By Edward Nawotka
Last week at the Books in Browsers conference, Peter Meyers of A New Kind of Book, read The Child Responds — a sequel to the bestseller Go the F*ck to Sleep. Unfortunately, we and numerous other people in the room, missed the point when he said that his presentation was for purposes of illustration only.
First, to set the most important facts straight:
- I am not working on a sequel, a response, or any kind of book project related to Go the F**k to Sleep.
- The publisher of that book, Akashic Books, has not commissioned me to write anything. Nor have they, or anyone else, shared with me any unpublished or planned excerpts related to that work.
- During a presentation I gave at last week’s “Books in Browsers” conference, I clearly did not succeed in making the point that the story excerpt I read — “The Kid Responds” — was written by me.
- It was a humorous attempt on my part to illustrate how a publisher might use an existing book to sell follow-on installments. (For example: “Like these five short stories? Here are five more from the same author, available for $1 a story”.)
Two lessons learned from this episode:
- When I’m having some creative fun in front of people who don’t know me, the deadpan humor I specialize in needs to be accompanied by a line like “Folks, this next thing I’m about to say is a complete joke”.
- If humor doesn’t succeed in coming across to everyone watching you in a room, then it most definitely won’t be clear when posted online.
To Johnny Temple, Adam Mansbach, Richard Cortés, and all the other good people associated with that great ode to frustrated parenting: sorry!