In 1986 I was approached by a commissioning editor from David & Charles to ask if I would like to write a book about cross stitch. I was so excited I could not sleep.
I was asked to create a synopsis and a sample chapter to send to her. I will not bore you rigid about my struggle to put pen to paper, but I was not even sure what the word synopsis actually meant.
The timing could not have been worse. Bill and I had just had our whoops-a-daisy baby, Louise, and just as I started to write the manuscript, the poor little thing would scream for hours at a time. She did not settle at night and that was when I started work. For the uninitiated, the work meant that I had to draw up a flatplan (what was one of those?), draw the charts for printing and write all the recipes and instructions for the projects. I can still feel the anxiety now all these years later, but I can remember the excitement when I received my first copies of the book and realised that a copy would be sent to the British Library for posterity!
The book world is both strange and exciting. I have had rather unpleasant experience recently which I will detail for you shortly. Generally, my experience has been very positive but there are a few moments over the past 30-odd years that have left a mark.
One moment that sticks in my mind is the phone call I received from my editor. I had completed some stitched pieces by working all through the night and had supplied them framed ready to be photographed for advance pages for the Frankfurt Book Fair. The phone call was to admit that she had left them on an underground train before photography and they were gone! There was nothing I could say…
Now to that recent experience. The book shown above left was published in 2009 for which I received payment as expected. Without reference or discussion with me, it is being reprinted in paperback with a new cover (above right) and without the agreed payment from the original publisher (Keo Media Ltd). The book is being distributed in the UK by Search Press who have done nothing wrong and did a wonderful job when the book was published the first time around. I would suggest checking your shelves before you consider this purchase as you may have the original print already and not realise.
Even with the support of the Society of Authors, I cannot afford to deal with this though the courts, so I am relying on my belief that in the end we do tend to get what we deserve and what goes around comes around.