Today, I’m going to step back on my soapbox. Are you ready?
Many people don’t have the time to write books until they are well into adulthood, and often retired. Many of our clients are elderly. And, we LOVE working with them!
Several years ago, one such author kept ordering copies of her book. I figured she was selling them, or perhaps giving them away. However, the orders were coming in so frequently that I was starting to wonder if there was an underlying issue. A mental health issue. Perhaps she was forgetting she’d already placed orders. I was pretty sure there were boxes of books piling up in her garage. If I was overspending on the Internet in my golden years, I would certainly want someone to step in, and see what was going on. While I know many of our competitors would just keep raking in the money, and sending out more books, I don’t do business that way.
So, I did something that may have crossed a privacy line somewhere. I looked up the beneficiary in her contract. It was her daughter. I contacted her daughter, and gently explained the situation. The purchases immediately stopped.
Recently, we were working on a book for another elderly author. He had previously published a book with us and everything went fine with that. He was a super nice guy! But, that was 10 years ago.
For his new book, we finished formatting and converting the interior file, and sent it to him back in June. He said he’d spend a couple of days looking at it. He knew we couldn’t move forward without his approval. We also sent him a form to fill out for the distributor’s system, which asks for short description, long description, etc. He also never completed that form.
We later sent reminders but he never responded.
Early this week, he finally contacted us again. He wrote, “It’s been quite some time since I last touched base with you, so, I think it’s time for me to catch up.” He said he has 15 more books to publish. I promptly answered his questions, and asked if he was going to compile several files into one book. I didn’t know how long the books were. Perhaps he was referring to short stories. I wanted to save him money if I could.
One of our employees posted another reminder in that message thread for the author, saying we were still waiting for him to approve his interior file for his current book. And, the response we received back was astonishing.
Literally, out of nowhere:
He accused us of already publishing his book but under a different name.
He accused us of us stealing authors’ manuscripts, and running the equivalent of a literary “chop shop.”
He’s going to meet with his lawyer next week.
He’s going to contact the state police near our town.
He’s going to report us to the FBI.
And, he’s not going to “stand down” until I’m “sitting in a prison cell.”
I have a lot of sympathy for the elderly and the mentally ill but I really do not have time for this ridiculous crap.
One call from his lawyer will end the insane barrage of accusations. When an unstable person seeks legal representation, most attorneys will see that person for who he/she really is, and will bring a voice of reason to a situation for the client. Even crooked lawyers don’t want to work with unstable people.
I’ll simply provide his attorney with access to the author’s account, where he can read all of the correspondence (and the reminders we posted). The lawyer can then get online, and spend who-knows-how-many-hours trying to find copies of the author’s book (it’s not on the market yet so he won’t). The sad thing is the elderly author is going to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees simply because he failed to approve his interior file, and to complete our book information form.
I feel bad about that but there’s nothing I can do. I imagine this author’s family members have no idea what he’s up to when he gets on the Internet. If you have an elderly relative who spends a lot of time on the Internet, you might want to check in with them on a frequent basis. You can literally save them thousands of dollars, and your entire family weeks or months of stress and anxiety.
- Author With Dementia…Or Victim Of Daughter’s Deceit? Who Would You Believe?!
- Is Your Client Feigning Ignorance? Don’t Be a Dummy!!
- I Based My Character On My Elderly Client/Friend. Do I Really Need A Notarized Release? Yes!
- When An Author Dies, The Vultures Will Rise!
- WHO’S SCAMMING GRANNY? Snakes That Prey on Elderly Authors
HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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