I just learned that Adams Media, which has published five Everything Guides under my byline, has decided not to publish the sixth Everything Guide that the company commissioned me to write more than a year ago. It’s the second edition of the company’s Everything Travel Guide to Las Vegas. It’s written, it’s proofread, and they paid me in full for what my editor called a job well done. They just completely shut down the travel-book division of the Everything Guide series in the wake of the recession, before my book hit the printing press, figuring that the whole world has simply stopped traveling for leisure to places like Las Vegas.
Since the publisher owns all rights to the content, I can’t do anything with my work, even if they choose to shelve it forever. My only hope of daylight is apparently an eBook, should they become profitable for the company in the future.
What an odd feeling. I’m experiencing a mix of sadness and amazement. It just never occurred to me that a publisher would hire me to write a book, compliment me on the final draft, send me a check for full payment, and then not bother to print the words. I’m a bit stunned.
And here I thought I was about to hit the jackpot with another successful title. I guess this goes to show that the publishing business these days is a lot more like Las Vegas than I realized. There’s nothing at all like a sure bet.