“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Everyman's Marx: the ripoff



Three years ago, I was contacted out of the blue by  Mark Batty Publishers to do a small book on Marx.  It was part of something called the Everyman series. I thought that this was a terrific idea, although I had never heard of the series or of Mark Batty. So I signed a contract that specified my schedule – I was to do the book in two months time – and that guaranteed me a thousand dollar advance when I completed the book and two thousand dollars when it was published, plus royalty rights. If they didn’t publish it I was to get a spike reward of one thousand dollars.

Well, I did at least get the advance. I have no hope that I will get the kill fee, any more than I have hope that Mark Batty, or his associate, Buzz Poole, will answer my emails. I suppose the fact that this guy calls himself "Buzz" should have been a warning. The one time I talked to Mark Batty, the man told me about horse racing. That should have been another warning. I have never dealt with a gambler and not been ripped off.  Anyway,  I finished the book and sent it off to the black hole that is Mark Batty Publishers. My book designer, Jake Davis, finally sent me a letter yesterday explaining that Mark Batty is a curious kind of fraud – it seems to be more incompetent than dishonesty driven. Or rather, its incompetence drives its dishonesty.

Now, I don’t know whether this was an entirely bad experience, even though I see my name all over the Net attached to a book that has not appeared, and will apparently never appear. This, in one way, makes me look like a fool. But, in another way, I am a fool, no bones about it.

I do have a pdf of a galley of the book. I’ll send it off free to anyone who asks. My email is rgathman@netzero.net.



6 comments:

N Pepperell said...

Very sorry to hear this Roger - I've kept looking to see if the book has appeared, and had been assuming it was just swallowed by those very common delays that affect publishing... Any chances of submitting elsewhere?

Emily said...

Fuck them all. I do remember your Marx book and a friend we have in common reading passages from the manuscript aloud to me that she thought were great and smiling and shaking her head in appreciation.

Roger Gathman said...

Emily I am gonna send you a pdf. Yeah, it was to be dedicated to that friend,

Anonymous said...

New to publishing? Sounds like it. The net is filled with thousands of books that will never see the light of day. Sales forces force that shit for pre-ordering.

Take them to small claims if you're really upset.

Otherwise you just sound like a bitchy child.

JI LEE said...

Scum. The Battys promised me huge sales and when my book was published guess what? I haven't seen a dime off them. Theyve scammed every author they ever dealt with. Somebody needs to shut them down.

Roger Gathman said...

Anonymous, a bitchy whiny child vs. a servile, uncomplaining adult? I'd chose the child every time. You do what you can do to fuck over those who fuck you over, within the limits of your sense that the world is big and humans are fallible.
You, on the other hand, with the small claims court idea, exemplify the current American attitude, which is either suck it up or go to the cops and hope that it will all be taken care of on the side - don't wanna mess up your credit record or your chain of recommendation letters by making a little peep! After all, the boss might object.
So, screw that. And you can take your attitude and stuff it up your asshole.