What Stace had to say on Thursday, June 21st, 2007
Misplaced Loyalty

So, as I’m sure quite a few of you know, Triskelion Publishing is closing and filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy as of July 2.

All contracts with them are now frozen. Rights to contracted books and rights to published books are considered assets and are also frozen.

What this means is, a whole bunch of authors are fucked at this particular moment in time.

Blame is, of course, flying around the internet, as well as heartfelt sorrow.

I buy both, but they both piss me off too.

It pisses me off to see author blogs mentioning how sorry they are for their “sister authors”. Some of those posting are the same ones who were so vehement in their defense of Triskelion over the last few months. The ones who showed up on other blogs to castigate and blame, to insist that anyone who had issues with Triskelion was merely “unable to accept editing”.

Still more are the ones who refused to pass on “gossip”. Who may have mentioned the company on their blogs, but only to mention how shameful the whole email scandal was, without saying a word about the lack of professionalism shown in the email itself, the allegations of the RWA, their disinvitation, the fact that authors had been having trouble being paid, having trouble getting firm release dates, that their print runs were cancelled, that the company admitted it had “bitten off more than it could chew” (or whatever the exact phrase was.)

Now they’re all worried about their “sister authors”. I didn’t see them worrying too much last month, or any of the months before that, when rumbles and rumors were making their incredibly slow way through various author communities (and nobody wanted to pass them on, which meant they were practically impossible to find. I know a good number of former Trisk authors who tried to speak out only to be met with withering looks). Anyone who dared to suggest that signing a contract with Triskelion might not be a good move was “disgruntled” or “vengeful” or “sour grapes” or whatever you want to say. As if there could be no other motive than revenge, for wanting people not to end up in the same situation as someone else.

It’s all well and good now to offer your support. But it would have been far more supportive if, whenever you first heard the rumors and learned there was some definite truth behind them, you’d passed them on. If you’d kept your mouth shut instead of leaping in to castigate those who were trying to get the word out and offer your undying support to a company that apparently thought being friends was more important than being professional. If instead of behaving as though anyone with doubts about the company or something to say had an axe to grind, and wasn’t simply trying to help others.

From a blog that purports to be written by a literary agent (I have my doubts)(***interesting side note–since this morning when I found that blog, it has been deleted. I wish I’d saved the posts. The url was madamelitagent.blogspot.com, and I swear it didn’t feel right to me; anyone else heard of it/read it?***):
Now, let me say this. I have had a chance to meet with these editors and they are nice people. I think that much of what happened was a result of poor communication and a lot of upset people that screwed themselves over and tried to blame it on the publisher.

Oh, okay, so they’re nice people. That automatically qualifies them to run a business, doesn’t it? Gods I miss Miss Snark. I seriously doubt Miss S’s take on something like this would be “But they were nice people, and the authors screwed them”. Anyone have any thoughts on what she might say?

Much of what happened was the result of a company overextending itself, failing to behave in a professional manner as far as release dates, ARCs, promotions in general, proper publication of books (one author’s print books were sent out missing the last 30 pages. She had no idea until a reader notified her), a difficult-to-navigate website with documented problems in downloads, etc. etc. etc. Make no mistake; a company that announced it was in financial trouble several months ago is not now going bankrupt because people were meeean. For all the authors out there sharing a negative experience there were some vehemently insisting they were all just a bunch of bitches, that they were liars, that they were just mad they didn’t get treated like queens.

This post isn’t about Triskelion, really it isn’t. Triskelion’s unfortunate demise is the impetus, yes, but really, this is about how the romance community seems so happy to fuck itself over. How they claim a sisterhood but there’s really this nicey-nice Everybody-better-get-along-or-ELSE mentality that keeps so many people from really honestly looking at an issues. Instead of talking about professional standards, we want to talk about whether or not someone is NICE. Instead of demanding that RWA become a stronger advocate for its authors by toughening standards, we want everybody to feel special and get mad when objections are raised, or when it’s implied that selling a story to some brand-new fly-by-night epub with two titles to their names isn’t exactly as big an achievement, in hard professional terms, as selling to Simon & Schuster.

