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I just finished a book (Cartoon Charlie) about a 1930s classic animator who
was also a children's book writer. Charlie thought that all book publishers
would steal your teeth if they could. I have a slightly (just!) higher
opinion.
        Your publisher sounds as if he is a small volume guy. How many
books were in the first run? If less than 5,000, the margin of profit can
be so thin that small publishers cannot afford fulltime promotions people
and cannot spare the time themselves. Thus, things get lost or overlooked
or delayed -- through no "fault" of the publisher. And "academic" books
often don't become profitable until the second or third printing and take
time to publicize if they aren't done through big-time operations.
        Even more problematic are book distributors. My book was lost in a
distributor's computer for a month because the title and subtitle were too
long for the computer to access. Yours may have the same problem. When they
shortened my title, "The Life and Art of an Animation Pioneer" became "The
Life and Art of an Animal"!! Another month lost! I'm sure other writers
have better stories.
        So: flog it yourself. Try to sell out the first printing and then
move to a company that can offer you a better deal.

Gene Walz
University of Manitoba

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