On December 21st I received a certified letter from the publishing company of one of my previous books. They informed me that a miscalculation had been made in my last royalty check and I needed to send them a correction check for $42,787.60 immediately. On responding via email and phone I received messages that no one would be in the office until Jan 2nd. No phone call, no “gee Dan we think we made a mistake,” just a certified letter demanding payment.
Not exactly the way I would recommend doing business, but then again the publishing world is full of dinosaurs and business midgets. But the point is this: I could mope and be in gloom and despair right during Christmas, or I could choose a different response. Actually, I shot a note to my attorney — and got an autoresponder from him as well that he would be back in the office on Jan 2nd. Oh well —
So I spent the time during the holidays brainstorming with my sales manager about some new applications for our 48 Days Seminar that we now think will add $2 million to our revenue this next year. That’s always been my response to financial challenges — just look at the opportunities to knock it out of the park in another area.
Tomorrow we are leaving for Colorado for a week — I won’t be available to respond to this outrageous letter. And trust me, it won’t in any way keep us from enjoying this time of fun with family. (Just to clarify, sales of that book title in question continue to be extremely strong – I probably have enough royalties due to compensate for their error — but being myopic thinkers they would rather balance their books quickly than to preserve what has been a very profitable relationship for them.) Please, if you’re doing business of any kind, try to use some common sense in dealing with your customers. The relationships you build with vendors, customers and neighbors will ultimately determine how successful you will be.