Today is the 2 months aniversary of the release of Terminal 3 and… it feels like I have both of my arms tied to my back and my feet buried in cement shoes while I’m sinking in a tank full of sharks. The sharks are the nay-sayers out there, but I won’t spend time talking about them.
Let’s start with the cement shoes instead. The cement shoes are COVID 19. And… that’s it. You got it, right? No need to draw a picture on that matter.
Now… for the arms. The rope tying my right arm is Amazon. You see the beautiful cover up there? That’s not what Amazon has. My publisher lost the cover just when he was assembling the mobi version and rushed to rebuild it. That resulted in typos in that blurb in the cover, what is effectively driving away potential readers (why bother to spend so much money in a book that can’t spell Pratchett and Iain M. Banks properly on the freaking cover?). And it’s pretty much impossible to make Amazon update the metadata from Ingram in order to correct that issue. Publisher can’t do anything. I tried to use my membership at the SFWA to activate the association’s Amazon liaison, what was per se a quite difficult process since the guy is busy and the whole process he asks Amazon to do something is rather secretive… and irresponsive on Amazon’s side, since nothing is happening. Amazon makes it impossible to request directly if you submitted your book through Ingram (they will keep pushing you around different departments instead of pushing the button that would solve the issue).
Now, the rope tying my left arm is my publisher. After 2 months I haven’t received my author copies yet and there is at least one person who pre-ordered the book on the website (Jason Sanford, of Genre Grapewine fame) who never got the copy he BOUGHT. It seems that things are normalizing, I talked to another person who bought through the website and got their copy and my publisher ensured me that copies are going out (and the issue with Jason was that the copy was returned by his workplace), but I would still encourage people to buy on… Amazon. Yes, the same Amazon that is not updating the cover. Leviathan at least will deliver his book for sure and in time. Just don’t judge a book by the cover, I guess?
I really believe in this book and in its capacity to give solace to readers through cathartic humor. But with so many hindrances trying to promote it is both impossible and unwise. I was invited to a podcast to talk about Terminal 3 and decided to cancel until I can be sure why the publisher keeps saying that he’s sending me the author copies, but never actually performing the act of sending it. It could be that he is using pony express to send it, or it might be that he’s waiting to get copies without the typos on the cover (if that’s the case he could just say it to me as we are both adults), or he might be just gaslighting me about that, for whatever reason. The guy went through hell this year, and I hate to complain, but it’s my book. I offered him to revert the contract and in exchange he wouldn’t need to pay the second half of the advancement. Minutes after that he paid what was left of the advancement. So yes, it might not be gaslighting but it sure feels like it and I’m not gonna suck it up anymore.