. Congratulations, my friend. I met several of your blog buddies and enjoyed meeting the group from Mass. at the bar afterward. See you tonight in CT.

I'll blog the event later today.

KIM

Trish Ryan said...

Woooo Hoooo!!! That is super-exciting. How awesome when even your best expectations are exceeded :)

It was so fun meeting you and your lovely wife yesterday at McNally Robinson! I'll be telling all my friends about your upcoming appearance in Boston--we'll see you there!

Polly Kahl said...

You were great, John. Very interesting event, with a lot of diversity in the audience, and you and your brother were quite a team. Also enjoyed meeting Kim and Amanda, and recognizing some of the others you have blogged about: TR, your lovely wife, and your son.

Like Kim, I think I'll blog about it, later today.

Tena said...

I just received notification from Amazon that your book is on the way. Wa-hoo!!!

Irene said...

John, you and Augusten were fantastic! What a crowd!! I was running a little behind (I spent the day with my older son at the museum 'til they kicked us out.) but my friends and heard you read and the Q&A session. It was just superb. I have to say you two are super, speedy book signers. I was worried that we'd be in line for at least 2 hours as I was very near the end, even taking time to make small talk and pose for pictures! Hopefully, I can get my blog updated later today. For now, I'm off to take MY John to his first day at his new school.
GREAT JOB!

Tricia said...

I can't begin to describe how wonderful last night was. We were lucky enough to be in the 2nd row and could really feel the admiration and pride pouring out from your brother as you began to read.My eyes were tearing the whole time! I read your book on the train back to CT and it is wonderful! I'll never forget this heart-warming experience! Hopefully we can hear you again tonight in Madison! Great work!!!

PLANET3RRY said...

Yesterday, I checked the Borders here in Knoxville where I preordered the bbook, hoping to get my copy early. Nope. wasn't there, but it was still fun looking around for it, kinda like christmas morning.

My wife and I listened to the audio book snippet (as you suggested in a comment on my blog) and watched the video that your brother made of you about the forthcoming, I mean, NEWLY Released book. She says that we share some similar characteristics, she did say that I am a little more animated (typically overly so) when I talk.

Have fun on your tour!

sex scenes at starbucks said...

How awesome for you! Congratulations on a great start!

Demon Hunter said...

Awesome, John! Congratulations! You deserve it! :*) Let me know if you come close to S.C.

Laura said...

Congratulations, John! I've read half of the book and it's wonderful!

Manic Mom said...

HOW WONDERFUL FOR YOU!!!!

You've worked hard, truly deserve it! I am off to get the book this afternoon!!!!

Congrats!!!

The Anti-Wife said...

Woof:)

TR said...

The family and I just got back from NYC. Last night was everything I could have imagined for you. Sitting there, being proud of all you have done to make this book a reality, and proud to be your friend, I had a familiar feeling, but one seldom felt so keenly - I admired you. It was a thrill to see others feel the same. You and Augusten did a great job. Woof!

The Muse said...

I agree with TR. I couldn't have been more proud of you, John. You were wonderful, and witty, and most of all truly genuine. The audience was captivated by your sincerity and boyish charm. As a friend who has known you for several years, it was amazing to see your transformation for this event from a shy, awkward, Aspie to the confident, distinguished man that stood before us last night. ADMIRATION is the word. While Augusten was truly refined; and he spoke so eloquently about you and your process of writing this book. It was fun to observe your humorous exchanges and the dynamics between brothers. As Kim said, you and Augusten were like a Broadway comedy routine. It was clear that your little brother Varmint was proud of you, too.

I was glad to meet some of the bloggers like Kim. But I am disappointed that I missed seeing several others. (I guess if I had brought my Pom Savannah in a dog purse then they might have recognized me! Oh well.)

I had been looking forward to September 25th for a long time for you. I’m so glad that it was everything that you had hoped it would be. Congratulations! A magical night…

ORION said...

YEAH!!!
Sounds like it was a blast! I'm bummed I'm stuck here in Hawaii and couldn't go.
BTW My dad ordered two copies of LOOK ME IN THE EYE today (along with one more of LOTTERY - I told him he can't order anything from Amazon unless he orders my book too!)
This is SO COOL!!

Ythanya said...

John
I bought your book in Australia on Wednesday the 19th of September and as such have finished reading it. I am not the only one in the world who feels like a fraud. You wrote about this and I feel that part of my thinking makes more sense now. Strange that someone else has to write about it for it to make more sense to me. I am a fellow Aspergian, a woman, and I thought it was good to read about life from the perspective of a man.

John Elder Robison said...

Did you get the Australian paperback? Send pictures!

Ythanya said...

Yes I bought the paperback version. I will go the store where I bought it and take photos for you. They may have it in Borders too - I will go there also. It is 11.11pm on the 27th now and tomorrow (the 28th)on the way home from work I will visit the bookstores to take the photos.

Kanani said...

Hi John,
I was doing my Panera thing this morning. They had a copy of USA Today. Lo and behold, there you were!
Neat!

Maprilynne said...

Congrats!! It sounds like it was a fabulous success. May it continue!

Chumplet said...

John, you deserve all wonderful things.

misha_k said...

I recently found your blog and I definitely must to say congratulations on your book. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Amonly said...

Yes John,
again- it was great- and I enjoyed meeting some of your other friends and contacts- TR too.

What an achievement. My sister is picking up on the news and I will send your book.

By the way it IS entertaining- and I think many will read it just for that aspect.