[**UPDATE – Mar 12, 2015 – Problem solved.]
I’ve received a number of emails from people wondering what the deal is with the paperback edition of Sitting in a Rowboat Throwing Marbles at a Battleship. It suddenly disappeared. Well, it’s a funny story–not really. Up until last August, it was selling at Deseret Book, all the independent LDS bookstores, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and was available through national distributors. Then something weird happened.
I had published the book through my own publishing company. The idea was to be able to keep complete control over my work. At one distributor’s suggestion, I hired a guy to redesign the cover. He did so, but neglected to tell me that one of the images on the back cover had been used without the copyright holder’s permission.
I found out just after I had borrowed money and done a large print run last summer. When I approached the copyright holder about using the image going forward, the individual demanded a large sum of money for that permission and even went to the trouble of recording the copyright with the US Patent and Trademark Office so that any future use of the image now carries with it penalties of possibly tens of thousands of dollars plus attorney fees. So here I sit with a bunch of boxes of books that I can’t sell, a loan that I can’t pay back because I can’t sell the books, and no way of fixing the problem in the foreseeable future.
This whole endeavor–the website and the book–has been a labor of love. The website generates no revenues and the proceeds from the sale of the book barely covered the cost of another print run and shipping expenses. Frequently, I lost money. I have drawn enormous satisfaction from knowing that the website and the book are helping a lot of Mormons get the sex addiction problem straight in their heads and then find the wonderful solution in recovery. But I definitely haven’t become rich off of this enterprise.
In any event, I had to pull the book from all the bookstores. And that’s why the paperback edition is currently unavailable. It’s so weird. I put so much time and tears into that book and now two people I’ve never even met have managed to hijack it and hold it hostage. What a bitter disappointment.
I take a bit of solace in knowing that the book is still available digitally as a Kindle or Nook dowload. The copyrighted image fortunately wasn’t involved in the ebook. Sadly, however, the number of ebooks now selling is fairly modest. Ebooks won’t replace ink on paper anytime soon. Most people still prefer holding a book in their hands.
Still, it’s not the end of the world. All the content of the book is still available in the posts on the website. It’s just that you have to be plugged in in order to read it.
So that’s the deal. I thought you might like to know.