austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

It could make a million for you overnight

And some good professional news! I mean in my profession of doing academic-style stuff. I must have mentioned in passing being frustrated with the publisher of my first textbook, which came out in late 2006, since they never got around to sending me royalty statements or checks. A couple of times I chatted with the editor my co-author and I worked with and pointed this out, but promised follow-up action on this never materialized (although I did get a copy of one year's statement e-mailed me, by my co-author).

In late December they mailed out requests for all their authors to update contact information. If I understand the contact information they had for me correct, they thought I was at my old department --- which was reorganized out of existence --- at my old university --- which I wasn't --- and so if they were making efforts to contact me it was going to a nonexistent mailbox on the wrong (albeit existent) continent. Whey they didn't talk to the person who was e-mailing them I don't know, but I did send the person requesting the updated information a fairly snippy note pointing out that not only was their information bad but I had made multiple efforts to get any kind of royalty statement or check out of them and no longer believed they issued such things. The person expressed shock and apologized, and I supposed that this would have to do until I could get around to having a lawyer send them a vaguely threatening letter.

Instead, however, I've got a neat envelope with royalty statements for 2006, 2007, and 2008, along with a check for the accumulated sum which is not going to be enough to retire on, but gets above the minimum price for a MacBook Pro, which makes a nice windfall.

According to the statement up through 2008 the book's sold a total of 339 copies, which is good enough to get above the two millionth spot in Amazon.com's rankings. 186 of them were in the US, 152 of them in the EU, and 1 in the mysteriously labelled BK. I can only assume that I have a stronger readership in Burger King than I would have anticipated.

Trivia: In both 2003 and 2004 the United States supported 3,377 book publishers. The number of greeting card publishers rose from 114 to 120, however. Source: Statistical Abstract Of The United States: 2008. United States Census Bureau.

Currently Reading: Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story, David Hitt, Owen K Garriott, Joseph P Kerwin.

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