And now who’s paying for that attitude? For the “nice beats professional” or “y’all are just mean” attitude?

Every author whose rights are now tied up indefinitely. Every one of us who expected a royalty check, no matter how small, at the end of this month (and yes, I know several copies of my trisk book sold before I got the rights back, so I’m one of them, although nowhere near as hard hit as some.)

And every author who went out of their way to bitch about those who were trying to make their voices heard and call them names, to blame people for sharing their experiences, is partially to blame. The issue with Triskelion was never about the quality of their authors; it was about their management’s ability to run a company. That’s an issue that shouldn’t make authors defensive. How many Regan Books authors did you see out there blogging about Meanies when the OJ thing hit back in November?

Something to think about in future, everyone…protecting other authors only helps all of us.

And blind loyalty to a publisher, out of gratitude for your contract, is foolish. And Triskelion’s unfortunate authors aren’t the only ones who’ve learned that one…they’re just the most recent.

38 comments to “Misplaced Loyalty”

  1. Gabriele C.
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 10:39 am · Link

    Things like the Triskellion mess (and some other online quarrels I mostly found via the Smart Bitches) make me glad I don’t write Romance. I’d fit into that group like the proverbial elephant in the china shop, because for me, publishing, reviews and the whole shenagian is a business and not a family endeavour. 😉



  2. December/Stacia
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 10:51 am · Link

    Hey there Gabriele! How cool to see you here!

    I don’t think you wouldn’t fit in. There are a lot of us who feel that way; we need more!

    But I do know what you mean. :-)



  3. Robyn
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 11:08 am · Link

    You have to wonder if this isn’t the time for romance to grow up. Like a teenager who faces, for the first time, a boss who isn’t going to understand that she can’t work today because she doesn’t feel like it and her boyfriend broke up with her and she’s cramping. He’s going to say, “Too bad, so sad. Now suck it up and get to work.”

    Will our heroine cry and say how meeeean he is? Or will she realize that the world doesn’t revolve around her feelings, that she has been hired to do a job, not have a new group of friends?

    What gets me is if say, a house painter had signed a contract saying they would do X for me if I paid this much, and I did my part but they didn’t, I would fricking sue them. EVEN if the painter was a woman, who told me that it was important for me to support women-run businesses. I doubt anyone would blame me.



  4. kis
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 2:15 pm · Link

    To tell you the truth, December, none of this was a big shock to me. My first inkling of serious trouble was when your atrocious cover came out and they just brushed off your concerns like they were nothing, because “that’s what sells books.”

    Not to me, it isn’t. If I hadn’t actually known it was your book, I’d have sprayed acid on my corneas and never ventured onto the Trisk website again. It seemed almost like sabotage–not only was the cover butt-ugly, but it was completely inappropriate for a sweet historical romance. Makes you think it was either intentional, or abysmally poor judgement, and either way, I wouldn’t be eager to work with them.

    Now part of me is glad I’ll have a chance to buy The Black Dragon somewhere else, and I’m extra glad I never considered Trisk a real possibility and submitted my stuff to them. Better to be unpublished than to have my rights locked up and waiting on the pace of the legal system.

    As for all those staunch defenders protesting how “nice” the people at Trisk were, if “nice” is your sole prerequisite for a business relationship, you need to have your head examined. I’m more concerned with things like competence, intelligence and even luck. At least luck will get you somewhere other than walked on.



  5. Gabriele C.
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 2:36 pm · Link

    Hi december,
    I keep coming across you on other blogs so I thought I’d pay you a visit. :)

    My plots are too comnplex for Romance and I’d feel restricted if I tried it. I also suck on female main characters. 😉 So, no support on that front from me, alas. But I’ll cheer from the sidelines.



