Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm happy...

I have been discouraged for a week now. Last week I met with my publisher, and was told that the evaluations on my book looked really good, but that the young person they sent it to, who really liked Chickens in the Headlights, didn't think it was as funny. He still doesn't, but I was sent the adult evaluations today and they looked really good.

I'll admit it, I'm a person who needs external motivation. I'd like to be the kind of person who can just press on no matter what people say, but that's not the case. That is why I don't go to critique groups. People could go on and on and on about why a story is good, and then mention, "But you need work here". I become devastated, convinced I have no skill at writing, and stop working for months.

But these evals made me happy. A few quotes from them:

"It made me want to cry, laugh, burst from joy and run over and teach my kids this wonderful lesson Matthew learned."

"Wonderful book. I couldn't put it down. I got so involved that I forgot to take notes, like I usually do. That is a sign of a good book. "

"This is one of the most delightful manuscripts I have read since Chickens in the Headlights.

And then of course there is a little bit of vindication. I originally wanted to call my first book Chickens Don't Have Armpits. The sequel, which I was already working on, would be called Bullies Don't Have Armpits, which is a quote from this book. I thought both titles were pretty catchy, but my publisher went with Headlights instead. So in this book, when the evaluator was asked what other titles might be catchy...

"One of the chapters is titled "Bullies Don't Have Armpits." Perhaps this could work?"

Anyway, I don't post these to 'brag'. I'm just relieved that this 6 month labor of blood, sweat, tears and love has turned out in a fairly positive manner. I'm excited to find out if my publisher picks it up.


RobisonWells said...

Congratulations! I always dread getting the evals, for the same reason you said: they say very nice things, and then they say "but this part here just didn't work at all...". It makes me want to cry.

I'm glad to hear they liked it. Is it too early to know when it'll be released?

Matthew Buckley said...

Yeah, they are trying to decide to get it in over the summer, or, since it covers Christmas in this book, to release it then. I've heard books can get 'lost' in all of the other stuff that gets put out then, so who knows?

RobisonWells said...

Well, they might get lost, but Christmas is also the biggest time of year in bookstores. It's probably sixes.

If it's summer, though, shoot for late summer. Then you might get a boost from Booksellers, and also business starts to pick up again once kids are in school.

Matthew Buckley said...

Actually, now that you mention it, they were talking about late summer, or Christmas, not early spring. Since Chickens did really well in the elementary school age range, the idea is to have it come out at 'back-to-school' time, and then I'd go and pimp my book at the local elementary schools.