Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hair Pulling and Head Knocking

Why can't I have a good day? An unadulterated GOOD day?

So Bastards and Pretty Boys is coming out on Monday. That's cool. It's my first first-person m/m contemporary, and I loved writing it. The story flowed, the characters formed and chose their voices, and romance seeped in and ultimately made for a HFN packed with optimism.

However, LSB has a peculiar way of spotlighting its "coming soon" books. They're all thrown together on the LSB forum, so a book coming out the next day is on the same footing with a book coming out six months down the pike. Imminent releases are not bumped to the head of the page, as one might reasonably expect, but must fight their way to the head of the page via comments. Since I haven't had any recent comments, my Monday release is slipping down the page, because visitors are commenting on coming-NOT-so-soon books. Go figure that shit out!

Then I get an email from another publisher. The contract I just sent in for a book is "invalid." Two copies made the trek across half the continent, and now they're fucking "invalid." Why are they invalid? Because the fucking watermark doesn't appear! Why doesn't it appear? I have no fucking idea! I filled out the contract and hit "print." The pages were perfectly legible. They were signed and dated. But my cheapshit made-in-China Dell printer didn't "acknowledge" the publisher's fucking watermark. Why? Gee, maybe I should ask one of the Indians or Pakistanis who work for Dell and then waste a day in utter confusion, because I can't understand a word they're saying!

Bottom line: I have no clue how to get the damned watermark to appear, and if it doesn't appear, my contract is SHIT in the publisher's eyes, and as long as it's shit, the book doesn't get fed into the production pipeline. WTF do I do?

Not even the most paranoid of my publishers--need I name names?--has had a "watermarked" contract. None. NONE. This bloody thing has caused me more grief than I can stand contemplating. Why? Because in addtion to my new release slipping off the page at the LSB forums, my next [unnamed] book is going to be held up due to some fucking gray smear on the contract pages!

So that's the story of my sucko Saturday. What will Sunday bring? *sigh*


Jeanne said...

Hey KZ
Did you try hitting the grey scale on the printer preferences?
I actually combine both with my ancient Canon ink jet and it comes out fine.
Remember who started the company, darlin'...
my verification word: sonato

Jeanne said...

BTW, I posted a comment so you're on top again, kiddo.;~D

Jenre said...

I agree that the whole LSB forum thing on 'coming soon' books has me baffled. I suppose it's good that there is somewhere for you to post extracts etc but I've spent ages searching through the forum for books when it would have been so much easier to have a 'coming soon' page. Perhaps it would be better if they had both, then us poor readers can look up books easily and authors also have a forum setting to interact with the readers should they choose to.

And the watermark thing - one word springs to mind - why? Why do they need it? I thought all contracts were done electronically these days anyway - obviously not.

Poor you, I know this must be very frustrating for you. I have days like this too when everything just seems to go wrong.

((big hug))

Teddy Pig said...


Why? Did you know that banks do not even use those? Banks are pretty strict on those Gov Check 21 rules of authenticity.

There is a new app for the iPhone called Mobile Deposit where you sign a check for deposit and take a picture of it front and back using your iPhone and send it in and the bank deposits it.

Watermark? Sounds like someone is playing games.

Teddy Pig said...

Oh idea! Have them fax you an image of the contract and then paste in a copy of your sig using a scanner and Word and email it back to them.

I have done this for medical stuffs before. Make them print out the dang thing.

K. Z. Snow said...

Jeanne - Thank you, sweetie, for the "bump." I love you!

As I mentioned on the authors' loop, my printer doesn't allow for gray-scale adjustment. It only has four print options, from "quick" to "best" or some such BS.

Jen - Thank you for the hugs. I need 'em!

TP - I don't have a fax machine. Have never needed one. But thank you for taking the time to suggest something.

I think I know why the contract consists of 22-26 paper pages (complete with watermark) and has to be snail-mailed back and forth. It has to do with a certain mindset. (Sorry, can't say more.) But I FULLY agree that an e-pub, of all businesses on earth, should be conscientious about going green.

To LSB's credit--and they have much to their credit--the whole contract-exchange is electronic, so it's over and done with in a matter of minutes. Clickety-click and we're on our way. I adore them for that!

This other shit is insane. After pissing away yesterday evening dicking with this, it looks like I'm going to be pissing away all of today, as well. And probably with nothing to show for it.

In the end, I'll have gone through half a cartridge, half a ream of paper, and two twenty-mile round trips to the post office just trying to get this crap right. Oh, and let's not forget all the hours I could've spent doing something genuinely productive.

What's worse, I'm using up my annual allotment of cuss words! :-( Right now, they're all that can make me feel better.

Tam said...

Well shit. Tell them to print it out and send it to you then you send it back? (Which they'll likely say isn't their problem.) Arggh. Do you have a public library? Maybe their printers can handle it. Send it to me and I'll print it and mail it to you? :-)

I have to confess I don't go to LS except for my recent visitor so had no clue how their forums work but I'll stop by and post something to bump you up too.

Hope Sunday is significantly better.

Jeanne said...

emailing you with some other suggestions -- all clean :~D

MB (Leah) said...

I've said before and I've bitched to LSB themselves about their totally sucky and not user friendly web site.

They are an excellent publisher and many authors whom I love have books through them, but I never, ever go there to find a new book.

They have NO search engine to get to a specific book, they don't break down their books by content (m/m, m/f, f/f, menage) and their forum pages are clunky to deal with.

As a reader looking for books, I want to get the info I need fairly quickly or I'm not going to bother. I think the forum should be a supplemental thing and not the main info pages for books coming out.

Their coming soon page should show all books coming soon with a date under it. Click on the book and the book page should come up, which should just include the pic/blurb/release date and then a link to the forum page. Simple. I shouldn't have to go searching for all the info. But anyway...I know you have no say in it.

They should make it much easier for readers to find books if they want to sell them.

About the water mark, WTF? I thought watermarks were inside paper itself. Didn't know you could print a watermark. What's the point of that if you can print a watermark? Doesn't seem to add to the security if the document. How weird.

I hope you can get it figured out and salvage the rest of your weekend. Is wishing you good vibrations.

wren said...

Hi KZ!
I posted on the forum, too. I can relate to days filled with crap, so I'm wishing you much luck!

K. Z. Snow said...

Tam, that will be my last resort. Maybe if I had the computer knowledge, I could dig into the bowels of Windows XP and figure out how to configure the printer settings...if that's even possible. But the point is moot, since my tech ignorance is depthless.

Leah, I'm so sorry you and so many other readers are frustrated with LSB's setup.

I did pass along your complaints to them, by the way. They're well aware of the problems and intend to correct them, because they really are very conscientious about how they treat their customers as well as their authors. Don't know how long it will take for the changes to come, though.

Jeanne, Jen, TeddyP, Tam, and Leah, thank you all SO much for not only putting up with my ranty-ass self but for offering solutions. That alone has made me feel a lot better!

K. Z. Snow said...

wren, you crept in between posts! Thank you, darlin'.