Here they are! My four free copies of my book, which just came out in French! Or... DID... it...
I've always felt pretty lost in the publishing world. Big publishers have bought out so many of the smaller ones that they've become all powerful just like in the music business and with only a handful (literally 5 in the US) controlling everything, the effect on artists is the same as in the music biz - sucky.
After not being allowed any contact with my Belgian publisher during the publishing process because the book was not sold to them by me, but by my US publisher, I finally received my four copies of the book (above) and was able to contact them. They were super nice and when I asked when exactly my book had been published since I didn't know if it'd happened in September or October, their answer was May.
Okay, wait a second... MAY??? As in the month of May? I mean WTF? How does a book get published and read in multiple countries and nobody thinks to tell the author for five months. Something seems plain old wrong with that.
I'm continually baffled by the publishing world and by the way authors have fewer and fewer rights, next to zero marketing, and seem to get all but forgotten if they aren't massive bestsellers with clout. Like I said, publishing seems to work just like the music business with the artists getting lost in the shuffle. The big difference is musicians are way more social so many of them (especially hip hop artists) said F-that! I'm starting my own label so I don't have to do all the work and then give 85-90% of my earnings to The Man. Lots of those artists reached out to other artists and brought them onto their independent labels so they could treat them way better than the monster record labels and that changed the whole industry. I don't see that ever happening in publishing. Partly because the average author tends to be pretty introverted. Writing is a lonely process for sure. Crazy lonely if you ask me. I'm not an introvert at all, so I've always wanted to have lots of friends who are also published authors and be able to hold each other up through all the craziness. I found out pretty quick that wasn't gonna happen cuz most authors aren't really feeling that need to be social with other authors or aren't outgoing enough to make those connections happen. Most of the ones I came into contact with along the way and tried to stay in contact with as time went by were really nice, but yeah... introverted and cool with being alone in their writing worlds. There's nothing wrong with that. It just means we probably won't ever band together. I decided a long time ago that if I ever made it big and had some book that took off and sold like crazy, I'd try again to reach out to other authors, this time to authors who were also best sellers. I'd try like hell to convince them to join forces and create our own publishing house where authors get some say over basic things like how their covers look, where they know how many books they've sold (I have no idea how many books I've sold most of the time including right now), and where they are actually told when big things happen like oh, I don't know, when their book has been freaking published? Don't get me wrong. I feel on top of the world about the fact that I've been published at all and am especially grateful to have had the chance to publish in a second language and see my writing shared with more of the world. That's an incredible gift I treasure every day. I know how lucky I am to be on this wild rollercoaster ride called publishing even if I have to suffer through the B.S. that comes with it. I know I gotta take the bad with the good and I'd sure rather accept the bad than not be published at all. Teen fiction needs to be in schools and libraries to really be seen and schools and libraries are all about the books coming from big publishers and don't pay much mind at all to self-published books so I'm dead grateful to my US publisher for putting me out there. It's just that there are moments sometimes where it feels like such a struggle when it should really be all about your dreams coming true and this moment, finding out I missed the publishing of my own book by five months, is one of those moments. There are some real nice people working for my publisher and I sure wouldn't walk around speaking my mind any old place, but this is my blog and my opinion and nobody reads my blog anyway so I can say what I want to say here and my opinion is that there is something seriously wrong with the way the publishing business works in America. If I ever do have a book publish and hit big, I'm sure as hell gonna try to pull other powerful authors together grassroots-style and try to change things.