I would call this a happyish ending, but the mess I reported yesterday isn't quite yet at an end. Still, there is very good news. I have not been privy to all the communications between my agent and Penguin, but this morning I received two e-mails from my editor. The first included the following very welcome bit of news:
Yes, we're absolutely still doing all of Caitlin's titles in mass market, which we are hoping can have a good long shelf life. Here is the schedule we have worked out (not written in stone, but I see no reason why it should change):
THRESHOLD: January '07
LOW RED MOON: August '07
MURDER OF ANGELS: December '07
What this means is that the two novels that were remaindered in February will be back in print and back in bookshops fairly soon, in new and corrected paperback editions which will cost less than the original trade paperbacks ($6.50 vs. $14.00). This is a very, very good thing, for which I am extremely grateful (to whatever dark and fickle goddess manages the dodgy affairs of midlist fantasy writers). The two novels I spent most of my waking time between November '01 and November '03 writing will be available to readers again, along with Threshold and Daughter of Hounds. So, as regards keeping the books in print, all is well for now. I have asked Merrilee to get this in writing, more official and legally binding writing than an e-mail, but it's a big step in the right direction, and I am enormously relieved.
Things aren't quite so good regarding the copies of Low Red Moon and Murder of Angels which were remaindered. Another check of Penguin's warehouses revealed that yes, my books have all been shipped out to discount book dealers. But we're still working on this problem, and there is still some hope. All in all, the Fiasco has improved dramatically since this time last night. I have almost ceased wishing to slam my head in doors. We shall see. Oh, the copies of the contract arrived this a.m. from NYC, and, for those with curiosity in such arcane matters, this is the specific bit which was violated when I was not informed of the remaindering:
24.(a)...The Publisher may dispose of any or all copies of the terminated Book(s) remaining on hand as it deems best, subject to the payment of royalties as provided. However, for a period of thirty (30) days after termination the Author shall have the right to purchase remaining stock at the estimated remainder price plus frieght.
There can be no dispute that, in this regard, Penguin is in violation of the contract, and it remains to be seen how that problem will be resolved. But, as I've said, the books will remain in print — that is, will be coming back into print — as originally planned. And I would like to here thank Merrilee publicly for handling this mess while on vacation with her family.
Also, please note that the Pandemonium signing/reading has been canceled. Again, my apologies to anyone who was planning to attend, and my thanks to Tyler and Ruth for being so helpful and understanding through it all.
I'd have really rather written a nice long entry of what Spooky and I did today, as it was somewhat more interesting and pleasant than broken contracts and remaindered novels. But I think it'll have to wait for the morning. I'm tired. No, I'm whatever comes after tired, but well before sleep. A friend has loaned us the use of a very fine, but somewhat austere, cottage near Greenhill, not far from the beach. What it makes up for in charm and roominess and being free, it entirely lacks in air conditioning. And if you've been keeping up with the weather, you'll know that Rhode Island is (hopefully) at the tail-end of a three-day heatwave. Yesterday, the temp reached 100F up in Providence (105F heat index), and the humidity and dew point have been hellish. So, yes, tired and sweaty and wishing for cooler weather. I have a story to write, and it's been way too hot (and stressful) to think, much less write.
Oh, I haven't felt like sticking in links for everything, last night or tonight, but here are the links to order the mmp of Threshold and the tpb of Daughter of Hounds from Amazon.com, which I hope you will be so kind and interested as to do. Okay, now I'm going away to sweat on Spooky for a while...