Out in the cold…

December 22, 2010

Oh, I know it sounds a bit dramatic.

I have spent the last few weeks processing something, something pretty big. Simply put, I cannot use the images I had commissioned for Arithmetic Village past September 2011.


Well, namely I signed a ridiculous contract with a re-use clause. I thought that this clause was  to pace out money to the illustrator. But unfortunately it was also an “I’ll not renew because you did not grant permission on your behalf to sign a contract in a foreign language” clause as well.

This new situation has derailed a pending deal for ebooks, and has brought and unexpected twist and chapter in the Arithmetic Village story.

Some issues for reflection…

1. Why did I blatantly ignore well-meaning advice with this issue?

My friend, whose sister does Bubble Dome. had a terrible experience with an illustrator and rights to her reading program. She now only hires students who will give her full copyright. I thought this was terrible. Really shocking, in fact! I believe strongly that artists should get paid for their work and that fine art helps sell products. Another mentor, whose wife is a very successful artist, suggested that I be very careful with going into a contract with rights to an illustrator. I ignored everyone.

2. I fall in love easily, usually just after I say I can go at things alone. I already illustrated Arithmetic Village. I had been using little stick figure mock ups for a year before I decided stop querying and start self publishing. Then I panicked and hired an illustrator. I fell in love with the first interpretations to come along. I am very easily pleased.

3. I tend to let other people drive. Not just in real life with real cars. But with everything. When the characters started deviating from  the preliminary sketches, I went along with it. When Rover appeared on the page an entirely different breed, I said nothing. When I wanted to make some changes here and there, I held my tongue, especially with the covers… see #4

4. I am insanely impatient. I did not make lots of changes because of a self-imposed pressure of time.

As I evaluate my part in co-creating this experience, I am learning many lessons, about publishing and about myself. Yes, sharing rights is the nice thing to do, but it brings up obvious complications.

The one thing for certain is Arithmetic Village is more than images or lesson plans or board games or ebooks. It is a whole new way to experience math. It is bigger than just one person, and even though I am now out in the cold, I look forward to the change of seasons …

7 Responses to “Out in the cold…”

  1. Rosie Says:

    PS don’t forget the tables.

  2. Kimberly, that stinks!

    And yet, I like you even more now because your list is mine. I am this person — impatient, lets others make big decisions, reject sound advice, fall in love with ideas and people before I really get to know them! Hopefully, we’ll both learn to make slight changes to what makes us interesting and loveable! Wish you the best in this debacle.

  3. #5 – Am very hard on myself…

    No doubt we are all responsible, in part, for every situation in which we find ourselves – however, we must acknowledge a ratio of sorts. You were scrupulously fair and your illustrator, well she was fair too – until she became petulant. Not much you could have done about her character, Kim. Let’s say the ratio of co-creation is around 9:1 🙂 Can’t wait to see the new look – Woo hoo!!

  4. i’m so sorry to hear of the situation bless you for your vision much strength during this trial

  5. kimberlymoore Says:

    All is well, really. I love new beginnings and windy roads. Much more interesting than boring, soul-less highways. I’m enjoying the journey 🙂

  6. Jacinda Says:

    It’s tricky isn’t it. I like to work in a way which feels fair and tight also but it often brings unexpected “gifts” when others don’t work with the same values as I do. I’m loving your open and appreciative approach. strength to you.

  7. YIKES. I have been facing some thorny issues myself with a program that is due out in March. Your list is my list and I am taking heed. I am sorry about this whole thing. I always wish we could all see things the same as I love peace. That always gets me in trouble because of course that isn’t how the world works. Thanks for your openness. I believe it will be of great help to me!

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