When Your Royalties are Stolen
I Was So Excited
My first book in my Macy McVannel series was accepted by a publisher. While things got off to a rocky start when my books did not arrive for the book launch, things picked up after that. I was thrilled to have a book publisher. I was busy putting the next book together as it was scheduled to come out in November, 2012 just in time for Christmas.
Then Came the Shock
In October, 2012 I received an e-mail telling me Unforgettable Books Inc was closing it's doors. There would be no second book. My royalties would be paid and they might pick me up in a year when they reopen.
I was stunned. What was I going to do now?? I sent out query after query, only to finally get a response telling me no one wants the second book in a series, they want the entire series or nothing. Devistated I e-mailed a writer friend to see who she went with.
After a return e-mail, me checking out a website, and setting an appointment to talk with a design team, Lilac Publishing was born. Crossing the Line was released in the spring of 2013 and went on to become the Mystery Book of the Year, for 2013. I was in business and things were back on track.
Fast Forward Two Years
I did receive royalties in 2012 from Unforgettable Books Inc. I wrote asking them when my book would come down. I was ready to republish through Lilac Publishing. I retain all the copyrights to the book. I got no answer.
At the end of 2013, I wrote requesting royalties and sales for the year. No answer. I wrote again in October, 2014 and demanded they take my book down. The letter spent over a month with the post office trying to make delivery. I have it back now.
I am getting together all the legal things Amazon requires to get the book pulled down. Two years of sales have been paid to Unforgettable Books Inc. However I have not seen a dime. They are not supposed to be holding any of my money. Unfortunately they are keeping all of my money. Once Amazon pulls it down, I will be republishing it with a new cover through Lilac Publishing, where I know I will get my royalites.
Is people are buying my books and I am not being paid. This year alone I have put out four books. An ebook, Broken Chains was the first book out, followed by a re-issuing of a novella I had written years ago. Out of the Flames got a new cover, interior art, and became an ebook as well as print.
In August book three in the Macy series, Sanctuary was released. November brought the release of a children's anthology, Of Moonbeams and Fairies, Collected Tales was released. I am looking at the release of second ebook, Escape in early 2015. As well as the release of a book and ebook by another author I have taken on.
I need to have control over my work. I am picking up quite a following and not just in Michigan. Two of my older books need to be re-issused with new covers and ebook options. Macy book four will be out in 2015 and there are several off shoots from Sanctuary to be written. Before I embark on Macy book 5.
I know this will be settled soon, it's just the frustration of having to go through this. My books should have come down in 2012. I would have re-issued them in 2013. This would all be over. I'd have had my royalties for the past two years.
I can go to small claims court in Yakima, Washington, but I have no idea how many books were sold in that time. I have no idea what I should even ask for in small claims court. I don't want this to be ugly. At this point, I just want it to be over and lesson learned.