Good grief! I finished this book back in April. Luckily, I did a pre-release publication run with a different publisher. The 20 of you that got books from that run were the lucky ones!
My 'regular' publisher merged with another company this past year and I have suffered nothing but heartache with these new folks. So much so that I refuse to name their company, and did not include their name as publisher on my publication page.
I don't know if it's a matter of people who just don't understand the oldfashioned principles of attending to their customers or who don't care about customer service or quality of the end-product. I refused to accept their shoddy results when they sent me the proof copy.
The cover had a PINK cast to it. It made me ill. Maybe it wouldn't bother some people but it did bother me. The book cover was supposed to reflect a brown photo holder and a brown sepia image as you would have in your own collection of old photos. This is what it looked like. You can see my original cover in the 2 sides, and then a scan of the pinkish covers superimposed in the middle.
The interior of the book had a type of cream paper that looked as if it were very old, and the images did not have sharp focus. I spoke to a company representative and she told me "we haven't changed the cream paper." Well, I have a copy of my former student Fumio Toya's book "Musashi Battles the Atomic Assassin" and I beg to differ. His cream page almost matches the page from my first publication run with the other publisher. I told them to change it to their black and white page. It won't look as old-fashioned as I had hoped, but the idea was that the photos were the "stars" of this book and deserved to be seen. The photos reflect hundreds of hours of work on my part.
So you see, dear audience, that being an author doesn't stop when you finish the book. You still have to work to ensure that a decent book reaches the hands of you dear readers!
Because of this delay, it looks like I will get my new proof at the end of June and the book will be available from me and amazon.com in mid-July 2010. Thanks for your patience!
July 1 - will the delays never end. I got my revised Proof copy and the cover was corrected (at least it's better) but the inside images were faded. This book is loaded with photos - it should be a photo album that each reader can have forever - not a shabby photcopy! So I have rejected the proof. Here's the sample that I sent back to them as to why the image quality was unacceptable.