By Meredith Farkas | June 11, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, I finally received copies of my re-printed book. The laminate is on nice and tight as it should be and the cover colors are a bit lighter. It looks good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like my book is shipping (at least I have not heard of anyone receiving a copy) in spite of the fact that Information Today has their copies of the book. I have no idea why this is happening. My mother ordered the book about a month ago from Information Today’s store and got an e-mail on May 23rd stating that it would ship within two business days. Well, she still hasn’t received it. If I hadn’t heard that, I would have had no idea that it wasn’t shipping. Update: I’ve been told that the book is now shipping from Information Today and people who ordered it should be receiving it within days. Barnes & Noble.com says the book is not available. And according to the marketing guy at Information Today Books, they are not shipping books to Amazon.com because Amazon owes them money (?!!!??!?!?). If I was in a cartoon, smoke would be coming out of my ears about now. It’s unbelievable to me.
I put my heart and soul into every one of the 100,000 words in that book. I really wanted this book to be useful to people; to help them navigate the social software landscape and become comfortable playing with new technologies. I lived up to my end of the bargain in the publishing process. I never turned anything in late and usually got things in early. I took the initiative and did that Flickr Alternative Book Cover Contest to help market the book. I frequently add resources to the companion website to keep the site up to date. I’ve done everything in my power to make this book successful.
If my book starts shipping now, it will have been a year since I turned in the manuscript. That is a LONG time. The printing problem that delayed my book launch was frustrating, but I understood that it was beyond my publisher’s control and that it wasn’t the end of the world. When Amazon canceled everyone’s orders last month, I was a annoyed, because I had specifically asked if someone from ITI should contact Amazon to let them know the release date was pushed back and they said it wasn’t necessary. I’m more than annoyed now. I’m beside myself.
And I’m discouraged. I’ve been sitting on a really terrific book idea the past few months. I’ve been collecting research and I’m itching to write it. But this experience has left me feeling like I never want to go through it all again. I love writing. And I hope that when people are finally able to read the book that they learn something useful from it and realize that you don’t have to be a “techie” to use social software. But I just don’t know if I can go through all of it again. I don’t even know if this is the norm and I’m just too naive and fragile to deal with the publishing world or if this is a crazy situation. I have nothing to compare it to.
For those of you who haven’t been able to get ahold of the book and are going to be at ALA Annual, it will be on sale at the Information Today booth (booth #814) and I will be signing books there on Saturday, June 23 from 10:00 am until 11:00 am. I’m really looking forward to the conference and I hope I get to meet some of y’all there.
I just wish this could be the happy experience I thought it would be.