[Note: Yes, I know I’ve been away from this blog for a week. Excuses? I have many but I’ll use first test in my class, a submission to read and a book to read. And now for today’s blog]
I’m a writer as you know by now. I’ve been a writer since I was 8 years old. I’ve been seriously submitting for publication for the last 30 years. Yep, that’s right–30 freaking years. I’ve had some minor successes. The books shown on the left of this post are a couple of them.
But as a writer, if you want to survive in this ever-changing industry of publishing, you must keep up on what’s happening around you in the world of writers, publishers, book sellers, and…yes…book bloggers. Doing that requires you to be “online” a lot these days because “social media” is where the action is. However, it also requires you to be a member of professional organizations…at least the ones that will have you. (More on that in the coming weeks).
It’s not without some concern that I follow the ongoing saga of Amazon vs Hachette. The issues are complex for me…I don’t know that much about contract law but I do know that after 30 years of writing and maybe 20 years of submitting to New York publishers, Amazon was the place that gave me a chance to get my story “out there.” I’m passionate about this book because it places wolves in a good light, which they deserve. And now a group of successful (read moneyed) authors have taken out expensive ads in the New York Times in behalf of Hachette.
For more information about the Amazon vs Hachette and “Authors United” (RICH Authors United) go to J.A. Konrath’s blog at: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2014_09_22_archive.html
That had been the major brawl in the world of publishing until…da…da…DA….(sorry for the pun), Dear Author, a book blogger, outed erotic publisher Ellora’s Cave for some for unprofessional business tactics, like not giving their authors royalty payments per contract and not paying freelance editors and artists for work already done. DA had been contacted by some of the authors, editors and cover artists involved. There had been rumors (like on Facebook posts by the owner) of the owner living rather high. Authors and freelancers were thinking she was living high on their royalties.
WELL! It didn’t take long for the head of Ellora’s Cave, Tina Engler (w/a Jaid Black) to take issue with the blog and…write a response to it? Nope. She sued for defamation of character with a note at the end of the suit that she wants the names of everyone who commented anonymously. Shut the Front Door! We have a major publisher (and EC is major in the world of romance and erotica) suing a little old blogger. Really? But, wait. There’s more. That little old blogger is actually…wait for it…a lawyer! The feces is hitting the air-moving blades.
Social media, including Twitter at #notchilled, exploded. And is still exploding. Romance authors (many of them) are pissed. It’s not enough that we get dissed for writing romance, now we’re not even getting paid for it?
For the original DA post that caused this issue and a post about the suit: http://dearauthor.com/misc/elloras-cave-sues-dear-author/
Other book bloggers (INFLUENTIAL book bloggers) began to weigh in on the lawsuit: http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/blog/elloras-cave-sues-dear-author-more-streisand-effect
Even the voice of reason in the world of publishing blogs, The Passive Voice, wrote about it: http://www.thepassivevoice.com/10/2014/a-note-about-confidentiality-clauses/#comment-256042 If you scroll down the comments, half-way down you will find Tina Engler’s comment. (My less than lawyer-like mind says: If you’re in a lawsuit, keep your mouth shut. But, hey! What do I know?). The comments continued in a nasty vein until the moderators (Passive Guy is on “vacation” so he’d handed it over to his buddies – now aren’t THEY happy? NOT!) shut down the thread for comments.
Note: I do NOT like the comment from a moderator that it was not lady-like to talk the way they did. Has he READ Konrath’s blog? Seriously. It IS the 21st Century. If I want to call someone out, I will, lady-like behavior be freaking damn!
The story will continue through this month since the judge delayed an injunction hearing for several weeks. Interestingly, Ellora’s Cave is having their conference this coming week in Ohio (the publisher’s home state).
Many EC authors are trying to get their rights back in order to indie pub their titles.http://www.butterscotchmartinigirls.com/authors-caught-middle-streisand-effect-rages/29/
Freelance editors have set up an email address so indie authors can contact them: http://ht.ly/Ce14D
And on top of this news comes the downfall of Theresa Giudice, a “real” housewife of New Jersey: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/teresa-giudice-15-months-in-prison-next-on-rhonj?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgp#2e0vui4
What’s the connection? Well, there’s a moral to this story. I can hear Sinatra now: “Riding high in April. Shot down in May.”
No. The moral is: Follow your dream (like Tina Engler did at first), help others (like Tina Engler did at first), but NEVER forget who got you to where you are (like Theresa Guidice and Tina Engler did).