I’m one of those people who likes to give credit when someone goes out of their way to provide service and support when I have an issue. Today, I am glad to have posted the following on Twitter.
Thank you http://t.co/7xNmlbjHJz for help getting books in time for my first book signing. An amazing first time publishing experience.
— Timothy Bateson (@timothybatesona) October 9, 2014
http://t.co/7xNmlbjHJz is the short link that Twitter created for Laurel Highlands Publishing‘s website. They are the small publishing company that accepted my first short story submission, “Under a Hunter’s Moon“, for their “Moon Shadows” anthology. This book has been made available to online and physical bookstores through print-on-demand since October 1st 2014.
In the lead up to the release date I arranged a book signing event with Fireside Books, my local book store. Yesterday, I received a panicked call from my wife, while I was at work, letting me know that we had a glitch in the book ordering. The book store couldn’t be sure the books would be there in time for the event, and wanted to know if I would like to reschedule for another day. Because of the store owner’s prompt call, I was able to call him back, and make some changes to the format of the event. Just in case we did not receive the physical books, I would do a reading from my personal copy of the book, and we would allow readers to pre-order the books. Once the books arrived at the store, I would make another visit to sign them.
These new arrangements would achieve two things which might not have otherwise been possible. It would allow me to interact more with the potential readers, and it would allow the book store to order fewer initial copies. Since they are print on demand, any books not sold would be non-returnable, and a financial risk to the store.
Today, I called the publishers, and received the answering machine for my ordering contact there. Instead of leaving a potentially garbled message (since I hate answering machines), I followed up with an email, asking that they call me, and see what we can do about ordering some personal copies of the book. Within minutes, I had a call back, while my contact was on lunch, and we discussed the problem with getting the books in time for the signing event. Thanks to her experience of having issues getting books to events in the past, my contact was able to present some possible solutions, which left us with only one variable… Shipping through the Columbus Day holiday. With luck the books should be available at my local post office a couple of days before the event.
From start to finish, this whole experience has been amazing. The team over at Laurel Highlands Publishing have kept in constant communication with me, advised me of deadlines, worked with me on the edits, and gone out of their way to help with getting my event advertising together. Today was the first time I spoke to a member of their team personally, and I told her how much I appreciate everything the entire team has done for this first time author. When I am ready to move on getting my first full novel published, I am definitely going to look toward Laurel Highlands Publishing as a candidate for my publisher.