Saturday, December 08, 2007

On the casting of stones--veinglory

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.


Anonymous said...

I am not a writer nor aspire to be, but I'm puzzled...

If royalties are calculated based on the number of copies sold, then how can a publisher pay royalties without disclosing sale numbers?And/or, how can/could an author check for accuracy on royalty payments without access to such information?

I really don't know how paper publishers work, but I can't think that there would be essential differences in accounting between paper and e publishing--are there?

Teddy Pig said...

Hey, when it comes to money there should be a way to audit the numbers. If you are not given the numbers, and are treated unprofessionally on top of that as Piers was when asking why not, then I can see wanting to move and spelling out your dissatisfaction with the service.

veinglory said...

The royalty paid per book would likely vary depending on whether it was bought direct or via a distributor. I generally get itemised statements specifyimng copies sold at each venue where the ebook is available. Particulalry helpful presses also give a cumulative total. Of course an approximate figure could be estimated based on the monies paid.