Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Books Have After Lives

Sometimes when you have books out in the world they live their own little lives even when you're not being particularly literary because you've been making candy for days.

This week I learned that Saving the Planet & Stuff received a mention in an article called The Text Generation: Fiction That Incorporates Digital Communication by Melanie D. Koss, which was published in the September issue of Book Links. The article was about books that "include...tools of communication, both as snippets embedded within or completely replacing a conventional narrative structure." Planet was included because the main character uses e-mails and Instant Messenger. It was categorized with Books for Older Readers, which is exactly how I see it. It was published for ten year olds and up, though.

This was great recognition for Planet. Unfortunately, it's...out of print! This is a case of a book living it's own little after life.

I had planned to try to find a paperback publisher for it this year. I didn't even get started on that, though I did get the rights to the book reverted to me, which is actually as close to being on top of a situation as I ever get.

I am enjoying the recognition Planet received because I'm not attached to any concept of in print...out of print...print this...print that...


Monday, April 21, 2008

Attention For Gail's Vermont Books

A Guide to Fiction Set in Vermont for Children & Young Adults by Ann McKinstry Micou was published this spring by the Vermont Humanities Council. Both my Vermont books, The Hero of Ticonderoga and Saving the Planet & Stuff are included in the guide.

Too bad Planet has gone out of print, huh? I've just had the rights reverted to me, which means that when I can get organized and serious I can try to find a paperback publisher for it.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

OOP Again

I received official word last week or the week before (I'm not that good with time) that Saving the Planet & Stuff is going out of print. My editor and I had been expecting this for a while. Planet wasn't one of my greater successes. In spite of a flurry of renewed interest in it this past spring, it was never picked up for a paperback edition. All my previous books were.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as my father always used to say. Looking back, I think we marketed it to the wrong age group. I saw it as YA. It has a sixteen-year-old main character, and while I was writing it my intention was to create a humorous book for teen boy readers. But we marketed it to ten-year-olds and up. Though kids like to read up, I think the material was of little interest to fifth- or sixth-graders. We're talking environmental jokes here (we called it the first eco-comedy) and workplace humor for kids starting to take summer jobs. There were teen and elderly characters in the book who were going through similar things--how will I spend my life and how have I spent my life? The book came out soon after YA started surging. If we'd placed it just a little differently, maybe things would have turned out better.

Also, I missed a lot of opportunities to try to promote it around Earth Day.

I'm going to ask to have the rights returned to me, and once they are, I may try to find a publisher interested in environmental books. I would have to be very organized to pull off the research and contacts to do that, though, and since I'm not...

I don't get majorly distressed when my books go out of print. I've probably said this here before, but just as extinction is the fate of all species, unless your name is Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, going out of print is the fate of all books. Having a book go out of print means you had a book published, that once, at least, you were a player.

Plus, I'm always working on the next book. It's hard to become terribly despondent about the book you wrote four or five or more years ago when you've got another one coming out next year and you're trying to write still another. The e-mail officially notifying me that Saving the Planet is going out of print was attached to the cover art for next year's Girl and Boy book.

Life moves on.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Little News For Saving The Planet

As I've said before, it's always gratifying when one of your older titles gets some new attention. School Library Journal recently included Saving the Planet and Stuff in a list of titles to use for Earth Day.

As luck would have it, I just happened to look at the calendar today, notice that Earth Day is coming up, and thought how I'd missed the boat again on trying to promote Saving the Planet in conjunction with that event. And then School Library Journal did it for me!

A really big thank you to Sheila at Wands and Worlds for letting me know about this.