  6. December/Stacia
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 3:02 pm · Link

    Excellent point, Robyn. We pay careful attention–we even have entire news segments and TV shows dedicated to consumer issues–but stuff like this, you don’t dare speak up.



  7. December/Stacia
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 3:09 pm · Link

    Lol yes, kis, acid on the corneas was a pretty common reaction. (It’s not a sweet romance, really, it’s just not erotic, btw–there’s three sex scenes in it, no door closing).

    It was fairly nightmarish, and I don’t blame you. I’m hoping a lot of people who were put off by the cover will be willing to give it another chance once it had what promises to be a freaking awesome cover from Cerridwen (plus that’s a site it’s easy to buy from.)

    And I’ve got a whole ‘nother post on “nice” vs. “competent”. :-)

    I do know what you mean about restrictions, Gabriele–when I wrote my urban fantasy I was amazed at how fun it was NOT to have to worry so much about conflict between the hero & heroine, to not have to worry about giving them an HEA. It ended Happily for Now but with clear signs of trouble ahead, and that was really fun.
    I’m so glad you did stop by! I see you everywhere too!



  8. BernardL
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 4:09 pm · Link

    Thanks for the great information and warnings, D. Maybe Triskelion was hoping for a buyout from New York.



  9. Gabriele C.
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 4:35 pm · Link

    You’re welcome to stop by at The Lost Fort, my main blog, december. I have pics. :)



  10. Lynne Simpson
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 5:47 pm · Link

    Wow. You totally said it, December. I agree with you, 100%.

    I’ve got to wonder how many people signed with Triskelion between the time that RWA started getting reports of serious trouble and the day of the bankruptcy announcement. The RWA “recognized” list gives people a false sense of security, IMO, and unless RWA is willing to more aggressively police it, the list needs to go.



  11. Alison
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 6:59 pm · Link

    I am one of those authors whose contracted book is now in legal limbo. When the trouble started awhile ago, I laid low and decided to wait it out because I didn’t have much hard data to go on.

    An author friend told people not to submit to Triskelion, but didn’t say why. People who did give reasons remained anonymous. How could I make a judgement when the information I needed was so nebulous? Has RWA addressed this with the general membership? I only heard about their decision on the Triskelion e-mail loops.

    So, to keep people like me from making mistakes like this again, what are some web resources we can use to check out publishers?



  12. McKoala
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 10:10 pm · Link

    Wow, that was a close one for you DQ. How awful for those whose work is still in limbo.

    What would Miss Snark say… I wish I had the vocabularly to channel her scorn.



  13. kis
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    · June 21st, 2007 at 11:35 pm · Link

    Part of the problem, I think, is when nebulous gossip turns into something firm enough to affect outcomes. If a publisher is having some trouble and enough authors either refuse to submit or break their contracts because of rumors, that alone can turn “some trouble” into “crash and burn.” When you think about it, everyone would have been better off if Trisk had stayed afloat–even if they’re more nice than competent. Now, everyone loses.

    I’m not saying there was an exodus of authors bailing on Trisk, or suggesting that this was what pushed them into chapter 7. But I do think it’s probably why so few Trisk authors were willing to confirm reports of problems. Like the big crash of ’29, it would have probably been a lot better if no one had panicked. The market would still have crashed, but the wreckage might not have been so bad.

    But as I said before, I already had plenty of reasons not to submit to Trisk, and some of them even originated in places other than my inherent laziness and disorganization.



  14. Bernita
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 4:15 am · Link

    Excellent post, December. Excellent points on the whole nice vs. professional business.



  15. December/Stacia
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 5:18 am · Link

    You’re welcome, Bernard. Glad you dodged a bullet too. :-)

    Thanks Gabriele! I wondered which was the main one. Definitely stopping by. :-)



  16. December/Stacia
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 5:22 am · Link

    Thanks Lynne, and thanks for stopping by. I liked your post about this, too. And if I’m not mistaken, you’ve posted about this business with the RWA before, haven’t you? I seem to recall reading some very thought-provoking words on it from you a while back.

