Last week I sent off the final draft of my forthcoming book – Written in Stone – to my publisher for printing. Now I can stop worrying about tidying up the manuscript and start worrying about how it will be received by readers.
Thus far, the informal feedback has been positive, and today my book got its first professional review from Kirkus. I am proud to say that it is positive. The reviewer thought the book was an “easily digestible survey of paleontological history”, and deemed it “A warm, intelligent yeoman’s guide to the progress of life.” (See the whole review at my book’s webpage.)
The latter line of praise left me scratching my head a little bit – which meaning of yeoman are we talking about here? – but I am glad that the reviewer did not feel too overwhelmed by the historical and scientific detail of the book. While written for a popular audience, I did not hold back from digging deep into some of the vertebrate fossil record’s most famous transitions, and I was a little concerned that some reviewers might not appreciate the in-depth discussions of dinosaur feathers, whale hips, mammal jaws, and the like.
I don’t expect every review to be glowing, but I hope other readers – be they friends, reviewers, or people who just pick it up on a whim – enjoy Written in Stone. November 1st isn’t too far away, and I look forward to seeing how other readers and reviewers will respond to my first book.