Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GUEST POST: "Hybrid Publishing Middle Grade" by Glen Wood

What a journey it’s been so far!

The Brain Sucker began life a few years ago as a story called "The Manners Thief", which came about after I saw several young kids misbehaving in a supermarket. They were barrelling around the aisles, throwing packets of frozen peas in the air and almost knocked over several slow-moving pensioners. I thought to myself, it’s as if those kids have had the manners sucked out of them. 

From this germ of an idea came my story: an action-packed adventure about a warped genius who invents a machine to suck the manners out of kids. His plan is to turn all the children in the world into little horrors, creating chaos and promoting evil. Only Callum, a thirteen-year-old disabled boy with a very cool wheelchair, can stop him. To do so he’ll need the help of his two best friends, Sophie, an engineering genius and Jinx, the world’s unluckiest boy.

My agent sent the manuscript to Walker Books in Australia and they loved it. They were keen to publish the book but wanted the machine to suck more than just manners, they thought it should remove the children’s goodness as well. I thought this was a great idea and rewrote the story to incorporate their suggestion. Thus "The Manners Thief" became The Brain Sucker.

The book was published in 2012 with an initial release in Australia and New Zealand. It received great reviews and was very popular with readers, selling well in tough publishing times in a small market.

In 2014 The Brain Sucker was picked up by Walker Books head office in Britain and released in the UK. Along the way the book was also nominated for a Sakura Medal in Japan. I’m not sure how that happened, but it did.

Now, all I had to do was conquer the USA.

This has proved a little more difficult. Candlewick Press, the American division of Walker Books didn’t want to pick up the book. I was surprised as the story is universal and set in a fictional location but the answer remained no.

Oh well, I’d just have to do it myself then.

I asked Walker books to give me the publishing rights for the USA and Canada and they agreed. However, I needed to differentiate the book from the Australasian and UK versions so I re-edited with US spellings and asked a very talented friend of mine to develop a new cover for the book. Being technologically challenged, I struggled through many revisions of the manuscript before Create Space finally accepted one.

And this is where I am today. I’m writing for Middle Grade Ninja (great name by the way) to tell readers that my book The Brain Sucker is available for purchase through Amazon US and Canada. Now American kids can read about teen heroes Callum, Sophie and Jinx as they battle the dastardly Lester Smythe and his henchmen.

All that’s left is to work out how to get the books in school libraries and bookstores. How hard can that be?   

About The Brain Sucker –
The Brain Sucker is an action/adventure story for 9 to 12 year olds. It follows the adventures of Callum McCullock a disabled boy who enlists the help of his friends Sophie and Jinx to defeat evil genius Lester Smythe who has invented a vicious brain sucking machine and plans to use it to suck the goodness out of all the children in the world.

About Glenn Wood –
Glenn Wood is an award winning copywriter and author who has four published books to his credit. These include his popular autobiographical novels – The Laughing Policeman and Cop Out – and two middle school books The Brain Sucker and The Bully Chip

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a journey, Glenn. Good for you and all your persistence. Sounds like a fun MG read!


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