Ode to The August Author

January 20th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

The distribution issues at the Penguin warehouse in Rugby, UK have received surprisingly little press outside a few blogs and Publisher’s Lunch. This surprises us to no end — for an entire quarter, shipments of books were pretty much not happening. For authors whose books were released during that period (or in the months just prior), countless sales were lost. If you know anything about publishing (and we know you do), you know that once the initial release period passes, you’re not exactly on your publisher’s radar.

After careful thought and analysis (we linked to the story about the start of the thought and analysis project months ago), the publisher has determined that authors don’t really need to be compensated for lost sales. Really, even asking is the height of presumption.

The problems were at their height around April, May and June. A spokeswoman for Pearson declined to comment on the subject of compensation, saying only: “That is not the right question.”

Because we are slow, we have to wonder what, then, the correct question might be? How are you going to fix this so my book gets out to the public with sufficient marketing muscle to make a difference? How do you propose my agent sells the paperback rights since it appears the hardcover sales were dismal? How am I supposed to convince publishers in other countries to take a chance on me when my track record is fouled up due to your software problems?

Or maybe, can I presume you docked the compensation of the people involved with this debacle as well?

File Under: Publishers and Editors