Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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Twilight Times Books Welcomes Me, “Elfy” with Press Release

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Well, now it’s official — the contracts have been signed and are in hand.  Which is why I can now announce where my novel, ELFY, has been placed — at Twilight Times Books, a reputable small press located in Tennessee.  The tentative date of publication in e-book format is October of 2013.

Here’s a link to the welcoming announcement:

http://twilighttimesbooks.com/News.html#publishing_notes

And here it is, in its entirety:

Barb Caffrey has placed her urban fantasy, Elfy, with Twilight Times Books. Barb is a writer, editor, musician, and composer. She holds two degrees and is an inveterate and omnivorous reader. Elfy: Bruno (né Jon) arrives in California from a parallel universe and is immediately confronted with problems galore. How can he rescue his mentor? What is a Dark Elf doing on Earth? Why is his new friend’s house haunted? Ultimately, Bruno learns that no matter how screwed up things are, life and love are worth fighting for, while becoming yourself is the most powerful gift of all.

And here’s a link to my author bio as it stands right now:

http://twilighttimesbooks.com/Authors.html#Caffrey

May the happy dance commence!

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Changes Coming to the Elfyverse

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Folks, changes are coming to the Elfyverse.  The first is a very positive one: I now have a publisher for my novel, Elfy.  However, as the publisher has not yet made this information public, I am going to hold off on announcing exactly where Elfy is going, for now . . . I promise that as soon as I am able to discuss where Elfy has been placed, I will do so. 

Second, as long-time readers of this blog will undoubtedly note, I’ve taken down my links to e-Quill Publishing.  There’s a reason for that; as of yesterday, I asked that my stories — and my late husband Michael’s stories, also — be removed from e-Quill Publishing’s offerings.  I did this not from any feelings of ill will toward e-Quill Publishing or its publisher, Lawrence T., but because I now have a publisher for Elfy.  The new publisher is willing to look at my late husband’s writing, and if this publisher indeed is interested in the two “Maverick” novellas (set in Michael’s Atlantean Union universe) or the three “Columba” stories (romantic fantasies, which I hope to show the new publisher down the line, too), it would be a big step up for me to place them with the new publisher.

That’s why, for the moment, I don’t have a Gravatar listing here at my blog, and it’s also why I no longer have stories offered at e-Quill Publishing.

Lawrence T. and I remain on good terms, which I think is a very good thing; he’s the first person in a long time who enjoyed my writing, and Michael’s writing, and wanted to showcase it at his small publishing company in Australia.  Lawrence T., being a classy gentleman of the old school, wished me well in my new publishing endeavors, too — and told me that if the new publisher wasn’t interested in Michael’s work, or in anything else of mine save Elfy, he’d be glad to publish my work (and Michael’s work, too) any time, any place, anywhere.

At any rate, the projected publication date for Elfy is late in 2013 — that much I can share with you, thus far — and aside from that, I continue to work on An Elfy Abroad (the sequel to Elfy) and Keisha’s Vow (the prequel to Elfy, set in 1954) along with my non-Elfyverse urban fantasy/spiritual transgendered romance, Changing Faces.

Everything else remains on course, which just goes to show you that regardless of how it may seem sometimes, persistence does pay off.  (And maybe the good woman wins in the end, too.  Here’s hoping.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Posted in Elfy, Elfyverse, Persistence, Publishing, Writing

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Plagiarism, Pt. 2 — Zakaria Cleared, Reinstated by Time and CNN

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Well, folks, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised — yet I am.

It appears that Fareed Zakaria, who blatantly plagiarised from a column by the New Yorker’s Jill Lepore for his most recent column at Time magazine, then got suspended last week from both CNN and Time (my earlier blog post about this is here), will resume his jobs in September.

Here’s tonight’s article from the Huffington Post, which states:

Fareed Zakaria is off the hook at both Time magazine and CNN after he admitted plagiarizing a New Yorker column last Friday.

The upshot of the article is, Time and CNN both have agreed to let Zakaria keep his jobs even though Zakaria most definitely plagiarised from Lepore.  Zakaria’s employers view this as an “isolated” incident, even though Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic pointed out back in 2009 that Zakaria had also plagiarised him without attribution.

