Deepest apologize. I overlooked a bonanza that you, my dear friend, were owed from the profits generated by the novelization of Elementary, My Dear.
In 2000 iUniverse called me. They had dredged up eight of my novels — some out of print, some in print.
iUniverse proposed they would market these books for me in a demand printing break-through.
I would keep the copyright and by reprinting them with re-designed covers iUniverse could file for a new copyright which would be assigned to me. The company would create a digital copy of my work, then email it to one of their many dozen printing partners from Sydney to Shanghai.
When iUniverse sold a book to, say, a reader in Madrid, then a Spanish printing partner, using new age Xerox clones, a digital file, and state-of-the-art binding machines, could instantly create an elegant book and rush it to the eager reader.
No expensive shipping costs or import duties to worry about. This was turning publishing on its head.
The fucking, stupid and desperate writers were expected to market their books and pay money to promote their novels. I think through a subsidiary of iUniverse, owned by the CEO’s half-wit dog walker.
I didn’t do any of that. And most of the writers didn’t either.
So how did the company make its cash? They had 1000s of titles so they hired high pressure operators to call up the writers and sell them their own books.
Think of it! The pride of having a library of your work that you could share with the world. A world that was eager to read your latest opus. Move over Mark Twain.
Authors bought huge quantities of their own books and them lugged them to swap meets where they were sold by the pound as door stops. Some authors carried their new works around and used them to snag drugged out shop girls.
Not every day you find a famous writer to fondle you in the discount perfume section of a failing mall.
The freshly minuted books were about twice as much as similar ones in nearby bookstores.
I snagged a dozen of my books on a special price for writers, I mean authors. The books arrived in a box. I paid for express shipping.
My plan was to place certain books with studio heads. This would trigger a film for all concerned.
I got EMD to a studio head with the aid of a guy who administered high colonics to the boss. Anyway, I gave the sucker (who I still owe a producing credit to) twenty bucks to convince his boss, a boss with a tube shoved up his ass, that my novel would make a terrific film.
A week later the CEO’s secretary phoned looking for the Author, Jaron Summers.
She explained that EMD had partly been reviewed but the plot was a challenge.
Apparently sections of five or six other books that high speed printers had assembled had been bound into parts of EMD. It featured eleven plots, none of which made sense. Move over James Joyce.
The studio secretary asked me if I wanted the composite book back. I said no and apologized.
I checked my original book order.
In a rage I called Iuniverse and told them half the books they had sent me were parts of other books.
A iUniverse executive insisted that the company had never had such a problem before but would give me a ten per cent discount to print some more: Only $135 to re-do a $150 order. Shipping extra.
I said that was outrageous.
No, said the executive, you had ten days to examine the books. You failed to do so.
Where am I going with this? Oh yes, each year for the past 17 years iUniverse sends me a print-out of our sales.
Slightly less than $42 for the last two decades. Seventeen per cent of that, your share, is about $8.
You want it in US or Canadian funds?
Your humble servant,
jaron summers, AUTHOR
ps — you might think I’m making this up: https://www.iuniverse.com/