I would bet that all first time authors wait for the day when they their work is finally available – when they can actually see and hold the product they’ve been working on. My book was shipped to the printers a month ago, and I was told that it would be “in the distribution channel” by December 10.

So, since Wednesday, I’ve been checking the online book stores to see if they have it – but they don’t. One site even removed it from their inventory. Amazon says that a 3rd party has it, but it seems strange that anyone would get it before Amazon. Finally, I checked the MSPress site, and although they say it will be available for order on Dec. 3, you can’t order the book on the site. My only conclusion is that “in the distribution channel” doesn’t mean that the book is actually available.

This is kind of a bummer, since I’m giving a talk to the Team Test SIG on Monday about testing at MS, and we were hoping to give away copies of the book. This afternoon, I got a thanks you reminder email from one of the organizers, and I replied and apologized to him about the book not being available quite in time for the event. His reply was”

“What are you talking about? I have 40 copies in my office.”

It didn’t take much for me to convince him to give me one, so I now hold in my hand, a copy of my book. It’s still a bit surreal, but it also finally feels real. It’s bigger than I thought it would be (final page count just a bit over 400, with 260 of those penned by me).

It’s funny – the tester in me wants to go through and point out everything I don’t like about it, but I’d rather let any readers draw their own conclusions. In fact, I’m hoping people buy the book and ask questions and hold me accountable. Eventually, I really hope that enough people buy copies that I can write a second edition and fix all of the tiny things I want to get right.

For now, the book in my hand is enough. I have an open bottle of Champagne waiting for me and just a bit more time to savor this moment before I need to get back to reality.