    I did a short series about RWA a little while ago, I’ll dig up the links.

    I don’t necessarily agree with your posted solutions–although I see the sense in both–but I definitely agree 100% that RWA recognition is seen as a security blanket, and it needs to be policed more strictly. AND, people need to stop seeing it as the RWA being mean when they deny approval.



  17. December/Stacia
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 5:30 am · Link

    Alsion–thanks for stopping by and commenting, and I am so, so sorry this has happened to you. I agree, the idea that we all have to be nice and keep our mouths shut can have serious implications for writers, especially when it comes to our little corner of the publishing industry.

    As for where you need to go, I have a few links and places you need to check out. (In addition, you can ALWAYS email me. I don’t claim to be Miss Connected or special, but I know a lot of people who publish for a lot of different houses, and I will always do what I can to get info for you. Please don’t hesitate.)

    First, go check out The Absolute Write forums. Check the “Bewares and Background checks” board. Check the “Romance & Women’s Fiction” and “Writing Erotica” boards.

    It’s best to register there so you can ask questions, and if you see other people asking questions about houses you wonder about, PM them. A lot of the time people will send private messages so as to avoid publicly denigrating a particular publisher, but they’ll share things in private.

    Hold on, my c&p isn’t working…



  18. December/Stacia
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 5:38 am · Link

    Okay. Another very important one to check is Piers Anothony’s Internet Publishing Index. LOTS of writers send Piers information, and he hunts the facts and posts what he finds. I’ve heard there are publishers who hate Piers, but most writers love him, and if there’s trouble reported recently you know it’s worth a second look. That’s when you start asking more questions.

    Remember, there’s a difference between “They were mean” and “Royalites aren’t paid, authors are treated badly”, whatever. In time you’ll learn to read what signs are truly indicative of problems and which aren’t. It is impossible for a publisher to be completely unscathed; not every author will be happy at every house. Consider the source, as well. Do you know the author who’s recommending a publisher? Have you read any of their work? Do they seem to know a lot about the industry, or do they seem like starry-eyed beginners?

    Ask yourself these questions about a house you’re thinking of submitting to:

    If they have happy authors, what do the authors say? Are they talking about how much fun everyone is to work with, or are they talking about how well their book is selling?

    Go to their website and spend some time there. Is it easy to navigate? Are there excerpts for the books? Does it feel like a professional website; is everything spelled correctly, is the layout logical, do they avoid using smiley faces in their submissions pages? Do their submissions pages make sense? Are the names of the people in charge (the publisher, the EIC, etc.) easy to find on the site, or can you not find out who’s running the place?
    Is the process of buying a book easy?

    You know, I may do another post on this. Thanks for this question, and please keep me posted on how things are going with you.



  19. December/Stacia
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 5:40 am · Link

    Yep, is truly is awful, McKoala. I hate that innocent people are getting caught up in this, when, as I’ve seen posted elsewhere, this is NOT a new problem. They cut their print program back in March(?) They knew then they were in trouble, and instead of really solving the problem, they made it worse.

    I miss Miss S every day, but indeed…her take on this is desperately needed.



  20. December/Stacia
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 5:48 am · Link

    That is indeed true, Kis, and it’s a fuzzy line. But (again as I saw elsewhere–comments on Smart Bitches, I believe, but it could have been Dear Author), if the company had done a decent and professional job to begin with, there wouldn’t have been any rumblings and problems.

    The simple fact with Triskelion is that they didn’t know what they were doing. They overextended themselves to a severe degree. When I left the author’s loop at the end of April, there were 277 members. That’s more than on any other author loop I’me a member of, including EC. It’s way too many authors for a small publisher like that to handle, IMO.

    I believe the RWA approval problem (They’re approved, they must be GREAT!) effected the management as well, and made them think they were bigger than they are…and they forgot caution. A very human and understandable mistake, really, but the rest of their mistakes weren’t as easily forgotten.

