Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cash Flow, Part 2

Following up on this earlier blog entry of mine about cash flow, I note for the record that I received today my "on publication" portion of the advance for Boarding the Enterprise, the Star Trek essay collection I edited with David Gerrold for BenBella Books. Publication date was August 1, 2006; today was December 27, 2006, which is 147 days, or getting on to five months later.

Publishers big and small (including, I must say, the one that I edit for) have been taking increasingly liberal definitions of "on publication." I'm doing all right, but I know lots of other authors who are really being hurt by this tendency. A word to the wise among beginning writers: don't quit your day job. :)

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At December 28, 2006 5:00 AM , Blogger Drakkenfyre said...

Well, if a certain monopolistic, monolithic chain of bookstores would pay us in the year they were supposed to, or return within the generous year we give them for returns, or at least treat us with some semblance of good, honest, and fair business practices, we'd be a little better about that.

Instead, between formula bestsellers and piles of remainders for sale in the same way as books people actually liked, sometimes our books get lost.

That company you edit for used to have a reputation for reliably paying on time. But since the book monolith became our only god,
(and since Stoddart) we've all been pretty hard up.

But, as you know, the issues I've listed above are not the entire story.

So support your local independent bookseller. Even support Amazon, though their aid is seen by some as a double-edged sword. But stop supporting the chains that ultimately hurt you. They are one link in the process that is destroying publishing.

However, you are just as bound to this wheel as I, and you can no more stop supporting them as you can cut off your own foot, because you need them more than they need you.

And yeah, we're sometimes slow with payment. So don't quit your day job if you have to publish with us. But keep in mind that, out there, a certain editor is still waiting for a $462 expense cheque from that same company and hopes it comes before the credit card bill does.


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