Bogus Book Surprise


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mec
September 10, 2008, 02:21 PM
As we discussed in the earlier thread, 13 months ago, I cancelled the book contract with iUniverse and directed them not to put the book into print. The thing contains a number of production flaws and I didn't want to spend the next few years hearing about them. At that time, iUniverse agreed to cancel the contract before any books were printed advising that they did have the option of selling any books already back from production but had chosen not to exercise it.

Pre release publicity made it to amazon.com and was quickly modified to say that the book was not in print and that Amazon did not know if it would become available. Last week somebody here noticed that they were advertising the paperback version as "in stock" and I placed an order just to see what would happen.

Sure enough, it came today. What it contains is
1. More revolvers and history
2. more loading variations
3. an index that seems to have been written by a drunken chimpanzee
4. A chapter on the Starr revolver that uses the spelling "Star" just as frequently as the correct one.
5. a number if appendices
6. comparatively LARGE black and white pictures
7 a list of sources for guns, parts, ammunition, etc that was good at the time of writing
8 a massive number of spelling errors and malaprops.

I paid them extra money and this one does wear the Editor's! Choice! lable that indicates that it meets iUniverse's high standards of excellence. The copy editors and line editors were very good at sprinkling commas throught the manuscript and substituting one type of dash for another dash they considered more gramatically correct. At spelling and consistency there-of, they suck almost as bad as I do.

I don't know how many are actually available. It appears to be a stealth operation as the book is not listed on the IUniverse book store site and is not listed with iUniverse's major accomplise, Barnes and Noble. Nor are the hard cover and e-book options I paid for anywhere in evidence. It may be the iUniverse is scrabbling to stay alive as they have been in business for several years and people are starting to find out about them. For example, a couple of years ago, they published about 18,000 books. Of that number, about 70 sold more than 500 copies. they pay either ten or twenty percent royalties and keep most of the receipts themselves. while they claim to make their money on book sales, it is evident that they actually get the bulk of it from charges to the authors. Our first book, Percussion Pistols and revolvers etc, has sold at least 1077 copies in three years and this may have the the factor that motivated them to sneak a few of the second book out the door.

I would advise anybody who is gripped by existentential angst at the sight of typos and spelling errors to avoid this book like the plague. The same for anybody who expects a coffee-table quality product for < $18. Those who liked the first book will probably need to get 'em while they last.

Mykeal is working on an electronic, smoother version right now.

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scrat
September 10, 2008, 02:26 PM
oh wow im in

pohill
September 10, 2008, 05:43 PM
I'm curious, and maybe prying too much, but why wouldn't you go with a traditional publisher instead of a vanity press? It's a pretty sure bet that there's a large enough market for the subject matter.

Just answered my own question by re-reading your other posts.

scrat
September 10, 2008, 06:01 PM
ordered mine. so where do i send it to get autographed. hmmm hmmm hmmm

mykeal
September 12, 2008, 01:58 PM
My copy of the second book arrived today. Yes, it contains the 'bad stuff' that mec described; perhaps he and I are sensitive to that because we spent a great deal of time correcting it, but to me it's distracting. At least I got one off the market so it wouldn't cause mec or anyone else problems.

arcticap
September 12, 2008, 02:34 PM
After all of these years, the new publisher must finally be reaping some of the benefits of the highly successful & popular "No Child Left Behind Act".
Just ask any teacher, they'll shoot it to you straight! :D

mec
September 12, 2008, 02:54 PM
"No Child Left Behind Act".

that seems likely. My publishing assistant was fairly indifferent to the project but seemed entirely familiar with the drill for stopping publication. Apparently they get that on a regular basis Her accustomed sloth makes it unlikely that the actual printing startedd before I pulled the plug and cancelled the contract. .
One guy on the other post says he got this book several months ago. Apparently, its been out more than the week or so that I thought. they probably printed out a couple of hardcovers and sold them and it's likely that the number of paperbacks never reached three digits.

scrat
September 12, 2008, 10:01 PM
so where do i send it to get autographed. hmmm hmmm hmmm

uh hmmm uh hmmmmm

cough cough

mec
September 12, 2008, 10:45 PM
see private message

Jeffers
September 20, 2008, 09:43 AM
IIRC from having used them a few years ago, they only produce a copy when someone orders one. They simply go to the computer, hit print double-sided, and then bind the pages into a book and mail it to the buyer. I think that's the whole idea of "on-demand" publishing: they don't have to invest in producing hard copies that may never sell, or bother to warehouse them. Unless you can get them to delete the flawed version in their computer, they may just keep printing them whenever someone asks. BTW, this is not exactly vanity publishing, where the author pays a few grand and gets a couple hundred copies of a book with little (or no) commercial potential.

mec
September 20, 2008, 10:01 AM
Thats the way they describe it. What happens though is Ingrams and several other book distributors order a batch and then Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retail sources have a supply (small probably) to draw from.

The contract says that when one party or the other withdraws the work from publication, the rights revert to the copywrite holder - the author and iUniverse has no further right to print the book. The original package which I bought specified that I would get a certain number of "free books." These were never forthcoming. The company told me that they had followed my request to terminate but clearly they did not do so. I still believe their fall back, if anybody challenged them, would be that they had printed a small number of books before the contract ended and changed their mind about not selling them.

These are some stats from 2004-the last available year:
18,108: Total number of titles published
14: Number of titles sold through B&N's bricks-and-mortar stores (nationally)
83: Number of titles that sold at least 500 copies
792,814: Number of copies printed
32,445: Number of copies sold of iUniverse's top seller, If I Knew Then by Amy Fisher

scrat
September 20, 2008, 02:06 PM
I have been out of town. just got back last night. of course i get the UPS missed package. So looks like monday i get my Book.

FSCJedi
September 21, 2008, 04:39 AM
I ordered my copy off of amazon. I am 99% sure it was the original one. I should have it sometime this week, I think (mail takes longer to get to Korea, especially military mail).

mec
September 21, 2008, 09:38 AM
The original one will probably be in print until next August.

FSCJedi
September 28, 2008, 09:10 AM
MEC,

Just wanted to say I got the book and it is the original. I'm loving it! It's got a lot of your personality in it and I think the no-nonsense approach makes it a very enjoyable read and very non-bias (like you said in your intro) against the various pistols talked about. When I'm done with it, I very well may see if I can send it to you to sign.

mec
September 28, 2008, 11:43 AM
We can do that

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