With the contract signed, I am now happy to report that 'The Cool Part of His Pillow' will be reissued by a new publisher in time for the Holidays this year.
It's quite gratifying when one's work is found to have enough value for a 2nd edition…especially after the ongoing drama at Dreamspinner Press.
For those who don’t know, Dreamspinner — an LGBTQ+ publisher — has been swamped by financial difficulties and startling management missteps, which include delaying or non-payment of royalties to dozens of their stable of authors for both Quarters #1 and #2. (Full-disclosure: after contacting them directly, I was paid.) It has also emerged that artists, proofreaders, editors, voice talent and transcirbers have also not been paid. It was a blessing in disguise that my 7-year contract with them was up in March of this year and that all publishing rights reverted back to me. Because of this financial quagmire, authors are rapidly leaving the imprint — authors with far larger fan bases than mine, like Rick Reed and Tj Klune — and rightfully demanding their rights back due to breach of contract, and many are being given different answers, or no answers, like whether they own the cover art, too, if the audiobook is outside the contract, foreign distribution, how to withdraw books for sale on Amazon, etc.
If you want a primer on how NOT to contain a crisis, Dreanmspinner Press is a case study on being tone-deaf and,arrogant, as they are now quietly blaming authors for their money difficulties. How can they remain in business if authors abandon them? If this becomes too public, no one will buy from them, and how will they ever settle what’s due to authors? It has become so sad and frustrating that a Facebook Group has sprung as emotional support to authors who have been wronged. I weigh in there occasionally and I am horrified by authors who are literally in danger of losing their home, or missing another car payment, or going without prescribed medication, because they are owed thousands of dollars. Yet Dreampsinner had the audacity to run a workshop/conference in North Florida last week, solicitng and encouraging new writers into their fold. What did THAT junket cost, and who footed the bill?
The unpaid authors.
It’s a complicated chronology and would bore the shit out of most people, but the bottom-line is this: any royalties due an author should have been escrowed and untouchable, then fully distributed per the contract. It should NOT, as they explain, have been used to “grow” the business, to broaden distribution, to explore new digital avenues. That is what THEIR profit is for, not the money due authors, nor did they ask permission to use “our money” to invest in “their company”. What they did amounts to creative theft and their contrition, from weekly E-mails to authors that contain false or vague detail, seems non-existent.
I am thrilled I was largely able to soar beyond this revolting mess and that my work is not in any way encumbered by the intricate legal implications of some of this. It was all, as they say, in the timing.
Dreamspinner Press is a speck in my rear-view mirror, growing smaller every day, and I am so happy my work — which will included ‘Bended Knee’ and my own self-published ‘Otis’ — willl live on elsewhere.