Saturday, December 08, 2007
There is an old saying that only he who is without sin should cast the first stone. This is why I don't think the same principle always applies to casting aspersions.
When some questionable happens, or appears to happen, it seems to me that the most appropriate thing to do is to question it. Even asking the question can be seen as a criticism, and clearly it is often accompanied with actually criticism or insult. But even so, this is an opportunity for a publisher or other informed people to respond with forbearance and information.
For example, in a thread over at Absoluter Write a question was raised about Mundania offering terms for writers to buy their own books. Discussion ensued which gave the pros and cons of this practice, and the publisher participated. The result was a mine of valuable information.
Currently there are some questions about Whiskey Creek Press, for example that they do not provide authors with sales figures. Discussion ensues including that some authors are happy at WCP. I await responses on whether providing sales figures is essential, optional or just a nice perk publishers might choose to offer. And if it is indeed the case that WCP does not provide them.
Other issues may also arise and be discussed. Hopefully without people taking the low road too often, for example by ascribing malicious intent to those who want to inform and discuss fairly issues of clear relevance and importance to our industry. This discussion should air and dispel rumours or complaints if they are unwarranted or unreasonable.
I think we can foster a culture which welcomes questions so long as we remember not to leap to hasty judgements.