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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

‘Behind the Screen: The Princess Bride’: mostly dead is a little alive

So, among the many shitty things I was dealing with this past holiday weekend was the final death knell for the Emmis version of my book about The Princess Bride. You may recall that I wrote about its sudden and totally unexpected demise a few months back — in the interim, though, Amazon has been taking preorders on the book, the bookselling world continuing to move at a snail’s pace when it comes to updating information about what books are, in fact, about to be published. And there must have been a good few preorders, because the ranking — which started above 1,000,000 — reached into the 40,000s at one point.

I preordered the book myself after Emmis killed it, knowing that I would never be charged for it or receive a copy, just because I wanted to know what would happen when Amazon finally got word that the project was, at least from Emmis’s perspective, cancelled. And that moment came on Friday, when I received this email from Amazon:

Hello from Amazon.com.

We are sorry to report that the release of the following item has been cancelled:

MaryAnn Johanson “Behind the Screen: The Princess Bride (Behind the Screen)”

Though we had expected to be able to send this item to you, we’ve since found that it will not be released after all. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience we have caused you.

We have cancelled this item from your order.

Your credit card will NOT BE CHARGED for this item because you only
pay for items when we ship them to you.

Your order is now closed.

Well, shit.

I’m working on cleaning up the manuscript a bit, and it’ll be published as print-on-demand title through Lulu.com… and it will eventually be available again through Amazon, after an interminable wait of 6 to 8 weeks for Amazon’s database to be updated. It kills me to think of all those preorders, and no way to get in touch with those buyers…

Anyway, the title will change — even if Emmis doesn’t have a trademark on “Behind the Screen” (it was meant to be a series of books about cinema), I want the stink of it off me. I’m thinking of calling it, perhaps, As We Wish: Why We Love ‘The Princess Bride’.

Stay tuned. I’ll be sure to let you all know when the book is ready to purchase. Should be sometime in June.

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  1. Damn, that sucks. Lulu is a rapefest.

  2. Lulu is a WHAT?

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