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Cow Belle: Caution, writers

Today, I learned that my “publishing company” has done another “odd thing.”

The mailman brought me a package from my cousin that contained three of my books she had bought on line. She knew I didn’t have very many of those two, so she bought me two of “Older Than Dirt” and one of “Husband and Other Humorous Things.”

One of the books was wrapped in plastic and had a little sticker on it that stated “Autographed Edition,” and, on one of the first pages, there was my name written by someone else! 

I did send an email complaining. But reading the other authors who have complained, I may just have a police officer at my door demanding me not to harass the publishing company. That is what happened to that writer who complained. Maybe I should be worried. Maybe I should not have complained. So if you hear that Ina Murray has been arrested, that is what it’s all about.

My contract says that twice a year they will send royalties on the books sold. Now, twice a year, I get a notice stating that “since your books have not had any sales in the past six months, no royalties are forthcoming.”

These three books still appear on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles, complete with cover picture, high prices, and on the side bar it states how many new ones they have on hand, and how many used ones. How do they get the used books if they haven’t sold any?

If you are in the process of writing a book, and hope to have it published, please don’t be naïve like I was. I was so eager to have my first book “Older Than Dirt, With Notes From an Old Cow Belle” published that I grabbed the first one I found on line that didn’t charge an arm and a leg. To protect myself, I will not name it.

I’m not sorry that I did it since I couldn’t afford up to a thousand dollars to have it done. But, little by little, I learned that it wasn’t so very inexpensive after all, and the company wasn’t above reproach.

Having the book done was exciting and satisfactory, and they very generously (?) provided me with three free copies. Then, it was up to me to buy whatever books I wanted, at a small discount.

Now they send regular e mails asking me if I want to buy back my book rights for about $100 each, or stay with them if I choose.

There is a blog about this company where people can air their grievances and they are many. But to e mail a complaint to them is fruitless.

It is what it is. But, before you choose a publisher, please call me so as to avoid a scam. Or have it done locally. It might be expensive, too, but you also get finished books without ordering them at an additional cost.

By Ina Murry

From an Old Cowbelle