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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Box Arrived Without Fanfare

There was little on the outside to indicate its contents.  I receive boxes on a fairly regular basis, but they tend to be sent to my place of work and not to my home.

It was curious, the box.  Unmarked for the most part, with only the faintest indication of a return address.

American Library Association

Seemed strange.  We’ve an ALA Conference coming up in July, but while I may be attending, my presence there is hardly required by anyone.  Why would ALA send me something?  For reasons unknowable but that probably indicate some flaw in the human mind, I suddenly had the mad image of opening the box to find a large stuffed blue bear inside.

Curious to see whether or not this image had any basis in reality (it didn’t) I had the box opened.


My book.  I’ve read about moments like this.  When authors will come home to boxes, open them up, and find copies of their own books inside.  It’s a staple of the authorial blog, really.  It’s their "Freebird".  That bloggable moment they can turn to again and again.  But for me, this is the first time this kind of thing has ever happened before.  I was touched.  My little book, Children’s Literature Gems: Choosing and Using Them in Your Library Career.  It’s an ALA Editions title, with a library and library school market primarily in mind, but it’s mine.  It’s out in June.  It’s here in my home.

That’s neat. 

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. janeyolen says:

    Did you bury yur head in your new book and smell it? That’s what I do.–Jane (PS Congratulations)

  2. janeyolen says:


    Having a computer makes “writing lines” too easy.

    Sorry about the typo. Which reminds me, do NOT read through your book for several months. The typos will appall you.

  3. Rasco from RIF says:


  4. Fuse #8 says:

    Jane, I can’t even glance at the interior. The only part of the book I’ve looked at closely since writing it is the index. I find it fascinating. Probably because I didn’t do it.

  5. Giddy delight! I tried to pre-order it yesterday from Barnes and Noble (I have gift cards) but I couldn’t remember the title, they were unable to find anything under your name. I’ll keep trying, I can’t wait.

  6. Elaine Marie Alphin says:

    Your book is gorgeous! When I first open that box, I can’t get over how amazingly beautiful the cover is, how substantial the weight of it feels, how real my name looks on the cover. When I open the book and see the type on the page, it looks so crisp and perfect – even though I saw it in galleys, in that moment it looks newly made. Savor it – because, as Jane points out, all too soon you’ll be brought back to earth by the typos and glitches… Congratulations!!

  7. josephine says:

    congratulations, woohoo, jump for joy, and all that jazz!

  8. Robin Brande says:

    All right, Superstar! Congratulations!!!

  9. Jaime Temairik says:

    Yippee!! I think you should bedazzle your personal copies since GEM is in the title… and your first book is truly outrageously AWESOME!

  10. MotherReader says:

    Congratulations!!! Bring a copy along to Kid Lit Drink Night. I want to hold it – and maybe make a wish upon it. ;^)

  11. Oh Betsy, Unto ye a child is born. O Gloria! Love the pose of Mother and Child. All my best wishes. HUZZAH!

  12. Lisa Yee says:


  13. Genevieve says:

    Mazel tov! How marvelous to hold your first book.
    I’d forgotten how gorgeous the cover was.


    Yay! Congratulations! I am going to buy it, even though I will probably not be back as librarian in the fall (boo layoffs!). I can’t wait to read it. “Gokurou-sama! (Japanese for, “Good job on all of the hard work you put into it!”)

  15. Mary Quattlebaum says:

    Congratulations! Do pick it up and carry it around and maybe even weigh it. There is something quite satisfying about whispering to oneself, “I wrote two pounds of words.” I know how much that translates into chocolate :)

  16. It looks fabulous! Congratulations!

  17. Hooray! Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading it!

  18. Jean Reagan says:

    Congratulations on your firstborn!

    Guess what arrived on my doorstep today also? A box of my first-ever book!

    BTW–I tried to order your book through my indie bookstore and they told me they couldn’t. I guess I’ll request it at my library.


  19. David Ziegler says:

    Congrats!!! A colleague showed me the cover the other day – I think it was on an Ingram ipage, or was it in a journal?
    It looks even better in your picture. And I think you should make that picture your 2nd printing author picture! Can’t wait to read it!

  20. valerie hobbs says:

    A hearty congratulations!! I remember that moment as one of the stellar ones in my life.

  21. WendieO says:

    Hurrah! There’s nothing like seeing your own book actually in print. Yes, smelling it/ hugging it/ showing it off. We’ve all been there. It never grows old. ARC? Will there be ARCs at ALA? We won’t expect you to carry it around the whole time to show it off to everyone. Although I’ve been known to do that, myself. Yours looks too hefty to do that. Just tell us what booth it’s on display and we’ll go oooh and ahhh over it there. -wendieO

  22. kim baker says:

    What lovely books! Congratulations!

  23. Shari Dash Greenspan says:

    Fantastic! Enjoy!

  24. 123oleary says:

    That looks like a very good day. Congratulations.

  25. Brenda Ferber says:


  26. laurie halse anderson says:

    You know the rule, right? Whenever you have a new book come out, you MUST buy yourself a piece of jewelry or the balance of the universe will be upset. So no pressure or anything, but start shopping now!

    Many congratulations!!

  27. adrienne says:

    I’m looking forward to reading it.

    I had the same fascination with the index in my book, too. Also the CIP.

  28. Jim Bird says:

    How exciting! A super congratulations! Atlanta Dad

  29. Karen Gray Ruelle says:

    Congratulations, Betsy!
    And I agree with Laurie Halse Anderson about the proper way to maintain the balance of the universe. Only it doesn’t have to be jewelry. Sometimes it works okay with shoes. Really nice shoes!

  30. Gregory K. says:

    Mighty cool, Betsy! Just remember that you don’t have to carry the whole box around with you all the time. In fact, I think this ties in nicely with what Laurie Halse Anderson was saying – if you buy yourself something you can wear, it’s just like carrying all the copies….

  31. Hester Bass says:

    Congratulations, and thanks for sharing your expertise. I’ll look for you and your new baby in Chicago! The universe is also appeased when you buy a fancy new pen for each book :-)

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