I’m sure there are others out there that this has happened to. Possibly even other folks in this exact boat. So if anyone has any information, or suggestions on what to do now, I’d appreciate it.
Short form, about two years ago, I signed on with a company called Re.ad Publishing. They took over the rights to Woken for ebook and paperback distribution, gave it an edit job, relaunched it. They had exclusive rights for (if I remember correctly, and due to several moves and computer issues, I can’t currently locate the paperwork) 3 years, after which it could be “revisited.” I do not remember if there was a reversion clause in the contract.
Fast forward a year to when the book was finally launching, add in a pile of financial and health issues, things got murkier. My contact at Re.ad, by the name of Amanda Barnett, last contacted me to confirm cover art and seemed antsy to push my other work over to their company. I informed her that, given my health problems, I was honestly unsure of doing anything at this point and would need to mull it over. That was half true. Mostly I was waiting to see how it went with Woken, and the hard sell she was pushing to move the rest over somewhat worried me.
Further emails, mostly regarding how Woken was doing, went unanswered. Then back in the hospital I landed, job shuffle commenced, truck was repossessed, computer landed in pawn shop, medications were changed, increased, and 800 other things fell on my head and honestly, sad to say, I forgot about it.
Until the other day, when I happened to notice Amazon was listing Woken as “out of stock.” Further clicking determined that Re.ad Publishing’s website is gone and I can’t seem to locate anything on them. (Their name doesn’t help, either; try wading though the Google results that one kicks out, friends and neighbors.) I e-mailed Ms. Barnett again, got a bounceback. They seem to have vanished.
Now, during this whole time, I received no royalties. That isn’t necessarily surprising, though. For all I know, no copies were sold; the royalties from the books I can track from last year were barely in the double digits. But there was no contact or information on the subject, so I don’t know.
Less important than the royalties – since I doubt Woken took off so awesomely that I’m owed a million dollars or anything – is the murky issue of “I can has my book back, now?” I’m still trying to find the contract, but if anyone has experience with this sort of situation and can offer advice or shed light on the likely outcome here, it’d be appreciated. Is Woken still mine? Can I just click over to CreateSpace and toggle it back to active after requesting Amazon to take down the out-of-print one? Is there some higher authority I need to discuss this with, or do I need to hire private eyes and lawyers to track down whatever remains of Re.ad Publishing and take it up with them? What about sales reports and royalties, assuming such even exist?
Is this even something worth chasing, or should I just write Woken off as an experiment and move along?
Suggestions and commiserations welcome. Direct information regarding Re.ad even more so. Fellow “victims” – and oh how I hate that word in relation to the situation, but I can’t think of a better one at the moment – who are also in limbo (or have resolved the situation) due to Re.ad’s disappearance?