In Conclusion-Nightmares & Dreams (Part 3): What Went Wrong, and Why It’s Okay

I know what you’re thinking. There are many things that can go wrong in your life worse than a botched release and a short print life for your first novel. And you’re absolutely right.

Yes, several ARC copies were sent out as regular stock; all of these had a mock-up cover and a misprint on the back. Yes, I got these improper copies six weeks after the release date. These were the only copies I was ever sent, and to this day never have seen my own book printed properly. Things went very wrong at the press, and it doesn’t matter who is to blame. It’s just what happened.

In late 2010, Leucrota was caught off-guard when their distributor amended sales reports for early 2010 and 2009, stating that their accounting had been off. The new numbers were no way near what had been earlier reported, in fact even showing excessive returns and negative numbers in multiple columns, equating into large sums of money due. These amended reports also meant that the royalties they had paid several authors were no longer valid, and in turn would have to be collected back from the authors to recoup the losses.

You can imagine how that went.

Leucrota’s disputing of invoice claims and incorrect sales reports only resulted in the distributor placing a hold on sales of all Leucrota books and refusing orders. After a long struggle, Leucrota finally called it quits.

To anyone who has yet to receive a copy for which they paid, I am so sorry. I appreciate your support. Please let me know, and I will do my best to get one of my ARC’s to you.

But what good came of it?

I became a published novelist. A stranger bought my book to publish. Strangers, in turn, bought it to read. I remember wishing on a falling star I saw over Lake Michigan one summer long ago, wishing I’d have a book someday. I learned a lesson in patience. I got to be a writer with a writer’s problems. I also learned that it isn’t being published or not which determines a writer’s happiness. It is that you enjoy your life, and always make room for your art.

Also I learned the importance of one’s contact. For me, this clause in particular:

(f) In the event of bankruptcy, insolvency or liquidation of the Publisher, this Agreement shall terminate and all rights granted to the Publisher shall revert to the Author automatically and will require Publisher to provide notification to Author within 60 days.

Malagon has come home. It is a dark, ruinous force. And it’s mine.

I’d like to do one last “author’s edit” of the book, and then make it available as low-priced eBook, formerly published by Leucrota. If it sells enough online, I’ll write a sequel some summer. That’s my plan for it right now, at least.

I had another novel accepted for publication last month. No monsters, no magic, no curses. Just people, loving, learning, and making mistakes. This time, things will be better. This time, it will work. This time, I’ll see things for what they are. Even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll still be glad I wrote every word. I don’t believe anyone has ever died of a broken heart.

Birch Hills at World’s End will be out in late 2011.

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5 Responses to In Conclusion-Nightmares & Dreams (Part 3): What Went Wrong, and Why It’s Okay

  1. jdrewscott says:

    Oh, I have a copy of Malagon, make no mistake. I ordered it lickety-split after you announced it was coming out. It took Amazon forever to get it to me, but by God, I got it. If you’d like to have a clean copy for yourself, I’m happy to donate it back to you. I’d just like a chance to read it first. (It’s very near the top of the To Read stack. Just one more lesson in patience.)

    Thanks for sharing all this, Geoff.

  2. csecooney says:

    A fine bloggotale in three-acts! Birch Hills shall be mine. Let me know when the e-book of Malagon will be released, and I will time my (very late) review at Black Gate to coincide, with links to the place to buy it. I work better with deadlines. 🙂

  3. DED says:

    Sorry to hear things went horribly wrong for you, Geoff.

    With regards to your comments about Leucrota complaining that the pirate vs. sea monster battle scene was “melodramatic,” my story was rejected by them outright for being “too slow” and that was with two characters ambushed (one killed) in the first chapter. It’s all subjective.

    Best of luck to you going forward!

    • geoffhyatt says:

      Thanks, DED, but as I said, it’s not so horrible. Besides the good things listed in part 3, I made enough to buy a PS3 and an Iommi Ephiphone SG before things tanked, which means I finally topped the payday I got for winning a VFW patriotic essay contest in 9th grade. All in all, better than the book was doing in the footlocker. Cheers to that. May the next one have a better time of it.

  4. Jesse Lex says:

    Sad to hear you had to go through that experience! Happy you want to release the book in electronic form. . .especially after feeling I totally slacked on trying to get it.

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