To add to this Summer of Suck, my publisher Parliament House Press has gone through some recent upheavals. I’m not going to get into details because Victoria Strauss already covered everything really well.
(Although I was aware of PH’s problems, it’s never a great feeling to see your publisher in a big feature on the Writer Beware blog.)
Let me say upfront: On the whole, I’ve had a positive experience with Parliament House Press. Yes, I had occasional issues with questions and requests going unanswered. I also heard from people who were promised print copies of Tidepool for review purposes and never got them, or any response to their follow-up emails. That was frustrating news. (If you happen to be one of those reviewers, I’m sorry this happened.)
But for the most part, the staff has been receptive and helpful when I had a request or a problem. I got my royalties on time, and my sales figures matched what I expected to see. I think they did a great job getting my book out there.
And Tidepool succeeded way beyond my wildest dreams. In its first year, Tidepool sold 5560 copies, which is at least 5000 more than I expected it to sell. Its sales actually ticked up a little in the most recent quarter. It blows my mind to think that many people have read Sorrow’s story. Given recent discourse on book sales and how much (or how few) most books sell, I’m thrilled with that.
And the award nominations don’t suck either.
That being said, I’m in no way denying or dismissing anyone else’s experiences. There have been obvious signs that things weren’t right for a while, and I can’t say I was too surprised when the negative stories started coming out. And it is outrageous that some Parliament House editors weren’t being paid for their work.
I do think Malorie Nilson, the new CEO, has solid ideas for how to get the ship righted again. She has been very open and honest about the problems and how she plans to address them, as you’ll see if you look at the Writer Beware entry.
So I’ve signed a contract with the newly-reincarnated Parliament House Press for what will be Tidepool’s remaining two years with them under the original contract. The book is still selling, so I see no reason to yank the plug quite yet.
And I really want to see Parliament House make it. Small presses are such an important part of the publishing world, especially for those of us who write in genres that agents are less likely to represent. And I love PH’s dark focus.
And good lord, I truly hope this is the last time I have to address anything going on with someone I’ve been working with. I’ve had enough publishing drama for one year.