WotC beancounter to Paul: Hey, congrats on the upcoming release of The Erevis Cale Trilogy Omnibus.
Paul: Thank you. I’m really pleased with it. I think it’s a great place for new readers to start the Cale stories, and for longtime readers to get the stories in a better, longer lasting format. Plus it has a couple extra short stories included, and–
WotC beancounter: Based on the sales figures of other omnibuses in the current marketplace, we think it’ll sell X copies.
WotC beancounter: X.
Me: But my novels usually sell fifteen times that amount. Is it possible that you are on crack, or have otherwise partaken of a narcotic?
WotC beancounter: No. Drug use is prohibited by corporate policy and we take corporate policies very seriously here.
Me: That was a joke.
WotC beancounter: Joking is also prohibited by corporate policy, Mr. Kemp. Besides, an omnibus is different from your normal novels.
Me: I agree. It’s better! See the cover? See the trade paperback size? See the very reasonable price? See the extra content in the form of the two additional short stories?
WotC beancounter: ?
Me: Did you hear me?
WotC beancounter: Mr. Kemp, sales of trade paperback omnibuses in this economy are sluggish. We’re sticking with X.
Me: You don’t know my readers.
WotC beancounter: We think we do.
Me: You also thought Hecatomb was a good idea.
WotC beancounter: What? Hecatomb simply lacked a synergistic connection to the appropriate demographic, but the concept was directionally correct. Macroeconomic factors–
Me: Please shut up now. Listen, if you did know my readers, you’d know they despise you and they like me and my writing. Erevis Cale. Remember him? That guy?
WotC beancounter: ?
Me: Forget it. Listen, when the Omnibus goes back to reprint after a week, and then another reprint after that, I will mock you incessantly via email. Mock you until you cry.
WotC beancounter: That would be fine, I suppose, provided the email doesn’t contain any profanity. Profanity is strictly prohibited by corporate policy and–
Me: Suck it, beancounter!
WotC beancounter: I believe “suck” may also run afoul of the policy.
The foregoing was paraphrased from an actual phone call. If you’d like to help me make a beancounter cry, you can do so by ordering The Erevis Cale Trilogy Omnibus.
I would just note that every time a beancounter cries, an angel gets its wings.