Basically, Zakaria is getting away with doing something unconscionable, merely because he is a celebrity.  This should not be tolerated, but apparently in today’s hyper-conscious celebrity culture, the bigwigs at Time and CNN just don’t care.

And by refusing to can Zakaria due to his plagiarism, it’s obvious that journalistic ethics — writerly ethics — have gone out the window at both CNN and Time.  Despite the fact that they’re supposedly devoted to the news.  Despite the fact that they should wish those who report the news for them will be honest, fair-minded, and at least have the common courtesy to properly attribute their sources.

I’m shocked that Time and CNN have chosen this course.  They’re both news-oriented organizations.  The people who work for them should be above reproach. 

Yet Zakaria no longer can be considered above reproach, if indeed he ever was — which is why he should’ve been fired without delay no matter how high-profile he is and no matter how much of a celebrity, either.

By retaining Zakaria despite his blatant plagiarism, both of Zakaria’s employers have proven that the almighty dollar matters far more to them than the truth.  Or ethics.  Or even common sense.

Even in this day and age, wrong is wrong — and we all know that what Zakaria did is plain, flat wrong.

Usually, committing blatant acts of plagiarism is the one thing that can get a reporter, host, or “basic writer” fired without an appeal.  It’s utterly wrong that Zakaria didn’t even have to sweat a little bit before he found out that he would, indeed, keep his jobs.

Instead, it appears he got what amounts to a “get out of jail free” card from his employers.

That’s wrong.

That’s shameful.

And it should not be allowed to stand.  Period.

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 18, 2012 at 12:19 am

Writer Fareed Zakaria Suspended from Time and CNN for Plagiarism

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On August 10, 2012 — two days ago, to be exact — Fareed Zakaria, a writer for Time magazine and a host at CNN, was suspended for plagiarism.  Something like this happens only rarely to top-level, nationally-known pundits, which is why I wanted to see what the fallout would be before I wrote about it.

Here’s what happened.  Zakaria wrote a column on gun control for Time that used a number of passages from a similar article by Jill Lepore that appeared in the April edition of the New Yorker.  Here’s a copy of what Lepore wrote back then:

“As Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law scholar at U.C.L.A., demonstrates in a remarkably nuanced new book, ‘Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,’ firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start. Laws banning the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, and other states soon followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859). Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the ‘mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.’”

Now, see Zakaria’s version of the same thing from his recent column in Time magazine:

“Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, documents the actual history in Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.  “Guns were regulated in the U.S. from the earliest years of the Republic. Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed: Indiana in 1820, Tennessee and Virginia in 1838, Alabama in 1839 and Ohio in 1859. Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas (Texas!) explained in 1893, the ‘mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.’”

As you see, there’s little difference. 

What’s worse, there’s no excuse for this — none whatsoever — because Zakaria did have other options than to simply lift a passage from Lepore’s piece without proper attribution.

The first and easiest thing Zakaria could’ve done is this — give Lepore her due.  Say, “Recently, in the New Yorker, Jill Lepore wrote an excellent article on gun control.  As I cannot improve upon her words, here’s what she said back in April:” and go on from there.

But Zakaria had a second option available as well if Time wouldn’t go for that.   He could have either used a different source, or if he really liked Adam Winkler’s book, he could’ve interviewed Winkler directly, thus getting different words but getting at the same thing.  This would not have been plagiarism because Winkler, as an author, is allowed to cite his own words whenever he feels like it.  And if Winkler wanted to point out that Lepore had written an article back in April that was really good, Zakaria could’ve mentioned that without using any of Lepore’s words, too.

And do you know what else shocked me?  This isn’t even the first time Zakaria has been accused of plagiarism.  Because as an article by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic back in 2009 points out, Zakaria lifted some of his words, too!

So it appears that Zakaria has been lifting quotes from other people and not giving proper attribution for years.  However, this time, he lifted a whole paragraph, which is why he got caught.

So what did Zakaria do after he got caught?  He apologized, which is here:

Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column this week bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 23 issue of The New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time, and to my readers.

