Friday, July 18, 2014
First Print of Too Cold for Alligators
It’s here! Too Cold for Alligators arrived by UPS at 5 p.m. and I eagerly tore open the package. I opened the book to take a look. The maps came out good. I turned to the last page. The photo isn’t there, the one that was the most important to me. Oh, no. I looked at other photos and my heart sank. They are dull, lifeless, and some are too dark. I am crushed. This isn’t the type of work I do.
Shock set in as I wondered what my role was in all of this. I immediately messaged AuthorHouse to report my disappointment. I know that the “package” I bought (their cheapest, but to me, very expensive) only allowed one set of revisions to the text (which was done before I approved the galley) and that photo changes would cost more money. They required color photos because of the e-book saying they would convert the pictures to black and white for the printed copy of the book. When I reviewed the galley, I commented at the time that the black and white pictures were too dark. I didn’t know if that’s how they would look in print. The coordinator assured me she would speak to the production team. I worked hard on the photos and to see them looking as they do is heartbreaking.
I have 50 photos in the book, well, 49 as the last one didn’t make it in. I checked the manuscript this morning and that was my mistake. I forgot to put “insert photo: The Light in Her Eyes” although I had it listed on the List of Photos page. I am willing to pay for that as that was my mistake. However, the poor quality of all the other pictures brings tears to my eyes. A year and a half of hard work and this is the end result? I am ashamed and embarrassed. How can I expect anyone to buy this book? And if they do, what kind of reviews will they give it? Like I said, this isn’t the kind of work I do.
And of course, I wonder if this is a ploy to get authors to put out more money. They offer as little as possible in the package then offer all other services for additional costs. If you opt not to “buy” more, then do they print as shabby as possible to get the author to have to pay for corrections?
Needless to say, I am heartbroken this morning. I wanted to have the book in hand to sell at upcoming shows. That will be impossible now. I don’t know what to do next. I’ll have to wait to hear from them. I’ll let you know.