    Like I said, it’s just my opinion.



  21. December/Stacia
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 5:49 am · Link

    Thanks Bernita! I try. I’d love to see your take on it (hint hint).



  22. Isabella Snow
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 11:16 am · Link

    December, women are bitches. And they are catty bitches, most of the time. And most of these authors are women.

    Lots of those posting sorrow for their sisters are really just happy to see their failure because it makes them feel more successful in a twisted kind of way.

    These are the same people who occasionally blog hop with lots of fake little cheer.

    Its stupid, but its actually easier to deal with like this, where its over the internet. Singers are FAR more catty and bitchy and competitive than authors and dealing with them in person is a nightmare.

    I like being able to just not reply to an email or visit someones blog when Ive realized theyre just a bitter c*nt.

    (now ask me to tell you how I really feel…;)))



  23. Robyn
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 2:48 pm · Link

    Isabella, how many sopranos does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    11. One to screw it in, and 10 to pull the chair out from under her. 😉



  24. Isabella Snow
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 3:27 pm · Link

    LOL, that’s a good one!



  25. Lynne Simpson
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 6:09 pm · Link

    I’m not even sure *I* agree with the solutions I posted, but something needs to be done to either police the RWA list more carefully or get them out of the business of having one. Having one that contains failed and unscrupulous companies is a serious disservice to members. And if I were a legit business on that list, I’d seriously be pissed that these others were on there with me.

    I know how excited people get when a new publisher is added to the list. The loops are all abuzz when it happens. I’m not saying this is true of all or even most people, but I do believe that some people are so eager to become PAN members that they aren’t as careful about checking out publishers who are on the list.



  26. Alison
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    · June 22nd, 2007 at 7:44 pm · Link

    Stacia,

    Thanks for your kind words and those websites. Fortunately, I only have one book tied up in this mess, and since I have a job, I’m not facing any kind of financial crush.

    I think RWA is so focused on who should be in PAN and who shouldn’t they’ve lost site of what PAN is about. It seems to me that once you’ve started selling books, you have different worries and questions than PRO members. Instead of focusing on who passes their approval process, they should focus on how to sort out the good publishers from the bad.



  27. Michele Lee
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 2:05 am · Link

    It’s not just romance. The small press horror field has a sort of self-parasitic feel to it. Instead of wildly publishing any set of words with sex in it they publish expensive limited editions of everything.

    I am very glad you avoided a worse blow. But the decision to or not to do something is a hard one. Without some real, solid proof (which often you can’t get) it will always have the “unhappy author” feel to it. And as I pointed out in a rant post a bit ago no one goes as fast from “unhappy” to “They’re just jealous because they aren’t as good/didn’t get treated like royalty” as fast as writers, whether they are right in their warnings or not.

    There have been some people and presses I have wanted to give warnings about but didn’t because though I knew they were on their way down, it was a gut reaction to lack of communication or a peak at their decisions on what to sell. It’s been feelings and instinct all along and feeling and instinct can’t defend against libel.

    So I have tried to be vague in my warnings. “For the Loves”, new presses with many books and not as much staff, places that vague up their answer to “what do you pay” with big words as to distract you from the fact that they pay nothing, agencies that are run in spare time or that hand their novels over to editors and thinly recommend those editors in their submission guidelines…

    Ah, but I have always been able to smell a scam or at least a dishonest deal. Ultimately when they are no solid facts that we can get on our side, and the potential for a trash campaign is high we may only harm more people by trying to warn others. ALL writers should absolutely learn the signs of a scam, and the warning signs of a publisher going down, and an agency that is no good. that should be learned side by side with limiting passive voice and the “it’s/its” challenge.



  28. December/Stacia
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 2:50 am · Link

    I suppose that’s true, Isabella. It is sad, though, that when it comes to this business we can’t at least try to make sure other writers aren’t scammed or screwed over by publishers in trouble.

    Lol Robyn!



