So I finally mailed out all the 1099's last week, thinking they should be mistake-free.
And the 1099's from the publishers started rolling in to me. One of them caught my attention because it was in a brown envelope - I was secretly hoping it was a surprise check for my author - but when I opened it, not only did they have the wrong mailing address, but the amount they had paid me was also twice what I had sent to my author. I knew this because I had been working on the 1099's so long and hard that I could recite the amounts by heart.
I checked my deposits and checks written to make sure I didn't make a mistake, but, no, there was only one check to this author in the amount I had written down.
I called the company first thing in the morning and told them that I thought there was a mistake. They called me back and told me they had sent two checks, gave me the check numbers and dates, and I frantically went through four months of bank statements, but there was no second deposit and no second check to the author. I asked them to make sure both checks were deposited in my bank account.
I had an early lunch and an afternoon appointment, so I was out of the office all day. When I got back, there was no message.
I got a phone call in the morning saying they would overnight me the second check and change the 1099. It turned out that Fed Ex never delivered one and never reported it undelivered or returned it to sender.
I am so thankful that I was on top of this, or my author would have been out some money, although I do wish he had been more like all my other authors and emailed asking, "where's my check." I would have caught it sooner. So, the moral of this story is DO email your agent when you believe a check is due.