Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Authors Cite Problems with Publisher Genesis Press

Click here to read the PW article, then come on back.

It’s not an easy thing for writers to complain about their publishers, especially to this extent, which goes way beyond the “teacher’s lounge” decompressions of many a writers group meeting. It may be even more difficult for women, most of whom aren’t raised to be anything other than decorous and polite and long-suffering.

However.

For most of us, writing is not a hobby. For most of us, writing is something we want to make a career of doing. We all dream of combining our love of something with making a living. While many of us write because we can’t not write, we publish and enter into contracts because we want to make money. When we agree to a contract, we believe what it says, that if we do our part, they will do theirs.

We expect to get paid the advance as contracted, before the book comes out (which is what “advance” means).

We expect to receive royalty statements and payments as specified in those contracts.

We expect to be notified of book club sales, reprints, and new publishing editions, because all of those impact our career, and our monies.

We expect to get our rights back when the book is no longer available to purchase through regular channels. This is a good definition of “out of print.” Having a few dozen misprinted copies in a dusty corner of a warehouse where someone may be able to get a copy if they call the publisher and the office staff can track it down if they can even find it in their database does not count as being “in print.”

I think these are reasonable expectations. I would hope most people think these are reasonable expectations. I hope people understand why authors felt they had to speak up. I’d like to think that people would sympathize with an author who hasn’t seen any information from the publisher on a book published in 2000 that is still making sales. Or the book in 2002, or 2004.

Writing is an art, but I don’t want to starve for it.

Monica Jackson wrote in her blog about it. I don’t think I can add anything more than that.

1 Comments:

Blogger Gwyneth Bolton said...

Thanks for continuing to spread the word about this situation. It really is a shame that the one thing I regret about getting published is the publisher. Instead I have a book out that I barely feel like promoting because I have the feeling I won't see a dime from it. Genesis Press should be ashamed of itself for not only stealing from it's writers but also because they are literally killing dreams.

9/21/2006 8:12 PM  

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