Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Writer Beware

I've seen a couple scary things lately... And while I don't think it is all gloom and doom, I DO think it is a warning that we need  

The Paper/Printing Fiasco

It began with Jessica's saga last week. She ordered a couple copies of her book from the Book Depository... and learned that while ordering from Amazon directly, her books were lovely, but through the Book Depository, she had gotten truly inferior product... lower quality paper, smudgy stuff in the printing, margins a little off... not professional at all... When she had gone to the great care to make sure all her specifications were right. She addressed it with Amazon and got a 'third party distributor-production tale'... You can read all about it HERE (for answers) and in the link to the original problem.

Jessica was a superstar, finding the problem and professionally chasing down answers... I think the results she got though, are strictly cautionary to the rest of us... maybe having a note on our blogs that if people receive inferior products when they order out books, they should let us know and we will help get it sorted. If enough people are on top of them over quality control, the faulty vendors will get weeded in short order.

Self-Published Author Gets Ammy Spanking When She Gets Publisher

Yesterday I ran across this and apparently Amazon has backtracked and changed their game, but the fact that anyone got stuck in this position AT ALL... Holy Guacamole! Jamie McGuire, who wrote Beautiful Disaster, self published, and did REALLY WELL, earned a traditional publisher... and then Amazon sent emails offering not only REFUNDS (6 months after the fact) but ALSO the DIFFERENCE for the price of the REGULAR BOOK (Simon & Schuster), and JAMIE was stuck paying for it! They've backtracked--said it was a mistake, oh so sorry, but seriously, what a LOUSY thing to do! And I honestly suspect they only backtracked because so many people raised a stink about it.

And to what end? All they are going to do is scare off authors who are on the fence... maybe self-publishing CURIOUS, but still hoping for a traditional contract...

And Then There are the Bad Publishers...

Those who would steal your rights for infinity.
Those who aren't going to actually DO anything but take a share of your self-publishing pie

There are a lot of problems.

The solution? Well, constant vigilance, of course, but also, let's have each others' backs... if you see something wonky, let the author know. He will appreciate hearing about it so he can take care of it sooner than later.

And just because I'm generous... THIS was a great little article on the current state of publishing (the traditional route): http://kriswrites.com/2013/02/28/the-business-rusch-the-death-of-publishing/
It really is worth a careful read, links and all.


  1. I read Jessica's plight, but the one about the refunds? Whoa! And if it was a mistake, how did they fix it? Did she get her money back?

  2. Constant vigilance is the price of professionalism! Glad thee two stories ended (fairly) well. So many don't.

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  4. After I read Jessica's blog, I tested it myself and ordered a book as if I were an Ammie customer. Luckily it turned out beautifully, but your idea of putting up a cautionary note on our blogs is a really good one. Thanks!

  5. Seriously? Geez. What a world. I'm off to check out the links. Yes--you are right. We need to watch eachother's backs. Thanks for the heads-up , Hart.
    ~Just Jill

  6. I knew about Jessica's issue, but what the eff is up with the other one? Amazon pisses me off to no end.

  7. Okay. I just read everything--twice. This is one huge reason to keep blogging and keep building relationships with other writers within the blogging comunity. This was such useful information. Thanks Hart.

  8. Definitely agree....we all need to stay informed, stay vigilant, and spread the word when we suspect that there's something 'off'.

  9. Thanks, Hart. I'll check out your link. Have a super day!

    Kathy M.

  10. And your last bit is THE most important part of the whole story--we HAVE to look out for each other. We have to share these things with other writers when they happen, so we can be on guard.

    Great post, T! That thing w/Jamie McGuire was just bizarre... <3

  11. What Leigh said. We need to help each other. =)

  12. So much stupidness. I wish it were easier to do business out there. You're right, you gotta stay vigilant.

  13. Kitten hugs always make things better!
    :-) Take care

  14. Thank God for authors keeping on top of things. You've said it, Hart.... CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

    WE are a strong community and a HUGE ONE... so we need to stick together.

  15. Thanks for all these important warnings. Since I published through Amazon's Createspace, it's very scary to know they may be contracting out production to inferior, crappy publishers. We writers really don't need this stress or underhanded dirty tricks.

    I'm printing your post to keep it as a reminder to stay on top of my stuff.

  16. That's a lot of ugly stories -- makes me want to run back to my writing cave and never emerge in the big bad publishing world!

    Kudos to the writers who survived these, and those who supported them.

    Daily(w)rite via IWSG


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