When the Knopf hardcover of NATIVE AMERICAN SON rolled off the printing press in October 2010 I thought of the Ford Assembly line in 1927. Was my book like the last Model T chugging out of the plant in Highland Park, Michigan exactly 83 years before? The last of the old-style books, lovingly designed by the ace team at Knopf, then edited, copy edited, proof read, sent to a printer, and so on? Would I show this artifact of the early 21st century to my grandchildren one day as proof of how really old their grandmother is?
Well, rumors of the traditional book's death, so far, have turned out to be greatly exaggerated. Of course, at the same time, nobody knows anything. Which means it's pretty good news -- let's agree to call it that -- to have a paperback edition of your hardcover coming out in 2012. Made it just under the wire!
The new paperback looks great (see cover image at the top of the blog page). Bison Books at the University of Nebraska did a fine job. The (few) errors that inevitably popped up in the hardcover have been corrected (I know. Thorpe did not play in the 1913 World Series). Snippets from some of the great reviews are on the front page, probably the best thing, to its author, about any paperback. More review excerpts on the back cover. And so on.
So far, so good in this crazy book biz. We can still hold the thing we built, and that we hope will last, in our hands. Yay.