Thursday, April 23, 2015

Reports and Reviews

I am now down to one more children's choir session, and then the final program for the parents, but I don't need a lesson plan for that. I had a parent helping last night because the other teacher had a sick kid, and she asked me at the end if they were always this way. I said that this was actually a pretty good night. She was horrified, apologized profusely for her kid, said I deserved a medal, and said I had permission to do whatever it took to make her kid behave. I noticed that she was asking the other kids their names and their parents' names. Kindergarteners aren't quite sophisticated enough to know that this is a danger sign. I have a feeling some parents may be notified of what their children are like. I'm not sure what good it will do with some of them.

But aside from them doing the usual stuff they know they're not supposed to do, like climbing into the window, climbing onto stacked chairs, and running into walls, they weren't bad. They were actually interested in what we were doing instead of ignoring me.

But I just need to get through one more session, and that will involve a rehearsal in the sanctuary, so that eats up a lot of time. We may play musical chairs the rest of the time.

Meanwhile, I have my first big review for the steampunk book, and I'm kind of afraid to look. My editor says it's mixed but mostly favorable, and it's at Kirkus, which tends toward the negative and nasty. I've become oddly more sensitive to reviews as my career has progressed. With my early books, I was eagerly seeking out reviews. Now I just don't want to know.

I think maybe that's because with the earlier books I was very optimistic. I knew I had something special and figured that it would just work out that these books would find their audience and be successful. The books were loved, and they're still going strong a decade later, but they weren't considered "successful" enough for the publisher to keep publishing them. The good reviews didn't really end up meaning much -- they didn't encourage the publisher to do more to push the books, they didn't encourage the publisher to continue the series, they didn't encourage more bookstores to stock the books. And there's a part of me that worries that if that was the outcome with good reviews, what might other reviews mean? So I end up just not reading any of them. It keeps my mind from playing tricks on me. I also don't read Amazon reviews.

Though it does get tricky when it comes time to do publicity and I don't have review blurbs handy, since you have to read reviews to collect quotes.

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