Friday, June 22, 2007

Shit Hits Fan to reflect on one of Life's lessons without being accused of unprofessionalism...

Oh, hell...does anyone really care what I think about my former publisher's intention to file bankruptcy? (Note the clever way I didn't name them so this post won't show up in Google searches.)

Let's be brief about the boring (but probably juicy) part. And, come to think of it, let's not even go into my opinion of which of the following probable causes I blame (and let's be clear, I don't subscribe to them all--just listing the ones people are talking about):

1. Lack of leadership at the top
2. Lack of communication
3. Mismanagement
4. Lies
5. Deceit
6. Authors who bashed their former publisher
7. Going into print without knowing enough about it
8. Authors as executive editors operating under aliases
9. The state of publishing in general
10. The state of Epublishing, specifically

Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, what does this mean for me?

Um. Not clear. Yes, I have a letter on the publisher's stationery stating that the rights to Stealing Amy have been returned to me. BUT...did they have the power to confer those rights when they had already put the bankruptcy plan in motion? Maybe not.

How can another publishing company buy the rights to books and contracts in a bankruptcy proceeding? Easy. They're considered "intellectual property" and are virtually the only assets a publishing company has.

What about my contract? Doesn't it state that in the event of the publisher's bankruptcy all rights revert to the author? Yep. But Federal bankruptcy laws supercede the contract, and apparently this clause ain't one that stands up in court.

And on and on...until it all shakes out, I'm not going to venture a guess as to what will actually happen.

In the meantime, should I do something with Stealing Amy? To tell you the truth, I'm in no rush. Particularly with an epublisher. Now, that's not to say I have anything against epublishers. Some authors do very well in that format. But IN MY OPINION, they come in two flavors: those who are PROLIFIC, and those who write...shall we say...SPICY.

I'm neither.

I truly don't think epublishing is the place for me.

Lesson learned (oh, there are soooooooooo many others).

Here's the really sad part. In the eyes of RWA (Romance Writers of America) I'm now a published author. Which is funny since my "book" was "out" for about four months and you don't even wanna know (read: I'm not going to tell you) how few copies sold and/or how little the first royalty check was (and how large or small the one covering April through May would have been--I'll never know). So, I feel a bit of a fraud. At the conference next month, for the first time, I'll be wearing the badge that signals I'm a PAN (Published Author Network) member--oh, God. SUCH A FRAUD.

And now for some good news...or should I post this separately? I sold my FIFTH short story to True Romance! Squee!!!


John said...

You left out a couple of reasons in your discussion.

1. Lack of understanding of what the word "business" means. Read "absolutely clueless" here. When they couldn't figure out they needed grownups to run their business, it didn't matter what else they did.
2. Trying to reverse, "it's not personal, it's business" to "it's not business, it's personal" when it always is all business.
3. Judging authors by their posts, not their sales, and making games out of it.
4. Favoritism to those who played the "game" with an "in" group and and "out" group of writers and editors.

Anonymous said...

And there's one more......dishing out thousands of dollars for a sponsored luncheon at RT when many of their authors haven't been paid a red cent in royalties, all for the sake of their mighty ego ("yes, let's compete with the big guys and look cooler and more prestigious than we really are...screw the authors, this is about OUR egos.")

Randy said...

Worse, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, they got the AUTHORS to dish out the money that paid for that lunch.

John said...

PS: I found 1,060 hits in Google with "Triskelion" and "Randy Jeanne" together.