Erasing My Awful Book From The History of the Internet



okay you can tell it's a special occasion because I've decided to break the lavell ear mic out I think that works today is a very special occasion for a couple of reasons number one for the first time I have received more packages in the mail than my wife but also mainly because of these three packages it's been a year-long journey to get a hold of these three packages what's inside of each of them stay tuned that's a pretty good promo right I'll probably just like add a cool title card after that in 2009 I entered a local fiction writing contest in Springfield Missouri long story short I won one of the big prizes was the opportunity to have some of my writing put into print through a sort of low-key independent Press by the name of missing Mozart publishing it was a small company of about three guys which essentially functioned as a vanity press selling local authors works to neighborhood bookstores they were interested in selling a young adult series and asked if I'd be willing to put a story together when you're 19 year old wannabe writer you jump in any opportunity that presents itself so I gladly hopped on board fast forward eight or nine months and I had finished the first three books of a plan twenty one book series called fallen angels it was a story I had been kicking around for a few years about a juvenile delinquent named Charlie Wade who skips probation and moves to a small town in Kentucky where he becomes a sort of teenage vigilante looking for redemption from his early life of sin these weren't Stephen King novels mind you they were about 150 pages each the size of your average animorphs book and targeted toward essentially the same demographic I was absolutely positively stoked that I at 19 at my own published book series I could call myself a professional author friends and family could walk into the local book store go to the in section and young adult fiction and find my book I even got a cheeky little royalty check in the mail each month depending on how many people purchased a copy so the first installment was released sometime in October of that year and I was on cloud nine the whole time but folks I'm here to tell you it's a cutthroat industry locally written young adult fiction because by the next year plans for the second installments release were halted I was told that the little independent publishing company I had signed with was going through restructuring and that they'd know more about the future of fallen angels later that year when later that year rolled around I was basically informed that the company had broken up and that was that how quickly one's dreams bloom how quickly with us I decided to write the whole experience off and moved on to what felt like they in better things however the corpse of that experience still remained on the worldwide web and each year it rotted just a little bit more search my name on Google and it was probably the very first thing that popped up and this was starting to become a problem later on of course I amended that with an equally embarrassing motion picture but as the years were ticking by it looked like the ghosts of fallen angels would haunt my internet presence forever all right there's the back story now let's get to the good stuff as many of you know about a year ago this YouTube channel of mine spontaneously blew up and suddenly I was dealing with the very real possibility that hundreds of thousands of people might start performing those hypothetical Google searches and I was scared even unto death mostly I was just embarrassed you know by chance I decided to reread the back cover of one of the copies of fallen angels that I still owned and it touched off an ominous sense of oh please nobody read this nobody read this nobody read this the thing is I wrote it when I was a teenager and nothing anybody writes as a teenager is actually good it's all cringe-worthy and it didn't seem fair that my cringe-worthy writing would follow me around for the rest of my life I mean most people keep their awkward cringy teenage writings under an alias on fan fiction forums or live journals or just a file on their laptop something that can be easily erased and purged from the pages of history but my embarrassing teenage writing was forever engraved and print forever stored in the memory of the Internet and there was no escaping it my greatest fear was that somebody who watched me on YouTube would search my name find the book order it then posted online for anybody and everybody to read and laugh at see the publishing company might have folded but the book itself was still available for online purchase and I I needed to change that so I would set out to do the impossible I would erase my awful young adult book from the internet itself so the book was still available in both print and kindle format which meant that the publishing company still existed at least on paper purchasing a copy I knew would send money to someone somewhere I didn't know to whom and I needed to find out so the first thing I did was order a copy and check the online receipt Amazon told me that the money went to missing Mozart publishing so this confirmed my suspicions that although they were out of business whatever mechanism the company had used to deliver its titles was evidently still up and running if I wanted to stop said mechanism I would need to get in touch with whatever remained of the company but the problem was I couldn't remember any of their names I know what you're thinking you're kidding me right when I just check your email records well to explain very quickly back in 2009 I was using a free email address from a provider called inbox com they ceased offering that free service a couple of years later and so I switched to Gmail but as a result of that switch my inbox calm account became inactive and after 90 days of inactivity the company evidently has a policy to disable and then deactivate delinquent addresses so my old email account was gone and there was no way to resurrect it this meant that all my records from 2009 and before were lost so I got desperate I ended up going to a seedy Russian email collective online where the contents of old hacked accounts were emptied out for anybody to look through but evidently my old emails hadn't ever been compromised even after combing through the more shady corners of the web I couldn't get a hold of it you might think well why not just check your old computer from back then but I had gotten rid of it I've tried to look up the old contest that I participated in thinking maybe I could get their names that way but no record of it existed online I even looked through several months of archived newspaper articles from that year to see if any of the contest information was still around and it wasn't so I resorted to of all things Facebook and after a long series of trial and error I managed to track down one guy who worked at the publishing company he requested anonymity for this video so we'll call him Tim I contacted Tim and brought him up to speed on what I was trying to do and he was conciliatory to my plight I feel bad actually we were three creative writing teachers trying to get something cool going but none of us really knew what we were doing the idea was that we would hire a bunch of student writers to author these books and we would handle all the logistical and marketing stuff were a part of the profits we have big plans to mind the creativity found in students in Springfield and then possibly grow the idea over time to something on a global scale after doing a couple of trial runs including your book we realized we were not cut out for the marketing responsibilities and the whole thing fell apart name redacted set up the company online but I think I was the last person working on the project before scrapping it I just didn't have the time after my daughter was born I found out through visiting with him for a little while that missing Mozart publishing used a printing service called Lightning Source to handle the distribution of their books that company still exists and it helps independent publishers to get their books into physical stores and online retailers like amazon.com so my next stop was to contact them to see if I could stop application of the title after several weeks of calls and emails I was informed by the company that the only way to stop publication of the book would be for the account manager of missing Mozart publishing to either do so manually through their system or for the account manager of missing Mozart publishing to close their account with lightning source which sent me back to Tim I asked if he'd be willing to do so for me and his reply was well you have no idea what the passwords are the Lightning Source account is I didn't even set it up name redacted so I asked could you ask name redacted and he told me name redacted died from cancer several years ago I have no idea how to remedy this situation I'm sorry so I was back to square one but I wasn't going to give up fear of embarrassment is a powerful tool and at every bump in the road that I hit the idea of the hypothetical video of someone reading this awful piece of prose for the entertainment of the internet and my expense propelled me to keep looking for ways to figure this whole mess out I went back to Lightning Source and I did my best to explain the situation in the end they agreed to look into deleting the dormant account if an owner could provide a certain documentation code I went back to Tim I asked him if he could do me a solid and find that documentation code he said he'd look into it after two months of total radio silence I decided to give him a few friendly nudges he eventually resurfaced sending me a message containing the code and nothing else I took that code and went back to Lightning Source requesting that the dormant account be closed a liking source rep told me that the code was good but for them to delete the account I needed to show that I was an owner which obviously I wasn't I asked the rep if Tim counted as an owner and she said yes so either I needed Tim to contact her and authorize the closure or I needed to show that I was an owner of the account as well so I went back to Tim and by this time Tim was pretty much done I'm sorry to keep leaving you hanging like this but I really just don't have the time to look into any of this I managed to find the code luckily but I don't think I can do anything else about this I'm technically the owner of the company yes but I have no idea how to prove it to the Lightning's horse people and then somehow handle the operation of the account even after doing so so I was at a crossroads we had everything that we needed but Tim just had too many other responsibilities to take the time to go the extra mile I needed an owner that would be dedicated enough to follow this whole thing through and at that point I had an idea what if I just became the owner and took care of the rest and he said and I said what if I just buy the company from you for $1 and he said about my work lol so I did I drew up a cheque and everything a bill of sale was produced and before I knew it I had paperwork verifying me as the new owner and CEO of missing Mozart publishing after sending them that paperwork and the documentation code I was finally able to open the account to me and I promptly deleted it that pulled fallen angels from their print-on-demand service and within moments the book was suddenly listed as out of print on Amazon's website but I was left with one final problem there were used copies of the book that were still out there in circulation for sale courtesy of amazon.com as the owner of the title I could pull the digital and print on demand copies from online shelves but used copies they weren't in my jurisdiction a handful of copies of fallen angels were still out there and I needed to get ahold of them so I did the only thing left I could do i stimulated the used book economy by purchasing each and every one of them ironically now that the book was out of print the used copies suddenly became more valuable the price jacked up ridiculously when going for quadrupled the original store price that's ridiculous but I had to do it so I bit the bullet place the owner anyway and all of that brings us back here let's take a look shall we oh yeah oh this is a blast from the past so here they are folks in physical form like potential blackmailed each copy will now remain locked in a vault never to be seen or read by anybody ever let this be a lesson kids don't attach your name to anything until you're well into adulthood look at me look at all I had to do my desire to keep an embarrassing old story that I wrote from the eyeballs of the internet led me on a year-long cover-up quest it led me to spend more money than I had ever earned from its publication just to take it out of circulation it led me to now be the reluctant owner and CEO of an independent publishing company and the greatest part of it all is this are there more copies of this book out there maybe I don't know but even if there are I'm done I'm not spending another cent to find out and I'm not wasting another moment worrying about it if somebody tracks it down whatever if you find it post it read it I don't care you're not gonna like it so what waste your own time and money on it I'm over it I was young I was naive and is it embarrassing sure but I'll get over it don't worry but to wrap up got another problem see this I own this I guess what am I even supposed to do with it I don't know you guys got any ideas I'd love to hear them let me know in the comments or whatever it's the weirdest video I've ever made you

