THE REAL NAPOLEON
I very much regret to say that my book will not now be published by The History Press here in England and I shall explain why. Last December I sent them the text and illustrations. They agreed to publish the book in January 2012 within the year. I then heard absolutely nothing for five months. When they got in touch they had 'lost' most of the illustrations I had sent them previously and I had to send them yet again. I sensed then that something was not quite right with them.
But what really surprised me was when they added an Appendix to my book without my permission and without even consulting me about it. They accepted my book for publication on its own merits and then started claiming that it would be better if an Appendix from another of their publications was stuck on the end claiming that Napoleon died of cancer because some Swiss doctor claimed he could tell this by measuring how baggy Napoleon's trousers were that he wore on Saint Helena.
This was an ridiculous out-of-date theory that Jean-Claude Damamme reduced to tatters on the INS website back in 2008. My book was written to honour the memory of Ben Weider who spent 50 years proving that Napoleon had been poisoned. Despite having accepted my book The History Press then told me that none of their team believed that Napoleon had been poisoned. It was thus very obvious that they had an agenda of their own. When I said I was very unhappy with their 'Appendix' they told me they wanted me to wrote a reply to it! In other words, many hours of work without a penny being offered for my trouble. As it is I wasn't due to get a cent from them before March 31st 2013!
Their arrogance and lack of common courtesy beggered belief. They were clearly in breach of contract as 'The Work' stipulated in the contract was my 74,000 book - without their risible and unscholarly Appendix. I also discovered when they finally sent me the Proofs - after eight months - that they had cut over 3,000 words from my book, again without consultation and certainly without my permission. Their butchering of my text saw whole sentences and paragraphs in favour of Napoleon eviscerated or expunged - completely changing the character of my book, a book that was written in favour of the Emperor in reply to dozens that told lies or made pathetically one-sided and negative assertions against him.
I told them I would not allow them to publish their version of MY book and demanded that they reinstate whole chunks of text they had so cavalierly 'removed'. After over six weeks (promptness is certainly not a virtue that The History Press subscribe to) I finally received today a terse reply wishing me luck with another publisher. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say. I stopped selling The Real Napoleon on Amazon Kindle for several months in the expectation they would publish my book so I have actually lost money due to the overmighty self-opinion of their editorial team.
It would have been a dishonour to Ben Weider's memory to allow tripe to be added to my work even as an 'Appendix'. Naturally, it is a very big disappointment and I feel completely duped and grievously let down by The History Press who presumed I would agree to anything being published as if I was bent on a personal ego-trip of my own. There is such a thing as honour - something they know nothing about.
THE REAL NAPOLEON will soon be back on sale on Amazon Kindle. It is already available - the whole work that The History Press tried to censor - on Smashwords. I shall also put it on Scribd.com and YouScribe as soon as possible.
I am very sorry to disappoint the dozens of people who have so kindly told me they were looking forward to buying a copy of my book. Naturally, I shall try with a more reputable publisher in the near future.