Monday, November 2, 2009


Freedom is here at last! I am referring to an e-mail I got today from saying that my seven year publishing contract with them was about to expire and, if I wanted to renew it - same terms and conditions for another seven years -- to send them official notice.

I wrote back: "Do NOT under any circumstances renew my contract! I can't wait to get the publishing rights back." I think that was fairly straightforward...

Seven (long) years ago, I sold them the publishing rights to my second book ("Dispatches From a Born-Again Cynic") because they advertised that "We're just like a regular publishing company - we pay our authors!" Bait enough for me as my first book ("Sponsors: How to Get One; How to Keep One") was totally my project -- I wrote it, edited it, found a printer, found a commercial artist to do the cover, paid both and followed up with a Web site, advertising, promotion and distribution. (And 10 years later had a $16,000 net profit - book has been out of print for two years.)

PublishAmerica was now promising to do all of that FOR me and pay me royalties... How sweet it was...

Until I discovered their idea of "promotion" was to ask me for a list of 100 names so they could send a "notification of publication" to these people -- "Family! Friends! Everyone you know!" They put the book on their Web site and That Was That.

Many of you may have noticed a certain ... stubborn streak ... to my make up. Since they had broken multiple implied promises -- leaving me to do the heavy lifting - I did minimal promotion when it first came out and that was it. The first couple of years, the book did well enough and then it died.

I blame myself for an unfortunate title - people saw "Born Again" but not the "Cynic" and dropped it as if it were one fire and ran. An experienced publisher might well have argued with me and shown me the error of a title like that.

Reading between the lines of ensuing e-mails, I think they're going broke. E's such as "Buy copies of your book for 50% off and still get royalties!" and other succulent (hah!) offers.

Hell with 'em. From the blog, I have enough material to put together a whole new book incorporating the best of that one into it.

I should be saying "thank you" but since I wrote several times offering to buy back my contract (for what they paid for it - $1) and those letters were never answered ...

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