The problem with the apology is, it’s too little, too late.  Zakaria knows better than this.  Writers, reporters, journalists, and even hosts — like he has been on CNN for years — know that the only thing we have going for us, ultimately, is our bare word that we’ll tell the truth as we know it.  Any writer worth his or her salt knows that.  And we know that if we plagiarise, our credibility is completely and utterly blown.  Forever!

And as I said before, Zakaria had other options.  He did not have to do this.  He should not have done this.  And he deservedly got suspended for doing it anyway.

What’s truly sad and shocking about all of this is that Zakaria still has the potential to go back to work, when so many other writers who would never have done what Zakaria just did either aren’t working at all, or are working far below their capacities.  No other writer I know would catch a break like this, yet it appears Zakaria just might due to his celebrity status.

And that’s wrong — so wrong that I do not have the words to explain just how wrong it is.

Look.  Writers write.  But we don’t crib from other writers intentionally, then refuse to give proper attribution.  Because it’s ethically utterly wrong, and we know this, so we just don’t do it.  Which is why Zakaria should not have done this, period.

So what comes next for Fareed Zakaria?  My guess is that he’s going to have far fewer speaking engagements, he’ll be closely monitored at CNN, and if Time allows him to write any more articles, they will be extensively fact-checked so that no repeat performance is possible.

That’s better than what he deserves.  Because after doing something like this, he really should be fired, celebrity or no.  Because he’s proved he has no honor.

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Interview with Rosemary Edghill is up at SBR

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If you are a writer, a reader, or just love great writing, you owe it to yourself to go read my interview at Shiny Book Review with Rosemary Edghill.  She gave many insights into her career, her writing, and discussed publishing at great length and depth, which I truly appreciated.  Ms. Edghill definitely knows what she’s talking about, as she’s published books in many genres, including science fiction (the acclaimed Hellflower trilogy, as eluki bes shahar), fantasy (her most recent books are DEAD RECKONING, with Mercedes Lackey, and VENGEANCE OF MASKS), mystery (her well-received Bast series, about a Wiccan detective), and romance (including Regency and time-travel specialties).  She’s also written a few X-men tie-ins in the past (as eluki bes shahar), so she knows her superheroes down cold.  And she even discussed one of my favorites of her solo novels, THE WARSLAYER, which as an old-time Baen Barfly (as opposed to merely old) was particularly delightful to discuss.

Please go to Shiny Book Review — yes, go right now! — and read my wide-ranging interview with the ever-talented Edghill, who writes so well that every single one of her books in any genre, solo or collaborative, is a must-read.  You’ll be glad you did.  (Then, go pick up her latest two books, DEAD RECKONING and VENGEANCE OF MASKS.  Hours of great reading await!)

Harlequin Mess: New Authors, Stay Out

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In the past few weeks, two well-known writing blogs (Passive Voice and A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, which is Joe Konrath’s blog) have taken a look at Harlequin’s onerous contractual language, and have come up with some startling conclusions.  Both blogs were based on a guest post written at A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing by Ann Voss Peterson, who used to write — prolifically — for Harlequin.  The reason she no longer does is because she can no longer afford to do so.  As she says here:

If you do a (very) little digging into publishing companies, you’ll discover that while the industry standard royalty rate for mass market paperback sales is 8% for US retail, Harlequin pays its series authors only 6%.

The royalty goes down from there.

(Peterson goes on to point out that Harlequin pays lower than standard industry advances, too.)
 
Then she discloses what she’s made on her most popular book:
 

My life-to-date statement says this book has sold 179,057 copies so far, and it has earned $20,375.22. (bold text by Joe Konrath) That means the average I’ve earned is a whopping 11 cents per copy. If you use the cover price to calculate (the number used in the contract), which was $4.50 at the time of release, I’ve earned an AVERAGE of 2.4 % per copy.

Why is this?

