Am I Dead?
Written by
Sheryl Sorrentino
September 2013
Written by
Sheryl Sorrentino
September 2013

I saw a rather intriguing movie last week—Margaret, in which Anna Paquin (playing 17-year-old Lisa Cohen) performs a powerful scene with Allison Janney as Monica, the woman hit and dismembered by a New York City bus after Lisa thoughtlessly distracted the driver over a stupid cowboy hat. Lying in the street in Lisa’s arms, her severed leg lodged beneath the bus’s rear wheel about ten feet away, Monica asks Lisa, “Am I dead?”

It is a gruesome, bloody, and emotional scene—one which certainly puts my petty problems in perspective. And yet, I, too, cannot help asking, “Am I dead?” (In the water, that is.) Launching a self-published book feels a lot like a bus wreck. You climb on, you pay your fare innocently and in good faith. Then you crawl along in this slow, overcrowded, humbling craft, trying not to grow annoyed by the many fits and starts over which you have no control. And then—BAM—out of the blue, you crash. (As in, less than two months after releasing Stage Daughter, sales—pitiful though they were to begin with—have dried up. At the time of this posting, I have sold exactly two e-books this month. You read that correctly: two.)

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