Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Riptide Gloss

Riptide have been living in interesting times for quite a while.
  • In 2014 Riptide issued an apology for insensitive marketing of books set in a world featuring slavery.
  • In 2016 books of Riptide author Amy Lane were critiqued for racist content. Riptide again issued a well-crafted apology.
  • In March both Riptide and Berkeley were burned by author Santino Hassell who seems to have misrepresented himself and solicited money from readers.
  • Later in the same month  author Xen X Cole severed ties with Riptide on the behavior of editor Sarah Lyons whose resignation was subsequently accepted.* (This post opened the door to many other authors sharing problematic experiences with Lyons.)
  • Riptide pledge to reform and resolve these issues
It seems they have steered a quieter and calmer course for the balance of the year.  But as their own messaging indicates, it might take a bit longer for all to be forgiven

* RIPTIDE OFFICIAL STATEMENT AS RELEASED ON THEIR WEBSITE POSTED HERE AS IT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE THERE: "We have accepted Sarah Lyons’s resignation as Editorial Director at Riptide Publishing, effectively immediately. In her business relationship with Xen Sanders, her behavior was unacceptable, and we do not condone it in any way.
Romance is an intimate business, but there is no denying that Sarah’s behavior crossed the line, and that her behavior is not just her responsibility--it is also ours because she represented our business. We apologize to anyone her behavior has hurt. Though it is challenging to oversee the day to day operations of staff without a shared office space (our entire staff works from home offices), we are implementing closer oversight of the editorial process. Some of these oversights include a prohibition against contacting authors outside an official company email or phone, and an updated editorial handbook with a vastly expanded section on both cultural sensitivity and professional boundaries. As well, our inboxes, ears, and hearts are open to anyone who wishes to share their stories or concerns with whomever at the company they might be most comfortable speaking.
We also removed Kate DeGroot from our freelance editorial roster shortly after she was brought on because of conflicts with authors and shortcomings in her work.
Over the course of 2015 and 2016, incidents occurred that compelled us to take a hard look at the culture of racism in romance. We have made mistakes. We own our missteps, and we apologize, once again, to anyone we hurt because of them. Since 2016, when Xen experienced the issues he shared today, we have taken many steps to grow, change, and do better, both as individuals and as a company, and we have been committed fully to both their execution and the spirit behind them. We instituted our sensitivity reader program. We created a priority submission process for writers of color. This year, we hired four new editors of color across different racial and cultural backgrounds. We do not condone Sarah’s statement to Xen about people of color on cover art, and are including people of color on the covers of books featuring non-white characters. We know these steps are just the beginning, and our work is not done. We must do more than apologize for harm done; we must continue to change, and our commitment to do so is unwavering.
Once more, we express our sincerest apologies. We are listening."

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