Books are strange and beautiful beasts. How is it that a prison memoir, a dog memoir, and a book of six-word memoirs are all considered “memoirs”? Yet they are, even if they are completely different animals. And books move at such strange speeds. The time from conception of SMITH’s six-word memoir book to completion of the first and quite-close-to-final draft was just a few months. The time from that draft to publishing date is close to a year. In between, you mess with covers and have meetings about marketing and bite your nails and turn into a walking, talking hype machine (which, let’s face it, makes you somewhat insufferable to your nearest and dearest).
The fuzzy math of marketing dictates that we don’t want to push the book too early before its release, so my co-editor Rachel Fershleiser and I have been positively restrained (for us). However, a few daily newspapers who received advance copies of NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING: Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous and Obscure decided to cover the book early—so here we go. Atlanta-Journal Constitution scribe Phil Kloer wrote that he “fell in love with this book” and offered his copy of it to a reader who sent in his or her own six-word memoir. Within days, six-word memoirs in response to his column broke the paper’s record for comments.
Last week, Toronto’s largest daily, The National Post, wrote a feature on the making of the book (with this image above of one of the book’s memoirists). Writer Ben Kaplan zeros in on the heart and soul of why we made this book, and why the six-word memoir has captured imaginations across America. And when you make a book, even a seemingly “small” book like this, it means a lot when people get it.
And we hope you pre-order your copy of NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING: Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous and Obscure today and get it on February 5, 2008.