Journey into Creating a Publishing Company – Part Three
I never name call anyone. I am always polite and rational with anyone with any discussion. If or when a person earns my ire I tend to grumble a lot, though I do step back and think about the situation which has arisen. I will help as much as I can or as the client will let me…One thing I am clear about is when a client has approved a final file then they will need to pay for extra work, whether the original job was a swap of skills, paid or a package.
2016 was a big year with a lot of changes. It wasn’t a good year on many fronts though I did have a favourite. Needless to say this year was filled with bullying clients and gossip in the local writers group which I didn’t know about for nearly two years. I was devastated by both of these. Luckily for me I have stong family support from my husband and children and some really great friend. Many of those friends were students from my Business Management Course and my Incubate Course.
There was one bully who I worked with. They were like an advisor, going to do marketing for me on a local scale, introduced me to a local reporter for one of the free newspapers. All of this was appreciated. In exchange I formatted their first book, pulled together a book cover – all to the best of my ability at that time – both ebook and print, assisted them set up accounts with createspace and kindle. Now if one thinks about all the time involved the different things I was learning, it was a lot of work. I can’t really put a price on this. They were happy with the result…UNTIL…They suddenly decided I’d not done the book properly (a word I now HATE) Thinking back I did two books for this person. The other was in exchange for a computer (desktop) he put a price of $300 on which strangley was raised to $400 during email discussions. It wasn’t acutally worth anything due to it’s age. Once again I did the second book plus two websites.
What I wonder now is if the second book was better set out than the first due to the growth in my learning…Would you redo a client’s book for free because you’ve learnt more about interior design?
One thing I will advise everyone with a small business…
MAKE SURE YOU KEEP ALL YOUR EMAILS FOR EACH CLIENT SO THEY CAN’T BITE YOU ON THE BUTT/ASS AT A LATER DATE!!
Even in those days, I insisted all clients to proofread their own books for any formatting edits. Bits that need changing or taking out etc. This person approved the final file. Six months later they complained I’d left their home address in the back of the book and I have the synopsis in the back as well. EXCUSE ME…YOU APPROVED IT!! Fed up with the ongoing emails, I redid the formatting which was once again APPROVED.
Now we come to the end of 2016. They had decided to sue me…I presume at small claims court. They were going to win and take all my business/money etc.
WOW. Not only this, I had another client who disparaged my name (Yes I can still sue them for defamation of character) They contacted me for a meeting. I went into a deep depression and fog for three weeks…It was one of the worst time in the year for this to happen due to course work for Business Management along with trying to claw my way out of the fog and stabilise once more.
With the bully I was still getting emails. In the end I sent them an offer which most folks wouldn’t refuse. I got a unpleasent email stating I was to re-do the book, and upload it to createspace, and purchase 5 or so copies to be sent to them by a certain date. They had gone a step to far. I was now furious.
Offering them one last deal. It took several weeks to prepare and over $500 out of my business…which is still a loss to this day. I printed off all their emails I met with my business admin who I had to pay ($75) to go through them and advise me if I was correct with my assumptions. That was another $300. Yes I was correct. If they sued me I could prove they were in the wrong, not only that, I could re-sue them for defamation of character.
The email was sent. It wasn’t accepted. I still don’t understand why. The email was sent via my business admin. Their reply. “All I wanted was to have it edited”
If a client has approved a final file then they need to pay for any further formatting edits. They also need to use the final file I sent them. I have about 4 different files with different words counts on my computer…Which is the right one? Why should I continue to edit their work for FREE when they had approved final files.
From this time one I went quiet on Facebook which of course, affected my business badly. This person was still on my friends list and in two groups I ran. It wasn’t until mid 2017 that I finally deleted them, unfriended and blocked them. This was all thanks to another online friend who is like a sister to me. The relief was immense, though with them still living locally I was real nervous going up town. Call it anxiety of thinking they’d verbally attack me in the street. This is also another reason few of my friends online know I went back to England.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU KEEP RECORDS FROM ALL YOUR CLIENTS AND ALSO ALL YOUR REPLIES. IT MAY SAVE YOU ONE DAY.
This same person also emailed saying they had paid for a membership to the Chamber of Commerce…NOPE they didn’t because I have my receipt. However I still wonder today if they paid for a second year – without my permission due to the fact I still received post from this group. I have never been able to find out.
SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS!
As for the second person…They are still in the background, pottering along with life, asking me for coffee…well until they found out I was back in the UK…
The strange thing is that the only clients I’ve ever had issues with were all local males to were I used to live. All my online clients have been amazing and I have loved working and growing with them.
As for the Writers Group. I gave the then chairperson – who is an Editor, a printed out copy of my book to look through and advise. She came back that it wasn’t her style and a bit rude. Ok yes she is an older lady. What I didn’t know was that she’d told the rest of the committee and god knows who else that I wrote Erotica. The book at that time was called Malachy’s Unit – it is now called Hidden Secrets. It is not erotica or even erotic. It is murder, mystery romance with a bit of spice.
Nearly two years later I took my children’s book in to sell and show to the writers group. Girlie and the War of the Wasps. One of the gentlemen who approached me to buy a copy said. “Oh, I thought you only wrote erotica.” to my reply. “I don’t write erotica.” Once again I was as mad as hell. I never went back to the group. The thought they were all looking at me a a nonsense smut writer (yeah they were that bad) was beyond a joke.
The Best Part…
The best part of 2016 was assisting a client with three children’s book. ‘The Pottontots’ is a set of three books with wonderful art work by the author. Keith Broad was awesome to work with and his stories are a great read for any child.