On The Shelf.

Must-Read of the Week: "Post-Artifact Books and Publishing" — by Craig Mod

The launch of my new site was not supposed to be today. It was supposed to coincide with the release of my book, that should have been happening two months from now. That is not happening either. Having signed with a very eager publisher in August of last year I was on my way to being on your bookshelf, then it went pear-shaped. I won't mention the publisher's name for legal reasons but I noticed something was not right just after Christmas. Their site was down, no one was answering email (they were getting bounced back), their Facebook page disappeared, no response to twitter or Skype messages, basically I tried every social networking platform that we currently have at our disposal..... Big. Fat. Nothing. I started investigating, oh how I wish my due-diligence had been this sharp before inking the deal. Greed, deceit, manipulation, tax evasion, eviction, brain-washing, these are not my words but the words of various legal petitions, blogs, and civil complaints, I mean there was so much mud and slander that I thought I was reading a book (oh, now there's an idea!). It was like a punch in the gut. Three days later a CD arrived from them. No note, nothing. Just a disc with my typeset, proof-read (poorly) manuscript. I was back to thinking that things are OK. Further drilling-down on twitter showed me I was not alone. So many authors left up the creek with nary a canoe, let alone a paddle.

 Needless to say I felt physically ill for the whole weekend, sick to my stomach that there are a select few people out there who took a collective dump on the dreams and careers of people who put their trust in them. Scandalous. My lady, Sweet Val, succinctly put it that there is a greater plan for me. That this is a bump in the road, and as usual, she is right. I have had a few days to think over how this will affect me and I have to be honest that all of it has been positive. Not only do I see the industry in a new way (a good way, not all publishers are the same), it has given me an up-close and searing insight into the machinations of the book world, that will not only serve me in the future but may help guide others with their dream. Most of all it has shown me that living our lives like a story is the only way to live, the dramas adding depth and character to our journey. Taking on these challenges, buoyed by great friends, is adventurous. No great thing ever came out of smooth sailing. I have a lot to be grateful for and refuse to look at the negative of it all, I look only at the unity that surrounds me and am blessed to have friends of varied talents whose input makes for great unwritten stories ahead of us.

I hope you like the new site and it is certainly great to be back writing on this blog again. Book updates coming when I have them. Merry 2014.

Image: Joe Ross