Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It looked like a good thing: but wait till I tell you.

O. Henry, The Ransom of Red Chief

"And get me the sales figures off your royalty statements."

My agent needed the stats on my publishing history. Denise Marcil and I have been together since she established her agency in a fifth floor Manhattan walkup and I'd traded my five floor climb in Boston's Back Bay for a drafty South Shore antique cape.

Over the past 20+ years she's relocated up & down the island. I've bounced between the head of the Ohio River, the Delaware & Massachusetts Bay. During one of her moves her agency sent me what they had of my royalty statements. During one of mine I packed and forgot about all but the most recent. (Who can make sense of them anyway? Perhaps here is the appropriate place to mention that the closest I ever came to divorce was my annual shoebox-0f-receipts-to-my-accountant/husband at tax time.)

Last week when 27 years of semi-annual reports proved too much for my office floor & lower back, I moved my project to the sunroom table. There I broke pencil points, tapped my calculator, recorded foreign sales, and thumbed through honest-to-goodness bound ledgers and green "eye-ease" three column accounting paper. I found 2 titles I forgot I'd written. Apparently I was huge in Hungary and Bulgaria in the mid-90s. 545,000 copies of DEREK in 6 months.

The day before I left for Thanksgiving, I gave thanks and sent Denise the totals. It seems I've sold an estimated 2, 745, 525 books in c.9 languages.

It looked like a good thing: but wait till I tell you~~the editor at Barnes & Noble's Nook First thinks so, too.

The best of times, the worst of times, a pinch of wisdom, a pint of foolishness...
during a simmering summer on Lake Allamuchy


Barbara O'Connor said...

Love this post!

About Karen Williams said...

You have a knack for this!

Lee Stokes Hilton said...

I am completely awed. You are truly famous!!

Lori Pollard-Johnson said...


Eileen Harrell said... impressive!

Eileen in Atlanta