First, while most of my books are sold in the US, many are sold under lower royalty rates in other countries. In this particular contract, some foreign rights and -ALL ebook royalties- are figured in a way that artificially reduces net by licensing the book to a “related licensee,” in other words, a company owned by Harlequin itself. (content bolded by Barb Caffrey)

As Konrath says at the end of this blog, this is absolutely disgraceful.  But a comment made at both blogs by Donna Fasano points out something even worse than these horrible contracts; when someone has the guts to complain, he or she apparently gets blackballed.  From Fasano’s comment (cut and pasted from the Passive Voice):

While attending an RWA conference, a friend of mine stood up and asked a panel of HQ editors and other ‘suits’ how they expected their authors to live on the paltry wages they paid. Their blunt answer, “We don’t.” They said they warn authors not to quit their day jobs; they tell them not to expect to earn a living as a writer. They stress that this is a hobby, not a career. I was stunned and saddened. Consequently, after my friend spoke out, she never sold another manuscript to the company.

 

This experience raises the following question: what kind of publisher tells its writers not to expect to make a living at writing?

Obviously, after being made aware of this substantial problem with regards to Harlequin’s contract, my advice to other emerging writers is this: stay away from Harlequin unless they change their terrible contractual language (and for that matter, their horrible attitude regarding the rights of professional writers to make a living).  Remember that you can and will do better as a self-published author than at Harlequin or any of its subsidiaries.  And if you can’t bring yourself to test the self-publishing market yet, you’ll also do better at any other publisher because every one of them pays better royalty rates than Harlequin.

One caveat, though, for those who are going through any “Big Six” publishing house (these are the well-known, long-established publishing houses such as Random House, Penguin Putnam, etc.) — read the contractual language carefully before signing.  Get a lawyer to look it over if you can (if you have an agent, make sure they have a lawyer look it over as well), and know your rights with regards to any given contract.

Publishing is fraught with so many challenges as it is, which is why you must be careful and vigilant.  Know your rights.  Don’t get taken in by a big company with a long reach like Harlequin; instead, believe in yourself and your talent, because ultimately, that is the only way to win.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Quick Writing/Editing Update

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Right now, I’m still ensconced with the nuts and bolts of a lengthy non-fiction manuscript that I’m editing for two other writers.  So very little fiction writing has been done in the past month or so.

That said, I did get about 1100 words into a new story, which is of all things a YA dystopia.  (No, I’m not trying to follow today’s market trends so much as just figure out where this story leads me.  Tomorrow’s market trends may be much different than today’s, and every writer worth her salt knows this.)  So that’s encouraging.

Otherwise, I sent two different stories (the second only after the first was rejected) to a well-known anthology.  Neither story was picked, but I’m pleased that I was able to format these stories properly for the market and get them out despite the otherwise heavy workload.

I also have two other stories out, plus a third at a place that’s part writing workshop, part market.  (This latter is for Universe Annex, and that particular story will likely need to be revised for this particular market if I’m to have any hope of selling it there, which is fine.)  And three poems are currently sitting at a different market altogether, so at least I’m getting my completed short fiction and some of my poetry off my computer and out to various markets. 

All of this is important, because you can’t possibly sell anything if you aren’t willing to take the risk.  I know this sounds basic, and it is.  But you still must take that risk.

Now, I need to get back to editing.  Just know that unless something really interesting happens between now and Saturday, it’s unlikely I’ll post much except to get a book review out the door at SBR due to the ongoing work that must be completed — and soon — lest I risk the wrath of my writers and their publisher.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Editing, Publishing, Writing

Monday Odds and Ends

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Today’s post contains a number of quick updates.  (Ready, set . . . go!)

First, Milwaukee Brewers SS Alex Gonzalez, after being placed on the 15-day DL on May 6, 2012, found out that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); Gonzalez will now be out for the entire year.  This might not seem so bad, except for the fact that Gonzalez is the third Brewers player to go down with a season-ending injury, joining first baseman Mat Gamel and pitcher Chris Narveson on the long-term disabled list.

Second, the Wisconsin recall primaries are tomorrow, May 8, 2012.  Please get out there and vote; remember that in the 21st district, the only real Democrat is former state Senator John Lehman.  In the gubernatorial primary, the four real Ds are Tom Barrett, Kathleen Falk, Doug LaFollette, and Kathleen Vinehout.

