It’s been a weirdass up-and-down day. Good news, bad news…just weird. Some of it’s not mine to share–there was some nasty bad news in there from a friend–but among the bits I can:

I got my first quarter royalty statement for Nurk, which has earned out half the advance (this is doing GREAT for a book that was only out for the last month of said quarter!) Mind you, I had to call my buddy Deb and ask her what the heck all the various bits mean. For example–Fun Publishing Fact!–they hold a very large chunk of books back in what’s called "reserve against return" so that I’ve actually sold more copies than show up in the statement, but they don’t credit a big chunk of those until they’re sure that they won’t all come back from the bookstore as unsold. Generally it takes a couple of quarters before they loosen up and start creditting those royalties to the author. Go figure. Sort of annoying for the author, of course, but you can see why the publisher does it, although according to Deb, they frequently keep a stupidly large reserve compared to actual likelihood of returns. (I cannot speak to the truth of this, or whether it applies in my case–hardcover children’s books in some ways are a very different animal than historical romance paperback.)

Nurk’s sales, it should be said, are because you guys rock on toast, and I am VERY grateful. Thank you so much!

And then I sent the IRS a check for a lot of money. A LOT of money. Three zeros, I-could-live-for-that-for-a coupla-months kinda money. Possibly the time will come when this is small potatoes (and gee, wouldn’t that be nice?) but at the moment, this is a great deal of money, and furthermore, since I am a freelancer, it wasn’t removed from my paycheck before I ever saw it. No, this is money that I have met personally and was on a first name basis with. I was friends with this money. Now, I am likely overpaying this year, since I didn’t make THAT much, but I don’t want a repeat of the grisly surprise that hit me last spring. Even so, it was an eye-watering sum to have to send off into the abyss.

Then I got home to discover that the highly precocious daughter of a buddy of mine, who is the first actual child to read Dragonbreath, apparently devoured it and loved it. Since she’s also read Nurk, the fact that she enjoyed it is a great relief to me. And, even better, there was an e-mail from a parent who’s son’s teacher read Nurk aloud to his second grade class, and that made me very happy to hear.

So it’s been up and down and sideways today…

ETA: However, before I forget–Happy Solstice to all!

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