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.

2 comments:

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.