In 2004, I had my first book published. The publishers not only gave me a dollar to frame,
but sent me two paperback copies free of charge. Other authors I talked to could not believe I was accepted for publication so easily. One told me they had submitted manuscripts 40 times before getting published. I thought it proved I was meant to be a writer.
I was estatic, and felt really lucky.
Time past and the royalty checks came in. Zero dollars. Zero. Zero.
Then I thought that proved I must be a failure at writing, a passion that has been with me 25 years.
Then I learned my publisher was cheating their authors,in different ways, within the legal
bounds of the 7 year long contract. I didn’t feel so lucky then. I was bittered and
angry at my naivity for trusting a publisher I would only have contact with online.
Then I found a website where hundreds of authors dedicate time and effort educating those like me who were mislead and bound into a contract with a publisher that would do such unbelievable things.
After reading some of the other authors stories, I began to realize, although no one wants to have their life and career damaged by disreputable publishers, I didn’t lose quite as much as others did. Some have novels tied up this publisher, others have auto biographies.
Then I reminded myself of the Poetry book, “Poetry: Third Graders Become Authors”, in which my youngest son was published through his third grade class the same year my book was published!
Then I remembered how excited his teacher was because that was the first time the elementary school got a grant to finance a publication in book form.
It came out in paperback just like mine, only fractions of difference in size, and the book signing made the local news paper and news channel.
So after the shock of learning about my publisher wore off, I couldn’t help but to admit my publisher did give to my family something that would make a hallmark event that will always be there, in print, to remind me I really am lucky after all.
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