Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stupid publisher tricks

I am agog at what has just befallen Caitlín R. Kiernan. Actually, it befell her six months ago, but the ugly truth has only now surfaced:
Finally, this afternoon, I heard from Merrilee, who'd finally heard from my editor. And it was perhaps the worst possible news. There were no books in the warehouse because, for reasons that have yet to be made clear to me, Penguin remaindered both titles in February. Why, then, was I not informed? Liz told Merrilee that she never got the e-mail from the production manager advising her to advise me of the decision. Yes, you may pause here to shake your heads in disbelief.

There is a clause in all my Penguin contracts which states that I must be notified well in advance of a book's being pulled from the warehouses, and that I will be allowed to purchase however many of the remaining copies of said book I wish to purchase at a substantial discount. The constant reader will recall that when Silk was pulled, subpress stepped in and generously gave me the funds to purchase more than 1,000 of the remaining copies. Subpress could do that because of this clause. I would copy it here, only I have none of the contracts with me. Copies of the contracts for Low Red Moon and Murder of Angels are being overnighted to me from NYC, and I'll post the relevant bits in another entry tomorrow. But trust me; it's true.

Geeze, I know from experience publishers can be maddening in the glee with which they administer careless torture upon authors, but wow. Caitlín's got the Mother Trump of all con stories now, I can tell you. Let that be a warning to you writers out there in cyberland--if you hope to retain any shred of your sanity, get out now!

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