Even though Boys of Steel will not be out till August, I began mentioning it at my school visits in January. I introduce it about halfway through my hourlong presentation. It ties in nicely with my main topic of persistence and rejection (the importance of the former and how to handle the latter)—Jerry and Joe were rejected for more than three years before landing a publisher for Superman. As part of my mini-BOS discussion, I read excerpts from four of the nos I received for Boys of Steel so the kids get an earful of what real-world rejection can sound like (i.e. not wonderful but not as scary as it may seem).
If I keep pace, I have five minutes or so at the end of every presentation for Q&A. Today, a boy asked a question about the total number of rejections I had received for Boys of Steel. Only he referred to it as "your Metal Men book." If only he knew why that is so cute.
By the way, twenty-two. That's how many rejections I got for Boys of Steel.
That's ten more than J.K. Rowling got for her first Harry Potter novel and at least five fewer than Dr. Seuss got for And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street (which, incidentally, was published in 1937, the same year Jerry and Joe sold Superman). I am not even beginning to compare myself to those titans of literature; I simply happen to know those numbers off the top of my head since they're part of my presentation, too.
More on the rejections and acceptances (yes, plural) of Boys of Steel in posts to come.