Thursday, April 8, 2021

On the Horns of a Dilemma


You’ve heard of being on the horns of a dilemma—big rascal that he is. Not a good place to be. 


I was conflicted about the lady in the Assisted Living Apartment who I felt was being mistreated. (I wrote about it in my other blog, What to do? I was upset regarding her treatment. How much will I get the caretaker in trouble? I know people don’t act for those reasons. 


And then another dilemma. A publisher contacted me, saying they wanted to talk to me. I had submitted a manuscript to Europe Books because someone pointed out that they were taking submissions for a specific time frame where I fit. What the heck, I submitted a book based on ancient mythology that I thought might appeal to a European audience. I forgot about it until I got the email. 


The editor and I Zoomed for 40 minutes while this beautiful young Italian woman spieled off what she liked about my book. I was impressed that she had read it. She knew the names of my characters and named various scenes she particularly liked. She told me that it would be distributed in Italy, German, Portugal, and England. It would be taken to several book Fairs, submitted for awards, etc., etc. With my permission, she was going to present it to the deciding publishing group. 


The following day I received a contract.


All the things they were going to do for me, it sounded awesome.


The trouble was I had to purchase 200 books at retail price.


The books would sell for 14.90 GBP (British Sterling). That is $20.47. Total would be 2,980 GBP $4,094.81. 


If my book sells 500 copies, I will get that money back. 


I sat with it for a day. I thought, well, if you have a book professionally edited and with cover art, it would be that expensive. Two hundred books sitting in my garage? The chances of selling 200 books at $20.47 plus shipping is about like filling a colander with water to save it.


In publishing, a rule of thumb is, money should roll toward the author, not the other way around.


Thanks, but no thanks.