Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: dorchester

It’s Labor Day, so it’s a short one today and it’s to do with my old publisher, Dorchester. A couple of years ago, they hit the financial skids and when things get tough, things get murky, especially when it comes to royalties and rights. Luckily for me, I secured my rights back and moved on to bigger and better things (fortunately). I am owed some money, but essentially a writer is an independent contractor and bad debts are part of the business as much as it’s a pain in the arse. I accepted the money was lost.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t draw a line under my association (especially when it came to the IRS), because for the last couple of years, Dorchester has been floating in a limbo state between existence and bankruptcy. However in the last couple of months, it looked as if the fat lady was ready to sing which meant I could write off the bad debt on my taxes, but in fine Godfather fashion, just as I think I’m out, they drag me back in—thanks to Amazon. They’ve stepped in and bought Dorchester with the promise to honor all debts, which would be nice and a pleasant surprise. So the end might be in sight. It does mean I have to do some due diligence on my part. This piper needs to get paid.

Isn’t the life of a writer grand? 🙂

Categories: shelf life

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I’m fading…kind of.

I received a very sweet letter from one of my publishers last week. I’d ghost written a book for them a few years ago. They got in touch to tell me that they were remaindering the remaining print run (essentially selling the remaining stock to the likes of Half Price Books) and that they were not picking up the option to do a reprint. Essentially, this is the end of the road for that book. They told me not to take the news personally and it was no reflection of me. I thought that was sweet. Other publishers haven’t been so caring of my feelings. Those letters chose the tone of a football coach—we’re junking your book, now walk it off, pussy.

That’s not the only book of mine to fall on the endangered list. I found out there are only four copies of WORKING STIFFS left. THE SCRUBS went out of print last year. There aren’t any plans to reprint THE SCRUBS, although we are talking about a new edition of WORKING STIFFS. And in 2010, all my Dorchester/Leisure paperbacks came off the shelves when they had their financial meltdown.

So in recent years, I’ve seen a lot of my work live out their publishing lifecycles. I’m not particularly upset by that. I have to make space for new work, but at the same time, I do have an attachment to my books. I put everything into their conception and birth, so it’s hard not to be a little teary eyed when they disappear.

But I’m not too downbeat. Just like Dracula, no book truly dies. Rebirth is always around the corner. Just like energy, they cannot be destroyed, they can only change form. Last year, I resurrected my extinct backlist as eBooks. Foreign editions are still coming out and I hope to share some news about further resurrections soon.

So while a part of my work is fading, I’m not concerned, because there are new and wonderful things on the horizon lighting my way. If they weren’t, then I might be a little less upbeat. 🙂

Categories: book of the month

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