Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The end of a week from hell...

Update: Turns out Canadian publishing is a much classier business than I thought. The support from media such as Quill and Quire, the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Publishers Weekly, the CBC and many bloggers has been heartening. As well, my dealings lately with Jordan Fenn have shown me that, in my anger and shock, I was uncharitable. I feel for him and the situation he is in, and for the publishing business in general. Right now, it is hell out there.
It's also rough for writers. Fewer Canadian books will come out. There will be many people who, like me, are eager to tell stories and may not get the chance. If we are lucky, there will be a rebound -- both from a stronger economy and from a settling-down of the marketplace as everyone adapts to new technologies and people find ways to be properly compensated for their work.
My book has a publisher. It will be issued this fall by Douglas & McIntyre, a great house. Four other publishers expressed serious interest in the project, and all of them were very supportive, keen and would have done a good job with this book. I have accepted Douglas & McIntyre's offer because of their track record of publishing and promoting some of the best Canadian non-fiction and fiction.



Canadian publishing: don't mistake it for a classy business. This book was supposed to be published Jan. 25. This arrived today:


Mark,



It was communicated to me today that you had called our publicity department to query the status of your title, THE FOG of WAR, and to learn the anticipated release date of same.



It would seem that a significant breakdown in communication has occurred in that you were not notified of the hold status placed on this publication. It would seem that several members of our team were all thinking that the other had spoken with you, while in reality none of us had. This is regrettable. This is embarrassing and I suspect this is incredibly upsetting, frustrating, angering and disappointing for you.



I am available to speak with you today, or this week, at your convenience, to discuss this situation. Key Porter Books has recognized the necessity to restructure our business in light of the current market conditions and the challenges and considerable impact that this has had on our operations. The publishing industry is going through difficult times and we as a result have made drastic changes to our house in order to adjust and strengthen our position.



Again Mark, it is with sincere regret that we find ourselves in this position and even greater regret that this was not properly communicated to you.



I will look forward to speaking with you at your convenience.



Sincerely,

Jordan Fenn

12 comments:

TJo said...

What a bummer! Sorry to hear that.

If your book was supposed to contain lots of old maps and photographs, I know a small local publisher who may like to take this on. We are knee-deep in edits for my pretentious novel and he keeps asking me if i have any illustrations to add!

Send me an email if you are interested.

T

Bob said...

This is unbelievable. I am very sorry for you.

Ottawa Watch said...

thanks.

Andrew K said...

Really disappointed to hear this. I hope this simply means they will release it at a later date.

Hang in there...

P.S., keep blogging about stuff. I need someone to tell me what to think :P

shadowbox said...

Mark, you are far too gifted a writer to be treated this way. Self-publish your book as an eBook and I'll buy it Day 1 that it comes out. I'll gift a second copy to a friend, too.

\ said...

Damnit, was looking forward to reading your book, Mark.

Adrian said...

Hi Mark,

I'm a reporter at the Globe and Mail -- just hearing reports Key Porter has gone out of business entirely. Is there a number I can reach you at tonight? You can also call me at 416-585-5133.

Cheers!

Adrian Morrow

Leigh Anne said...

Hi Mark,
I'm the Canadian reporter for Publishers Weekly and I'm writing about Key Porter. If you have time to talk with me, please give me a call at (416) 652-9255 or email me at lwilliams@publishersweekly.com.
Thanks very much!
Leigh Anne

Simon said...

Lovat's revenge.

Angie Mohr said...

Mark, sorry that KP (and in particular, Jordan) has treated you this way. It's cold consolation, I know, but all of us are in the same boat- although not as far up the river as you are. Fenn is not communicating effectively with any of his contracted authors or agents. This was the case long before the company went under and is likely one of the many reasons why this occurred. All we can do is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, make lewd finger gestures at Jordan, and find our next publisher...

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