Monday Midday Links: Post mortems full of fail
I wasn’t going to do a links round up today. I’m getting ready to leave for Romantic Times and have a list as long as my-well, it’s a long list. But I would be totally remiss if I didn’t point the readership to Publishers Weekly, a supposed journalism magazine about the industry of publishing.
But apparently it’s just a publisher’s mouthpiece, and not a very good one. (this is incorrect as the piece is an op ed piece and thus not endorsed by PW)
In a section titled “Soapbox”, PW publishes a piece by Christopher Navratil, the publisher of Running Press. The piece is entitled “The Misinformation Age: What Happens When A Headline Goes Viral” and is designed, I believe, to respond to the mess caused when contract editor, Telep, requested Jessica Verday change her YA anthology contribution from m/m to f/m.
On March 21, 2011, Jessica Verday publicly confirmed she would no longer be in the anthology Wicked Pretty Things published by Running Press and edited by Trisha Telep. Telep wanted the story changed from m/m to f/m:
I’ve received a lot of questions and comments about why I’m no longer a part of the WICKED PRETTY THINGS anthology (US: Running Press, UK: Constable & Robinson) and I’ve debated the best way to explain why I pulled out of this anthology. The simple reason? I was told that the story I’d wrote, which features Wesley (a boy) and Cameron (a boy), who were both in love with each other, would have to be published as a male/female story because a male/male story would not be acceptable to the publishers.
On March 22, 2011, Telep confirmed this in the comments section to Verday’s blog post, writing:
Oh dear. Might as well give you my two cents. Not that it really matters but… Don’t take it out on the publishers, the decision was mine totally. These teen anthologies I do are light on the sex and light on the language. I assumed they’d be light on alternative sexuality, as well. Turns out I was wrong! Just after I had the kerfuffle with jessica, I was told that the publishers would have loved the story to appear in the book! Oh dear. My rashness will be the death of me. It’s a great story. Hope jessica publishes it online. (By the way: if you want to see a you tube video of me wrestling a gay man in Glasgow, and losing, please let me know).
This statement led further communications between Verday and Running Press which Verday blogged about on March 25, 2011:
Has the publisher commented on the matter?
– Yes, they have. On Wednesday, I spoke to Lisa Cheng, the editor at Running Press Kids, at her invitation after receiving an email from her. Although I can’t speak for Running Press, and can only tell my side of the story, I will say that Lisa was misinformed as to why I pulled out of the anthology and I corrected that, and although she apologized profusely over the “misunderstandings on all sides,” she told me that they have worked with Trisha many times before and stand behind her.
Trisha Telep has over 21 anthologies to her name on Amazon. Apparently each author is paid $250 flat fee to be included in the anthology and Telep gets all the royalties (man, I did not take enough for the Agony/Ecstasy anthology!).
April 3, 2011, Running Press Publisher, Christopher Navratril uses industry website, Publishers’ Weekly, to respond with a scold to Verday and the rest of us for not appreciating Running Press’s love for the GLBT community.
Ms. Verday, understandably, refused to change her story and pulled it from the anthology. Then she took to her blog and social media connections, and accused Running Press of intolerance and censorship. Other authors in the anthology asked to pull their stories, believing the account. Fans, librarians, and a handful of authors in the anthology became angry. Authors in other anthologies began to send us e-mails expressing concern. This all happened in just a few days. We at Running Press contacted Verday immediately to assure her that we had no such guidelines and would be excited to include her story as written. But she was unyielding.
First, Verday publicly communicated the reasons given to her by editor Telep, the representative or agent of the publisher. Second, in a second blog post, she acknowledged she was invited back into the anthology and republished, word for word, the statements of Running Press and Constable & Robinson, that were supportive of GLBT issues. Third, she never accused Running Press of intolerance and/or censorship. Never. Read the first blog post. She says she isn’t going to support the anthology. That’s it. When she does name Running Press, it is in the same blog post as the republished statements from RP as being pro GLBT issues.
Navratil uses the PW bully pulpit to spread the message that Verday is a difficult author who spread misinformation and false accusations. It does not come out and state that Telep’s statement was offensive or one that they do not support. Instead, it tries to redirect attention back on Verday, almost as in warning. The reason that authors are dropping out of the anthology and libraries and readers are upset isn’t necessary the rejection of Telep, but Running Press refusal to acknowledge the hurtful message of Telep’s statement, their continued support of Telep, and their chastisement of Verday.
This will inevitably cause more damage to Running Press because the issue that their actions are speaking louder than their words.
One of the panels I am sitting on at RT is a self publishing panel with Mark Coker, owner and CEO of Smashwords, and HP Mallory, self published success and newly contracted Random House author. I am going to talk about how self published authors should pitch for reviews. I’ll probably refer to a few cautionary tales, like the blow up over at Bookbinge, the fuck off author at Abe’s (video of my voice?), and finally, this one (fuck you for being too lazy to rate my book and no one appreciates my genius).
Several Nora Roberts’ books were made into Lifetime movies and apparently there is a tragic remake of Linda Howard’s Loving Evangeline. But did you also know that there were a number of Harlequin categories made into movies? This site has a rundown of several. Any of the commenters watch these?