This has been one of the not best days for me. I found out today that in the last 18 months, my revenues from my book are…..that I owe my publisher money because I have sold a “net” value of MINUS 160 books (how do you sell negative books, do you sell them to Black Holes?). Let us just say that the publisher wrote the contract to try and slip every cost including shipping returns into the “gross” amount of sales. And when I asked for an accounting of the “gross sales and costs” I was told that it was “impossible because it was too complicated.” - I have sold books but the grand total of sales for the last 18 months is minus 166 for revenue. Which I am told not so subtly is sort of my fault because their fiction book for this year sold 6,000 copies because it was nominated for an award. Yeah, except that I was not only short and long listed for every major award but WON the national award from a collection of critics, librarians and readers for best book. It was in the top five books for Halloween according to the CBC national news and radio, number one debut book in Canada according the National Newspaper the Globe and Mail which also listed it as the top new book amoung the top 100 books for 2006.
But not once after publication did the publisher put out a press release, or advertising. They didn’t even send out review copies AFTER the Nation award (to like the New York Times, or anyone!), because in fact, their production team had delayed the book (again). Yup, no money was spent during the awards on advertising (unlike the one that sold 6,000). The only press releases were ones I wrote and posted myself. That included the ones sent out with review copies. The synopsis? I wrote that too. See, my book was the “baby” of the editor who left just as I moved here for the book tour, the speaking and presentation at the Toronto Book Festival and the book launch.
When I asked the NEW editor and the NEW advertising person about the launch party date the response was, “Launch, what launch? What would be the point?” So they didn’t edit my book, they didn’t do anything. They just kept saying, “We don’t have a synopsis…” or “We don’t have a good review line….” I did it all. I worked hard for a year, becuase, "It would be worth it in the end."
Linda has, in less than seven days, has actually sold more than 2% of the entire sales of my book for the US, Canada and the UK, than my publisher did in two years. My publisher refused to tell anyone including BC Book World that I had WON (this publisher is the award winning top independent publisher of Canada – welcome to the world of publishing!). But that news of my 18 months of revunue being I owe THEM is like one of the nine or ten things that rained shit on me today, a very, very, very small part of my day and not really what you came here for so I will shut up and get on with the squirrels.
Here is Linda in the parking lot, getting ready to bond with the animals. She is trying out her smile here amongst the trees.
Cheryl however was showing off her mighty skills already, bonding with many squirrels. Remember, these squirrels are disability accommodating, so if you need to sit to feed them, they will just hop up and run along the board until they get to you. Cheryl had quite a few ‘returners’ (squirrels which eat and sometimes run off to bury it and then return for more, with enough returners you can have three or four squirrels clamoring for attention.
Linda meanwhile bonding with a squirrel which had a duck phobia (a few ducks had wandered into the area for freebies). She could get it to come close and then WHOOSH! Up the tree it would run, before slowly returning. She always attracts the odd ones...like me.
So here Linda practices her, “Hey, look at me, I only have a few canines and am not very likely to eat you” face.
She did manage to get a nice black squirrel plus two grey squirrels to come, the black squirrel was a ‘returner.’ Linda’s only problem now was ME. She wanted a picture of her feeding the squirrels, but with the speed of squirrels and the problems of a person with poor hand control, to get a picture of the split second she hand feeds them the peanut….not so easy.
Finally, I succeeded!
Cheryl meanwhile had problems of her own. Not only had she gotten the notoriously skittish grey squirrel to climb up her leg so she didn’t have to bend down or over and hurt her back (see, very disability friendly). She had a black squirrel who felt, that he was OWED something once he got on her leg (with a jump), and if it wasn’t high enough quality peanuts….it was going to be pocket change.
A true story on how squirrels are smarter than humans.
Cheryl holds out a peanut: “I tried feeding this peanut to the black and he sniffed it and threw it down. Then I tried feeding it to the grey and he cracked it a bit and started on the shell and then HE threw it down and demanded another one.”
Linda takes the peanut Cheryl is talking about, cracks it open, takes the two peanuts inside and eats them. Then she makes a face: “Oh, ug, this one is bad!”
Beth slaps her head: “Geee, two SQUIRRELS tell you that but NO, you have to open it up and EAT IT ANYWAY!”
Linda gives Beth the ‘that’s not funny’ face
Beth gives Linda the, ‘you ate a rotten peanut, what do you expect?’ face
Linda gives Beth the ‘I was hoping for some sympathy…’ face
Beth gives Linda the ‘Not when you eat food even ANIMALS won’t!’ glare.
1 hour ago