Why take two? Well, see, last night I wrote this long rant and titled it “Utterly disgusted”. But after my brain had time to recover from its meltdown and my temper cooled a little, I decided not to post it. I thought about it, but reason reared its head. Which, funny enough, kind of relates to my post below.
I will tell you what my rant was about. It was a “letter” to some authors who will remain nameless, ex-Triskelion authors, who were discussing submitting their manuscripts to other publishers–after changing the titles and a few key facts. You know, basically committing fraud. Nothing like impressing a publisher by discussing embroiling them in legal problems of your making. Yikes. (just for the record, in my rant I used a lot of cuss words, so feel free to extrapolate from “Yikes”)
Here’s the thing. I think the Trisk deal is sucky. I don’t know what happened there and I don’t think we’ll ever know. I feel sympathy for everyone involved because it’s probably a pretty shitty feeling to not know if you’ll ever 1) get paid for your hard work or 2) get the rights to your hard work back. Yeah, that sucks. I get that. I’m not trying to be flippant, I do get it. But when I hear about authors saying “they screwed us so it’s okay for us to lie a little” and seeming to believe that’s true, it makes me angry (thus all the cuss words last night).
See, publishing is a business. I know, lots of people, including authors, have been heard to say “It’s just epublishing”. Believe me, I know people don’t always take it seriously, think of it as a hobby or whatever. I see that in the first drafts of books that people submit, in the letters querying me for an editor position that simply say “send me a test”–which isn’t what one does when applying for a “real” job, when I hear of authors saying to other authors “why work so hard on that, it’s just epublishing” or “I can’t believe an epublisher rejected me”. Those are all clues to me that there are people who don’t think of it as real or serious but apparently some sort of fun pastime we cooked up. But you know what? My paycheck is real. The hours each day I devote to this job (well over 5 days/40 hours a week) and building the business? Real. All the money, all the time, all the energy the employees at our company have put into making us a success. Yeah, you guessed it. Real. Not a game, not a hobby. A job and a business. If you can’t think of it that way and respect what others have done to grow that business, but instead think it’s okay to cheat them because they don’t count, then you need to pack up your toys and let the adults who are serious about their business (of writing, publishing, editing, etc.) have room to do that business.
For those who are wondering, yes, I know who the authors are. Public forums, ain’t they great? Funny thing about who think of this as a business–their next step is usually to think of themselves as a professional businesspeople and mind what they say in public. So to those Trisk authors who are stuck in limbo right now and just trying to find the right way, I hope things resolve themselves quickly and in a way that gets you your books back and maybe even some money. And I wish you the best eventually finding new homes for your work, wherever that may be. But to those who were thinking that cheating someone else was the way to get their pound of flesh back, move along. My company–and publishing in general–isn’t the right place for you and never will be, because we’re looking for authors who will take our business seriously, treat it professionally, and deal with us honestly.