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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Cat anthology



I recently found out, quite by accident, that one of my cat stories was accepted in an anthology book. This was news to me because I hadn’t received an acceptance letter or a disclaimer.

Upon further investigation, it turned out that this was a story I submitted in 2015. When I asked for more information the publisher of the book was rather vague.

What struck me as odd was that I didn’t receive a free copy of the book. The person who published the book told me that, because this book was for the benefit of shelter cats, none of the contributors received anything. At most, contributors could get a free ebook.

This is my opinion is not good business. Yes, to supply every contributor with a real book would require an investment, but $100 investment is sure to pay off. After all, contributing writers would want to show off their work, thus generating sales.

In comparison, just to name a few …

When I contributed to Chicken Soup for the Soul I received 10 free copies.

When I contributed to Green Prints I received two free copies.

When I contributed to The Spirit of St. Louis I received one free copy

Don't get me wrong, it’s not the free copy I’m after, or money from sales, as an animal lover I’m quite willing to do my bit for the adoption of shelter animals, but if one is going to start a project to help them, be professional about it.

For starters, have the courtesy of notifying contributors that their story is accepted and supply them with at least one free book. That one free book might generate ten or more sales.

When I looked up the cat organization proceeds of the book would be donated to, they made no mention of the book. This struck me as odd too.

You would expect that if you were to receive money from a book sale, you would put that book on the homepage of your website along with a link where it could be purchased. You would also write a blog post about it, thanking the publisher and the writers for their effort. As any good marketer will tell you, sales depend on exposure.

Finally, I found it strange that the person lives in Las Vegas but promised the proceeds of her book to a cat organization in Florida. This makes no sense to me.

Once a year I act as a fundraiser for the Toronto Cat Rescue. I live in Toronto so I support this local cat shelter organization. I approach just about everyone to make a donation. Some of my friends, who are scattered in various parts of the world, are nice and send a donation, others decline stating that they support a local organization. Which is their good right. While I appreciate their support, I can understand why someone in Paris prefers to support Parisian animals vs. Toronto animals.

As it turned out, the publisher stated that she would remove my story as she didn’t want to do business with me. Business? What is her concept of business? We were not in business,
to begin with. Business is when money changes hands and that was, or wouldn’t be, the case. This was for charity and where it comes to charity it’s not about the individual, it's about the cause.

Forgive me for being skeptical, but when I hear the word "charity" I'm instantly suspicious. I've seen too much charity fraud to blindly trust anyone.