Third, I’m attempting to broaden my horizons regarding digital publications, as I’ve joined a workshop toward that end.  While I still hope to find a publisher (or at least an agent) this year, it’s important to learn everything I can about e-publishing in case I do decide to go that route.

That’s about it — now, I’d best get back to editing (as a non-fiction manuscript I’ve been working on with two writers is due to be turned in later this week).

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Women Writers Get the Shaft (Again); Vida Study Points Out Gender Bias in Literary Mags

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As a woman writer, things like the 2011 Vida study of how literary magazines still have far more male writers working for them than female writers make you go “Hmm.”

Oh, you haven’t heard about that yet?  Take a gander:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/voices-unheard-female-bylines-still-lacking-male-dominated-221607185.html

Here’s the deal: more men write for literary magazines than women, by a wide margin.  At many magazines, male writers outnumber female ones three to one, while the ones that “beat the curve” do so by having “only” sixty-five percent of their articles written by men rather than seventy-five percent.

And it gets worse; most of the books being reviewed by these publications are also written by men, so there’s a double-jeopardy sort of thing going on that I truly do not understand.  (As a prolific book reviewer, I defy anyone to tell me that I’m not the equal of a male book reviewer.  Yet most of these books, written by men, have male book reviewers.  For shame!)

This is unacceptable and inexcusable.  Don’t these magazines (Harper’s, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker among them) realize it’s 2011?  And that women writers are surely the equal of men?  How can something like this continue, especially considering that women read just as much, if not more, than men?

Only Granta, which had a few more female authors than male, and Good magazine, which is evenly split among male and female authors through its first three issues of 2012, have made inroads on this problem — because make no mistake, it is a problem.

And these literary mags can’t even say they were unaware of it, because Vida also published a study in 2010, yet nothing was done.  There has to be a reason for it, and Vida believes they’ve found it: gender bias.  As Erin Belieu, co-founder of Vida, pointed out in the Yahoo blog post:

“Gender bias is pretty ingrained–this is a expression in the literary world, but it happens everywhere.”

Amen, sister!

I have news for these literary publications, folks: writers write.  It’s what we do.  And last I checked, having writing talent has nothing to do with your gender — why should it?

There is an obvious answer here that most of these literary mags are missing: hire more female writers.  Because believe you me, we can write, and we’re not afraid to say so.

My guess is that around this time next year, I’ll again have to talk about the literary mags that would rather hire male writers than female ones to write articles, book reviews, and more, because change is glacial in publishing.  (As we have already seen!)  But I would love to be proven wrong — someone?  Anyone?  (Bueller?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Publishing

Tagged with ,

About Self-Publishing from two examples; Kiana Davenport and Ric Locke

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Today it’s time to talk about self-publishing — the good, and the bad.

First, unfortunately, is something bad that happened due to self-publishing (which is, in and of itself, a generally good thing writers do when they’ve exhausted all other avenues of getting their books or stories out).  Kiana Davenport, a writer with many awards and sales to her credit, had a novel scheduled to come out in 2012 with a “Big Six” Publisher (she doesn’t, or can’t, name which one), but that contract was canceled after Ms. Davenport self-published two collections of short stories the very same publisher didn’t want.  (Hat tip to Sharon Lee, who posted about this on Twitter and Facebook.)

Here’s the link, and a relevant (unfortunately quite lengthy) quote from Ms. Davenport’s blog:

In January, 2010,  I signed a contract with one of the Big 6 publishers in New York for my next novel.  I understood then that I,  like every writer in the business, was being coerced into giving up more than 75% of the profits from electronic sales of that novel, for the life of the novel.   But I was debt-ridden and needed upfront money that an advance would provide. The book was scheduled for hardback publication in August, 2012,  and paperback publication  a year later.  Recently that publisher discovered I had self-published two of my story collections as electronic books.  To coin the Fanboys,  they went ballistic.  The editor shouted at me repeatedly  on the phone.  I was accused of breaching my contract (which I did not) but worse, of ‘blatantly betraying them with Amazon,’ their biggest and most intimidating  competitor.  I was not trustworthy.  I was sleeping with the enemy.