  29. December/Stacia
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 2:55 am · Link

    You hit the nail on the head there, Lynn–either make it stricter and police it, or loosen it up completely. It needs to stop being seen as a sign of approval by writers and publishers alike. (Of course having the word “approved” doesn’t help.) So many people seem to get upset that RWA doesn’t consider them “published”, when the focus should be on being glad that RWA will try and support them when they have reached whatever level or glad that RWA is at least trying, in its clunky and somewhat ineffective way, to protect them.



  30. December/Stacia
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 7:16 am · Link

    You’re welcome, Alison, and I hope you find those sites helpful.

    I agree with you absolutely–RWA should be doing much, much more to help people separate the wheat from the chaff. That they don’t is a serious failure on their part, and a disservice to those who pay for membership.

    You’re right, Michele, it often is hard to get solid facts or anything that isn’t conjecture. It’s hard to actually find out what’s happening somewhere. I guess that’s why it’s important to get to know as many authors as you can, and hope they’re willing to share their experiences, as well as visiting the sites I mentioned above.



  31. kis
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 10:04 am · Link

    Investment and mutual fund companies often base their inclusion policies on more than numbers. They send a liaison to visit the company to observe how they do business. This keeps them from offering their customers equities in “sccessful” companies run by the mob, or ones that cook their books but are on the verge of collapse.

    Why doesn’t the RWA do this before it “approves” a publisher? One would think that, had they actually gone down to Trisk and seen what was what, they could not help but see signs of trouble. They might even notice issues with other epubs who have recently changed their business strategy. From what I gather, RWA bases its decision to approve or not on sales figures and not much else. In this case, a pub that gets lucky once or twice can find itself on the list when it clearly doesn’t deserve to be.

    Members should be getting something other than platitudes about sales and a false sense of security. If RWA wishes to be relevant, they only need to make themselves so.



  32. December/Stacia
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 10:36 am · Link

    RWA does indeed basically base its approval solely on sales, with a few minor caveats: the publisher can’t charge authors for services, must have national distribution, and must have been in business for over a year.

    I agree the sales numbers are an iffy qualification. You’re right, one title can have those kind of numbers, but it doesn’t at all guarantee that every author at a publisher will have a chance of equalling those sales or even coming close. 1500 mass market paperbacks is not a lot. A publisher can easily put its weight behind just one or two authors and get decent sales for them, which don’t trickle down (I’m not saying this is what Triskelion did, just that it is a possibility for any publisher.)

    All publishers do that–all the NY houses certainly do. There’s nothing specifically unethical about it. The problem with it is, while an author at an NY house can reasonably expect that even without the weight of a tour or huge publicity campaign for their book, it will still be shelved in most stores, it will still be reviewed in the relevant publications, and it will still sell roughly in the 5k range (this is taken from various threads on the Absolute Write forums). Whereas an author with a very small publisher may find that only a chosen few get even that basic level of promotion, and the others are left to their own devices. Again, not unethical or even unprofessional, but a difficult situation to be in.

    Yes, RWA needs to do more to make itself relevant, and to protect its authors.



  33. Seeley deBorn
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 3:55 pm · Link

    I’m with Isabella on this one. Women are bitches. Working in an office full of them is terrifying and soul sucking. Yeah I know, I am one, and so are most of the respondants here…consider what Tommy Lees character said in MIB: “a person is smart, people are dumb and panicky” or something like that.

    And if we ever want to get rid of that perception of hen pecking we need to stop participating in “she said she’s not your best friend any more” crap. Really, have you seen the bullshit on the Piers site about Silks Vault and Mardi Gras?? OMG I can’t believe anyone would sub to them knowing all that drama is playing out in the background of what’s supposed to be a money making operation. And now apparently someone has left MG to start her own company. It’s like the spin off from a bad teen soap opera.

