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 These amended reports also meant that the royalties they had paid several authors were no longer valid, and in turn would have to be collected back from the authors to recoup the losses.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.