23 thoughts on “Erasing My Awful Book From The History of the Internet

  1. If you want to hunt around for a copy, whatever, but please be careful. Lots of the sites that supposedly "stock" the book are scams. Don't be dumb and enter your credit card information on shady foreign sites, or click on unverified pdf links. Be smart. Okay. Bye.

  2. Your publishing company is called after one of the most famous (austrian) composers of all time. You could publish Sheet Music.
    My sheet music 😉

  3. And that kids, is why you write under an alias until you are not sure to be good or fine with your work.

  4. Publish some of your subscribers books. You got tons of young writers who would be super willing to give you the rights to there books. I think that's an unlimited goldmine

  5. Who else immediately jumped to the search bar and type “Reading austinmcconnell’s awful book!!!”

  6. don't bring yourself down. Everyone fucks up, but u shouldn't be embarrassed, u should be proud to have a actual book out there.

    It just takes years of practice, trust me. I totally understand

  7. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that, given time, Austin will want to destroy everything he creates. I fear for his potential offsprings.

  8. “And nothing that anybody ever writes as a teenager is good.”

    That quote really scares me because I'm a 17 y/o writer myself. I'm not really going to let that discourage me though because I'm pretty confident in my ability. What I recommend to my fellow young aspiring author out there is to get tons of friends and random people online to beta read and critique your writing. People who won't pull their punches and will tell you how it is. That's really the best way to improve. A lot of times, you'll write something and won't even realize it's bad. You need other people to point that out to you. I've been writing for about a year now and when I look back at the first thing that I ever wrote that's sitting in my google docs collecting dust, I cringe and want to delete it from existence. But at the same time, I don't really want to delete it because it is proof that I've improved.

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