Taking My Words Back; Is This Ethically Wrong?

Posted: July 23, 2010 in Blog, Blogging, Books, Debates, Ethics, Journal, Morals, Poems, Poetry, Poetry Books, Thoughts, Writing
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Last year I started submitting my manuscript “My Descent into Madness” to publishers. I found most publishers do not take unsolicited manuscripts, and you had to sign with a literary agent to get into these publishing houses. I found a few who had open submissions for one month out of the year. I came across this publishing house called PublishAmerica. I sent my manuscript to them in November 2009; about three weeks later I received an e-mail saying they were interested in publishing my book. I was so happy and excited; my dream had finally come true. I quickly sent the contract to three different people to review. They came back with little objection. I signed the contract, and my book was released in December. My dream would soon turn into a nightmare.

“My Descent into Madness” was not only my first book, but it is extremely personal to me. My words were meant to be my final words to my loved ones. I started to write this book in August 2009. I was prescribed Chantix to try to quit smoking. The Chantix mixed with my MI caused me to go off the deep end. I finished the book in October, and my last poem “To My Children,” was dated February 8th 2010.

I first realized how crooked this publishing company was, when I received my first royalty statement. They were claiming I had sold zero copies. I knew this was incorrect, because I knew people on my Facebook had purchased copies. I complained to the company and all they said was I had to provide to them receipts of every sale. I filed a BBB complaint while I gathered the receipts, but stopped after the BBB complaint was settled. PublishAmerica offered me to go to Massachusetts to audit them. This was satisfactory for the BBB. I stopped all marketing of my book, and just gave up; accepting I had lost my work for the next seven years.

I was so down and out over this realization I was unable to write. The only thing I was able to do was my blog entries. I could not find the creativity to write my children’s book, and was completely blank with my poetry. I remember when my writers block left me, it was on Easter and we were up at my moms. This poem about the Easter Bunny molesting children just popped in my head, and poems have been filling my head ever since.

I was still upset about losing ‘My Descent into Madness.” I was not concerned about the money; I was more concerned about knowing how many people were reading my words. I came up with the idea to start giving the book away for free in exchange for a book review I could post on my website (e-mail me if you are interested in a copy.) I figured this was a great idea. I now knew how many people were reading my book, and this was a great way to get my name out there. I figured if I had good reviews for “My Descent,” It would generate sales for my future books. This has been working out well, except only three people out of the hundred or so people I have sent my book to have taken the time to send me a review. My plan is not working out to well right now.

I have finished my next three poetry books; “Yin,” “Yang,” and a political/theology poem book. I am very excited about this, all I need to do is get the books typed up, edited and sent out for publishing. I still feel sick about losing some of my poems from “My Descent.” I went back and read that book, and realized there were some horrible poems, but many good ones. This is my plan to take my words back. I am going to take those poems I wrote and re-do them with some minor to major changes. I think this is a great idea, but I worry the people who read “My Descent” will be put off by some similar poems.

The question I have for those who have read it; is this a bad idea? Would you be upset finding a few of the similar poems in my up and coming books? I also want to announce I am going to try to tackle my fears and start going to some open mic nights to read my poetry. I just hope I don’t freeze and look like a douche.

Have a great weekend.

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Comments
  1. dana says:

    that is a great idea. dont give up on your dreams just because someone else was wrong. you have seen how with just a few changes there is a new version of the bible. you can so do that with your book. now that you have more knowledge about the industry, i’m sure it will be much smoother.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Dana,

      I agree. I have tweeked some, and made something compleatly different, but some I just can’t change because of the impact they have on me emotionally. I just can’t alter them.

  2. Melissa says:

    Tim,

    I don’t think it is a bad idea. Look how many musicians put out a new album with songs from a previous one but with a different twist or a new flair. lots of poets have books with a compilation of different poems from different books. Good Idea.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Thanks sis. I was so sad thinking about losing my words. I did decide to add some of the poems in my next three chap books “Yin” “Yang” and “Politico” I need to check copyrights on that last one

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