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Forty Dead Men
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Royalties

April 30th, 2009

Got my annual royalty check today.

Sigh.

I did not officially have a book come out in 2008. The Sky Took Him was officially published in January of 2009, but it was actually available for purchase in December of 2008, so I did make a little bit of money on it. And I do mean a little bit. I did, however, receive a larger advance on Sky than on the previous three books, and the book did cover the advance in the first month. So that’s good.

For those of you who are not familiar with how this works, here’s a little explanation : When a manuscript is accepted for publication, many publishers, including mine, send you a check for half the advance. When the book is actually delivered to the booksellers, you get the other half of the advance. The book has to make back however much money they gave you for the advance before you get any more royalty money. An author usually makes 8% to 12% of the sales price of the book in royalties. So if the book sells for $25, the author gets two to three dollars in royalties. And that’s how that works. Unless you’re Lee Child, don’t expect to get rich as a novelist.

Tuesday, I went to Scottsdale to see my friend and fellow Poisoned Pen author Jon Talton speak about his latest book, The Pain Nurse. I’ve been looking forward to this book since I heard about it several months ago, and can’t wait to read it. Jon is a wonderful author, a newspaper and internet columnist, and something of an agent provocateur. We did an event or two together when he lived in Phoenix, but he moved to Seattle last year, and is now the economics columnist for the Seattle Times. Jon is anything but a soothing voice, and every time I read his columns – and books, too, for that matter – I’m torn between taking to the street with a torch and a pitchfork, and wanting to throw myself off the nearest bridge. Jon’s web addresses are http://jontalton.com, (books) and http://roguecolumnist.typepad.com

And now for the periodic medical update on Don – We’ve gotten the surgery clearances from the cardiologist and the GP (better known these days as the Primary Care Physician). In fact we just saw the PCP yesterday morning, who said he’d fax his permission right away. By the time we got home, there was a message on the machine from the scheduler saying that the surgery is set for 11:45 a.m. on June 1 at Banner Desert Hospital. We’ve been told he’ll be in the hospital between three days and a week. Don is still supposed to get his tubes changed out shortly, (an outpatient procedure) but we haven’t been notified about that yet.

We’re coming to the end of our home health-care nurses. Only one more visit scheduled for next Tuesday. They will have been changing the dressings on Don’s back piercings for sixteen weeks by the time the enrollment period is over. They’ve also been monitoring his progress, which has been excellent. So, as of her last visit, the primary nurse started teaching me to change his dressings and clean the wounds. I can do it without much problem, but let me assure you that I don’t enjoy it. I fear doing something wrong. There are a couple of other reasons, but I shan’t go into detail. The nurse told us that after the surgery, he may very well be re-certified for eight more weeks of home care.

So, we have a month before they start digging around inside Don with little knives and spoons trying to get those rocks out of him. Plenty of time to visualize, try alternative remedies, and pray for a miracle.

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