Thursday, November 20, 2008

Local Jewish Author Suffers Theft

By Aliza Libman

Brookline author Michael Burstein was dismayed to discover this week that two boxes of signed copies of his first book, I Remember the Future, were damaged and stolen during shipping.

Burstein, whose book of award-nominated short stories was published by Apex Publishing at the beginning of November, had been signing and personalizing preordered copies of his book. He shipped six boxes of books back to Apex, two of which arrived on Saturday, November 15.

Jason Sizemore, the publisher at Apex Publications, says that one box was entirely intact, but completely empty, while another was damaged and all books inside were not salable. Sizemore thinks his losses will amount to over $300, but only if the other boxes are not damaged or missing books.

“I’ll have to replace the books,” Sizemore explains, noting that the people who ordered these books may have to wait an extra month to receive the copies. While he is not certain about the total loss, since the last four boxes have not yet been inventoried, he notes that it will be a substantial loss for Apex, a small press publisher.

Apex, which has been in business since 2005, has an annual raffle this time of year. Sizemore says they have extended the raffle deadline to December 15 as a result of the loss of Burstein’s books.

“Originally, it was intended as a small fundraiser to help offset the losses incurred for publishing short fiction online,” Sizemore explains. “But now, I’ll probably have to use the raffle money … to buy replacement books.”

The damaging and disappearance of these copies of I Remember the Future has followed what both Sizemore and Burstein called a successful book launch. Hundreds of copies of the book were preordered, and the book party held at the Brookline Public Library on November 2 was so well attended that Burstein was autographing copies for two full hours.

“The fact that people were willing to wait in this line to get copies of the book signed, I think that can be garnered as a sign of the success of the party,” he says.

Sizemore, who is also happy with the sale, is nonetheless glad that Apex decided to publish Michael Burstein’s first book.

“He’s a great person to work with,” Sizemore says.

Both Burstein and Sizemore are disappointed with the United States Postal System. However, Burstein remains hopeful that the missing books, which are easily identifiable because they are personalized, will resurface, allowing them to get law enforcement involved. The USPS did not respond to requests for comment.

To find out more about the Apex Publications Raffle, visit


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