I've been in e-mail contact with Sue Fishkoff, author of The Rebbe's Army. She is very upset at how she has been categorized on this blog. A summary of her concerns follows:
1. I did not get rich off of Chabad. I am not now nor have I ever been rich.
2. My book advance was primarily used to cover expenses occurred in writing the book and to offset lost income while involved in its writing.
3. I have not yet received royalties from book sales because not enough books have been sold to pay off my advance.
4. Contractually, I cannot comment on the amount of my advance or other financial matters related to the book.
5. I do not know how many books have been sold to date.
6. I speak about my book to a wide variety of Jewish groups including Reform, Conservative and Chabad congregations, JCCs and Federation gatherings.
First, I want to apologize to Sue Fishkoff for the hurt my words caused her. I believe her representation of events surrounding her book is sincere.
Second, I want to note the following. I contacted Schocken Books and its parent Random House to try to ascertain sales figures for The Rebbe's Army. Random House referred me to Schocken. Schocken refused to give sales figures or to categorize sales volume in any way. I asked Schocken if this policy applied to all works it publishes, or if it was a policy specific to The Rebbe's Army. Schocken refused to answer. I waited a few days and asked again. Again, Schocken refused to answer.
I have been told book club and volume sales are often excluded from standard royalty agreements, or are paid at a much lower rate than bookstore and Amazon.com sales. Volume sales tend to reward the publisher much more than the author.
I still believe that Chabad had a pre-publication volume deal with Schocken and that Schocken editors shaped the book to reflect that deal, but I no longer believe that Sue Fishkoff knowingly slanted her work to reflect that.
Again, I apologize to Sue Fishkoff for the hurt my words have caused.