    All RWA discussion aside, a business folded. It happens every day all over the world. The industry will move on. Yeah it sucks for those authors who tried sticking it out with a publisher who was floundering. But all the “poor you, big hugs” crap just makes me gag. You took a chance, it didn’t work out, sucks to be you, move on.

    This is a business. You didn’t trust them with your baby, you offered them a product and you hoped they could sell it. (and I’m very glad you bailed when you did DQ, smart move)

    The more time I spend talking to people and learning about this industry the more I wonder if I’ll ever submit anything. I’m seriously running out options for publishers.

    And, knowing what I do about the shit people are willing to fling back and forth on IM and chat about what they’re heard other people say, I’m sure I just bitched another option by posting this. And you know what,I don’t care. If you don’t want to publish me because I view this as a business and am willing to say that, or because I openly refuse to acknowledge spiteful snipes at people I don’t know, I don’t want you anywhere near my work.



  34. Arin Rhys
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 5:43 pm · Link

    Its like you jumped into my brain, found my thoughts, and then wrote them down in a much better way.

    Dude, WORD.

    Romance is never going to get any respect if we keep acting like we’re at some sort of middle school slumber party. And, publishers are going to continue to screw us over because it seems like some authors would rather give a rim job to a publisher than think about what is best for them and their fellow authors.



  35. Arin Rhys
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    · June 23rd, 2007 at 6:05 pm · Link

    More thoughts:

    As for rumors, unless its something that I have experience with or find more facts that back it up, I don’t pass it on and most of the time I don’t pass them on anyway. Some people are incapable of doing that. I, myself, value rumors and gossip more because I am submitting to ebook publishers who don’t have the same stability as NY does so I like to gather the pieces up and see if later it becomes a full picture. I can’t find enough information (whether publishers get pissed if you ask or authors give conflicting stories that range from they ‘LOOOOVE So-So PRESS!’ to the subtle ‘I am not publishing many books with them now, but I know that Whatever Publishing has great editors’) so rumors become the only way to get the skinny.

    We need to open up the discussion. Everyone needs to stop seeing every criticism as an attack so that people won’t feel repressed and ticked off so that the need to blow up and spew some vicious gossip becomes to much to bare. We all have to remember that we’re writers and they are publishers. We are interdependent on each other, but if we writers don’t unite then what stops publishers from walking all over us? The owners of pubs aren’t bad people, but they, like us, are in this business to make money. Its a business so treat yourself as a businessperson.



  36. Emily Veinglory
    Comment
    36
    · June 23rd, 2007 at 10:02 pm · Link

    We seem to get caught between too dictates

    1) If you aren’t an author with a publisher you aren’t qualified to criticise

    and

    2) If you are with them it is bitchy and disloyal to say anything negative.

    Of course cheerleading on the titanic seems to be considered quite appropriate …

    [/bitchy commentary] 😉



  37. December/Stacia
    Comment
    37
    · June 24th, 2007 at 7:40 am · Link

    Yeah, I keep up with the Peirs site pretty regularly, Seeley. I know what you mean. It is hard to know what the truth is when everyone seems to be talking and nobody’s really saying anything, but an author think should twice and spend some real time thinking before they sub anywhere. This is, as you said, a business, and the point of that business is to make money.

    So many authors seem to think being published anywhere, no matter who the publisher is, is a form of validation; hence the “success” of companies like Publish America and, to a lesser extent, the boom in epublishers starting up all over the place.

    Don’t give up, though. There are lots of publishers who do very well.

    I’m going to post about checking out publishers all week, I think.



  38. December/Stacia
    Comment
    38
    · June 24th, 2007 at 7:44 am · Link

    It’s very true, Arin. We seem to have confused “loyalty” with “blind approval” in some instances, or we hear great things about a publisher before the royalty checks go out–I’ve seen too many of those stories and listened to too many heartbroken writers who lost lots of money on promo for a book that didn’t have a chance (and I know Emily has too.)

    Hey Emily! How cool to see you here!

    Yep, and those two dictates harm writers, I believe. It is a shame, indeed.



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