Frustrated…

I went to a fabulous conference a couple years ago and learned how to write teacher’s guides from the amazing traciezimmer. I knew that one of my publishers would print and distribute the guides if I wrote them, but they don’t write any guides (nor do they hire anyone to write them) themselves. So that was fine…I took a weekend and wrote guides to go along with three of my books. They’re available on my website. And I know they’ve been downloaded quite a few times, so it was time well spent.

But I didn’t bother to do guides for the books with my other publisher because they told me THEY would do them (actually they commission a professor to do guides for them…). I have two e-mails from two different people at this publishing house from February 2005 saying they were going to do this. I have another one from May 2005 saying the guides were “in process” (sent in response to my asking about them). I’ve e-mailed my publisher a couple times since then to check on them (usually when a teacher e-mails me to ask whether there are teacher’s guides available for these books). No response. And I don’t like to be a pain, so if they don’t respond, I tend to let it go.

Well, last month, a lady in Chicago e-mailed me to tell me she led an inner city teen book group and she was currently reading one of my books to her kids and wanted to know if there was a teacher’s guide to go with it. Some of these kids really struggle with reading, so she wanted something with end-of-chapter questions. (Having worked with inner city kids myself, I was especially touched that they were reading, and enjoying, my book, so I really wanted to help.) I e-mailed her back right away to tell her my publisher said they were having one made, but I hadn’t seen it yet. And I thought that was a good excuse to contact the publisher and try and follow up on those guides yet again. I got an auto-reply back…the person I’d e-mailed was out of town until the following week. But she didn’t e-mail me when she got back, either. Meanwhile, the lady in Chicago e-mailed me again a week later to see what I had found out. So I e-mailed my publisher again. Still no response. Until today…

Today I found out they never had teacher’s guides made for my books! So why did they tell me they were doing it if they weren’t??? I HATE when people do that…say they’re going to do something and then they don’t. (Or say they ARE doing something when they aren’t.) These books are on quite a few state children’s choice award lists…wouldn’t you think it would be nice for teachers who read these books to their classes to have a teacher’s guide to go with them? I would’ve been perfectly happy to write them myself had I known…which, after a year, maybe I should’ve assumed. But I tend to take people at their word…

5 thoughts on “Frustrated…

  1. While I know it’s not St. Martins, it sounds like something SMP would do. They dropped the ball so many times with a couple of my past books. It’s like they forget what they said they would do the minute they hang up the phone….

    Grrrr

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