Sunday, April 20, 2008

Money, money

Reminds me of a song: Mony, mony, except that wasn't about money and money is on my mind a lot right now. Robbing Peter. Paying Paul. Shifting, checking, rechecking, adding, subtracting, subtracting more than I had, and juggling, lots of juggling. And frustrated and angry.

You'd think as big a publishing phenomenon as the Chicken Soup books are they would be on time with payment, but they're not. I got my author's copy well ahead of schedule, and the book plate with the names of Jack Canfield and crew, but no check. The letter I received with the book said I would receive the check about 30 days after the release date. That has come and gone and gone a long time ago. The book was available on Amazon January 22nd. No check by February 22, or March 22 either. I emailed in March and was told the book had not been released until March 11th and I would receive the check 30 days from that date. Guess what? No check yet. I emailed again and was told this time that it would be 30-60 days; that wasn't in the letter or the contract. I emailed a third time and was told that things were in a bit of a mess since they were consolidating their office and moving departments around and it would take some time to figure out who and what went where, but I would be contacted, and I was contacted. I was told checks were "in process." I never did get an answer for what "in process" meant or a firm commitment on when my check would be sent, so here I sit, still frustrated and getting angry. I don't like having to keep asking for money that is owed to me.

Conversely, my dealings with Adams Media, owner of the Cup of Comfort series, are completely different. I got the check for the book before I got the book; it arrived last week, about 30 days after the release, by FedEx, with post cards announcing the book to hand out at book signings, which are being coordinated and set up as I write. Two other local authors and I are clubbing together to promote the book, and we will all be paid for our efforts. I'm handling press releases and they are handling setting up the signings; they've done it before and I'm more comfortable with press releases and contacting media. It works out well for all three of us. We're all three on the slate for the Mountain of Authors next year. I have several other books coming out this year with Cup of Comfort and I'm looking forward to dealing with them because they have been a joy so far, but they would since Adams Media is a subsidiary of F+W Publications who owns the Writers Digest imprints, among others. Nothing like having your foot in the door with a publisher when it comes time to deal with them on my own.

When I came back from seeing yet more places yesterday, the mail had run. I held my breath as I walked to the mailbox and pulled out the magazines and a few envelopes tuck between the folded magazines. I wanted to see two things: check from AuthorLink and one from Chicken Soup. I got the AuthorLink check for the two latest reviews, no surprise there. They are very good about paying me on time. I turned around and got back in my car to deposit the check, but there was another surprise waiting for me when I opened the envelope. The check was more than expected, twenty dollars more. I asked for and received a raise in January of $10 per review and the check yesterday reflected yet another raise of $10 per review. I was stunned. That's a hefty raise in such a short time and I'm grateful for it. Just what I needed, a big old ego boost.

I had spoken to the big boss at AuthorLink a couple weeks ago when I had to contact her about releasing information regarding my annual income. I did the same with my medical transcription employer. I've always thought I'd have to wait until I died and was hovering around the wake or the memorial service to find out what my bosses thought about me, but I was wrong. Both of my bosses praised me in such terms I blushed a deep crimson and couldn't get the shocked smile off my face for quite some time. I got effusive rave reviews from both of them, but this is a rave review I didn't expect for another year or so.

Into every life rain must fall, but once in a while the sun shines through the clouds with a brilliant burst of light that dusts everything with gold. Yesterday was one of those days. Now, if I can only find the right place to move and get that over with a minimum of fuss, I'll be very happy.

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