Of course, there had to be a downside to getting a paper accepted for publication. The headache of pre-publication paperwork turns out to be it.
There has been no training on how to handle the technicalities of being first author. Up until today, this has consisted entirely of keeping on top of who's turn it is to edit the manuscript, submitting the final documents, and forwarding emails; none of this is something I needed a great deal of training for. Now, however, the paperwork is rolling in.
Okay, it was only one email. But what an email! Do you want to pay $700 for your figure to be printed in color? Heck no, you have to be kidding me. Do you want a "marked PDF", or 25 free offprints? I don't know - I'll be able to get a regular PDF copy as soon as it's available online, so I can't see the point of a "marked" one, but (aside from my Dad's desire to hand out copies of my paper like Halloween candy), I'm not sure that there's a point to paper offprints either. (How cheap are these journals that they think throwing together a PDF negates the traditional cost of 25 copies of the article?)
I've been having a relaxed, stress-free, relatively productive week. There is no logical reason for this email to ruin my day. I think the problem is that it's just the start. The road to publication will continue as a long, drawn-out process with occasional tasks coming at unpredictable times. I hate getting emails I can't just deal with immediately and delete.