The first step is admitting you have a problem…
Well, it sure seems Diane Pershing pissed a lot of writers (serious about their careers) right the fuck off. Here’s two words for the clueless RWA members out there wondering why random ePublished authors online are upset and attacking RWA’s current stance on ePublishing. Duct tape! No seriously, if your own president and chief instigator insults an entire industry it sorta happens that people get pissed off and sitting around saying “being angry is uncalled for and rude” does not help matters and makes you look like a tool. Negating people’s feelings tends to do that.
Anyway, me being Teddypig and very much NOT a cheerleader in many respects I find myself going back to Deidre Knight’s original rebuttal and looking at it from the side of those who might not agree that ePublishing is all that great for authors. In fact she even brings up a perfect example of a gotcha.
So since I tend to be more than sympathetic to writers who are ePublished and this site is about eBooks can I play “Diane’s Advocate” and take the opposite side of the argument for a minute? Maybe by doing this we can start a conversation that makes more sense than “neener neener neener I gotz the power bitches!”. The point of this discussion is about writers looking for “author friendly” venues and not ePublishers exactly.
RWA & Triskelion Publishing: Oh SHIT!: Remember when RWA did recognize ePublishers? Yeah, that worked out well and I think it is a good example of why the RWA needs to be cautious recognizing specific ePublishers. Because they could not just slap a “seal of approval” on a qualifying ePublisher and walk away. Obviously things could change and financial meltdowns could occur very quickly. The words “conflict resolution” comes to mind in this matter. Because if you want to know the down and dirty you have to get your hands in the mud.
There is tons of information from 2007 about The Great Triskelion Publishing Fiasco so I will try to just point out the highlights. Here and Here and Here and finally Here. It is very much a cautionary tale for writers looking at ePublishing and getting the facts.
Teddypig & Ellora’s Cave: GOTCHA!: So let’s then talk about the elephant in the room. Notice Deidre Knight used in her example Ellora’s Cave and you probably heard me cringing from over here. Samhain is a Top ePublisher and is on my list of Top ePublishers but Ellora’s Cave sure is missing. Probably because I listen when people like J.C. Wilder and Cheyenne McCray and Lauren Dane and Mary Winter say things I am sure are important to all writers and thus showing a company that is not how we say “author friendly”.
I am not saying that writing for Ellora’s Cave will not make you good money because that seems to be a proven fact but what I am saying is that does not make them a Top ePublisher in my opinion and it could very possibly wind up being a situation of a short term benefit with long term problems depending on the contract you signed. Just my opinion here based on what noted experienced authors have said in black in white that anyone can go and read.
My final question to you guys???: How can writers or a writer organization be selective in what “author friendly” ePublishers to recognize? A set of “industry standards” might help there Angela. BUT… there are none. Well, at least none that I can find.
It would so help me with my own list of Top ePublishers that I have on the blog here. I stick my neck out posting that list because I listen to writers and review products from these companies and read other blogs, reviews, and comments made. It takes a little work so far but I feel comfortable and even conservative in what I do down to why New Concepts Publishing or Torquere Press (AKA Where’s Waldo?) are not on my list either. It is not perfect or even scientific though because I am talking to writers and I could make mistakes or miss something.
So there are my concerns about ePublishing with as little bias as I can muster. I think these things (Like contracts and industry standards and author friendly environments vs money etc etc etc) should be talked about here and elsewhere and I hope they continue to be talked about. So feel free to yell at me for saying this it’s OK.