Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I am an extreme fuck-up

The lead summer fiction title is a book of mine (one of the books we highlighted at BEA). We got a great PW review and promotions are set to go down next week.

Today, the production manager noticed a problem.

When the jacket mechanical was routed for me to approve, there was a 13-digit ISBN. The production editor and marketing manager have decided that going forward our books will only have 13-digit ISBNs on them. I checked all data like a good girl and approved.

When the color laser came from the printer, I checked it over to see that the changes I'd asked for had been made. They had. I didn't notice (because I'm a negligent asshole) that someone at the printer had decided that the 10-digit ISBN was missing and that that was an oversight, and that kind soul stuck in the 10-digit ISBN for us.

Only it wasn't THE 10-digit ISBN--it was the 13-digit ISBN without the initial 978.

So now we have 10,000 copies of our lead fiction title ready to ship and I've cost the company either $3,000 to sticker every copy of the book or $4,000 to reprint all the jackets. As Robert the Publisher would point out, $4,000 in overhead is equivalent to $40,000 in billable goods the sales manager will have to sell to make up for my mistake.

I think everyone is mad at me. I'm mad at me.


Space Alien said...

Did you talk to the guy at the printer?
It was technically their mistake, you just overlooked it - maybe they'll cover some of the charge?

moonrat said...

nah, since they have my approval on the laser. alas.

phill, my former boss, always told me that i needed to check these things at every single stage, that i could never trust anyone else, and that if i wasn't going to act responsibly i was going to get myself (and him) in huge shit. and look!! he was right. although he cleverly escaped the situation.