Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why Authors Don't Complain

It is no secret that I have always said writers should complain about bad publishers. But now this is a message being spread, with vehemence, but people as illustrious as Nora Roberts, and I feel a need to say something else.

There are reasons why we don't.

It is easy to tell people not to be intimidated and suggest those who are are ego-focused, don't respect ourselves,are unprofessional or somehow even responsible for the number of bad epublishers out there. It is also called blaming the victim and certainly doesn't help anyone escape that victim status.

Why do authors remain silent? Why especially e-book authors? Because they have less power, less money, less expertise, less support and status, and are easier to replace--we are more vulnerable. Yes, we should be encouraged to stand up for ourselves. But not chided from on high as if our actions are pure idiocy. Staying silent isn't about being egotistical or ignorant, it is about being--ironically given our genre--impotent.

I have been quietly unhappy with some things I have experienced as a writer. I experienced significant payment delays of several months at Lady Aibell but in the end I got my money so I justified the matter away--even the top epublishers can have delays of up to a week, was a few months really worth saying anything about? I always found Lady Aibell staff responsive to emails and doing their best, they had reasons outside their control for the problems, I was still working with them in a business relationship so I didn't (and don't) consider those bridges burnt. But if I could dispassionately apply the principles I have espoused on this very blog I would have said something. I experienced delays, as did others; in some cases up to 10 months, and others claimed not to have been paid at all. I, of all people, should have been the first to start the discussion.

I made it seem easy to just tell the truth blithely, and it isn't. You take the risk of being wrong, being misunderstood, of annoying people, of looking bad. So it isn't easy, but it is still the right thing to do. I just... experienced some delays in doing so.

1 comment:

veinglory said...

Followed by closure of the press 71 days later.