Lesson Learned...Big Time

Monday, August 16, 2010
Why I’m a writer and not a banker:

From the memoirs of Clueless Linda.

Okay, so I received my first royalty payment a couple months back, right. Yay! Excited me, I went into Paypal where my money had been sent, and from there I electronically transferred the cash into my bank account. Then I checked my account to see if the deposit had been made.

It hadn’t.

So, I waited.

Checked a few days later.

Still no royalty money.

From this point, my wonderful husband who isn’t a spineless, meek coward like his dear wife and isn’t afraid to get a little stern and demand answers, spent an hour and a half on the phone with Paypal and the bank before everyone figured out Clueless Linda (yes, that’s me) put in a 3 instead of a 2 somewhere in her checking account number (or maybe it was the other way around—I can’t recall…I’m clueless here, remember!). So, my first royalty payment EVER was deposited into someone else’s account.

Paypal changed the account number and fixed things on their end, but the money they’d already deposited never did show up in my account. That awesome man I married made a couple more calls, until finally the bank told him they couldn’t take the money out of someone else’s account until that account owner came to them and told them the deposit isn’t theirs.
It wasn’t like this was millions of dollars or anything. Not even thousands. Okay, geesh, not even hundreds.

But HELLO…I’ve never worked so hard for a couple measly bucks in my entire life.

I started my book in 2002, pouring blood and sweat into the rough draft for months. Then rewrote, revised, and edited my heart out. Next, I chewed off all my fingernails as I waited for beta readers to go through it. Then, after bawling over their comments (actually, they weren’t that bad of comments, but I have a somewhat fragile ego), I busted my butt to fix all the mistakes.

After I don’t know how many edits, I started the submission process. Rejections, tears, rejections, tears, rejections…you get the point. Throw in more editing, and that’s how the next five years progressed. Until holy smokes, I sold my story.

Yes, euphoria.

But after selling, there was rewriting.

Next came icky promoting (picture me forcing myself to step out of my nice, shy comfort zone to become an irritating author that pushed her new book in everyone’s faces).

Then the story was released…only for reviews to start. Most reviews were better than I ever expected them to be. But, yeah, not everyone liked my tale, so more stress and tears followed.
From 2002 to 2010, eight long years of toiling, I received my first royalty check at last! Only to lose it because I typed in one wrong number.

Is that crazy or what?

I don’t care if it was only ONE FREAKING DOLLAR, I earned that check more than I’ve ever earned ANY check in my entire life.

So, all I’ve got to say is the person who got my precious money better enjoy every cent.

Seriously though, I have to shake my head and laugh about this. Otherwise, I’d break down and cry (again).

And there is my Lesson Learned for this month. Make sure ALL your numbers are right.


  1. Oh Linda! How completely frustrating!! I guess another lesson for me, is that I should let my husband take care of the deposits (since I'm numerically challenged too!) or do it the old fashioned way and go to the bank.

    I understand the excitement of getting paid for something you've worked SO hard over! Hope you'll get many more rewards in the days to come!

  2. So sorry! I'm with you, laugh or else I'd cry too. :O)

  3. AMEN SISTA! The tears are like drops of blood in this case.

    So thankful hubby is handling this and, er, might I suggest he helps our little darling with her math when the time comes? ;)


  4. 'We work hard for the money...so you'd better treat us right'...are you old enough to know that song, or am I showin' my age?

    My last royalty check paid for my postage when I mailed my niece's b-day cards:) But hey, I EARNED it! And not from the washing machine, heh heh heh...

  5. Oh, Linda! I'm sorry--that's sad! I hope that person finally comes forward and says that money's not theirs.

  6. Oh my Linda, I'm terrible with figure and my first royalty check is still a dream but wow what a hard lesson.
    Thanks for sharing. If it's any help your experience about all your edits and crits and reviews have egged me on to get stuck in on a re-write I have been putting off, so thanks for that. :-)
    A big ether hug over the vanishing royalty cheque.

  7. That stinks big time, Linda. I can imagine how upset you were and if you're like me, I have a hard time letting something like that go.

  8. Oh my goodness!!! I can't believe there isn't anything that can be done about it. I know if the bank had accidentally deposited money into my account, they could certainly figure out a way to take it back!

    I'm sorry this happened to you :(

  9. It ended up even worse. When I finally added my correct bank account info to Paypal, they made that my primary pay source. So, all the things we paid for through them, started to take money from this account instead of from our credit card. And this account was only open to hold my royalty money. Since there was no royalty money in it, we recieved a couple of overdraft fees before we figured out what was going on. The ironic part: My royalties actually would've covered the amount that had been charged.

    So, instead of getting any money for my first sale, I ended up paying (my worst fear). Sigh.

    Live and learn.

  10. Oh, my goodness!!! You have my deepest sympathy. Darn it. Well, you have earned some good Karma. So hopefully it will come your way soon. (((hugs)))

  11. So freaking sorry for your bad luck. It'll be months before my first WRP royalty check hits Pay Pal, but I've had an account with them for years so I don't "expect" any problems transferring it to my bank account since it's always worked in other instances.