My lawyer  quickly pointed out that the  first collection, HOUSE OF SKIN, PRIZE-WINNING STORIES,  had been e-published  in December,  before I signed the contract with the publisher,  so they immediately targetted the second collection, CANNIBAL NIGHTS, PACIFIC STORIES, Volume II, published recently in July.

Most of the stories in both collections had  each been published several times before,  first in Story Magazine,  then again in The O’HENRY AWARDS  PRIZE STORIES anthologies,  the PUSHCART PRIZE stories anthologies,  and THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, 2000, anthology. And, over  several years  both collections had been submitted  to each of the Big 6 publishers in NY.  I still have their rejection letters,  including one from the house I was now under contract with.  So you might say these stories were, in a sense,  recycled,  sitting  in my files rejected.  Yet,  as published collections,  this Big 6  publisher  suddenly found them threatening.

So, here  is what the  publisher demanded.  That I immediately and totally delete CANNIBAL NIGHTS from Amazon, iNook, iPad, and all other e-platforms.  Plus,  that I delete all Google hits mentioning me and CANNIBAL NIGHTS.  Currently,  that’s about 600,000 hits. (How does one even do that?)  Plus that I guarantee in writing I would not self-publish another ebook of any of my backlog of works until my novel with them was published in hardback and paperback.  In other words they were demanding that I agree to be muzzled for the next two years, to sit silent and impotent as a writer,  in a state of  acquiescence and, consequently,  utter self-loathing.

Note that Ms. Davenport is fighting back, as well she should.  Because to my mind, this sort of attitude makes no sense whatsoever; if Ms. Davenport’s short story collections do well in any format, anywhere, that can only help raise the name recognition for her novel in 2012.  And while I realize the “Big Six” publishers are nervous and don’t seem to completely understand the e-book revolution, why on Earth don’t they realize that any publication in any format, especially from an award-winning writer, can only help them down the line?

This is a short-sighted, self-serving attitude at best, and completely stupid at worst, from the “Big Six” publisher in question, which is why I’m making sure that anyone who reads my blog knows about this as a possibility with regards to self publishing, even though I hope it will not happen again to anyone else due to the utter stupidity of this happening at all. 

Ms. Davenport has the right to earn a living; it is absolutely, positively wrong for any publisher to try to keep her from doing so.  Period.  (And if you want to help her earn some money this quarter — I have no money or I’d throw some her way — go buy one of her short story collections, here or here.  That’ll help her, and spite her idiotic “Big Six” publisher, all at the same time — the very definition of a win/win.)

My hope is that by writing about this, and all the discussion of it (here, at Ms. Davenport’s blog, at Passive Voice, by Sharon Lee, and by many, many others) has to help get the word out that some publishers are just plain crazy.  And that “sisters have to keep doing it for themselves.”  (Or brothers.)

Now, on to a very good example of self-publishing that has worked well.

Ric Locke, who was a good friend of my late husband Michael, self-published his novel, the milSF TEMPORARY DUTY, at Amazon.com and other places.  (Here’s the link to his book at Amazon.)  Locke dedicated it to Michael, which I greatly appreciated once I found out about it (through correspondence with Locke, which I didn’t see for months due to not checking my e-mail as regularly as I should).**  I’ve read Locke’s novel — it’s excellent, and I don’t say that lightly — and believe it should’ve been picked up by someone in the mainstream, mainline publishing world.  But since it wasn’t, I’m glad he published it himself.  So far he has around 11,000 downloads since he put it up at the end of May of 2011, and that’s great.  98 reviews to date at Amazon.com, too — most of them positive.

All of that said, I’m still a bit leery of self-publishing even though I have seen it work for Ric Locke and have seen it work for a few other friends.  But it has become a worthy option for many, and it’s much better to have good novels like Locke’s coming out somehow rather than being forced to the sidelines because none of the “Big Six” liked what Ric was doing.

So, there you have it.  Self-publishing is how more and more authors are making a go of it to attempt to pay the bills, and it’s here to stay.  So let’s hope that whichever publisher Ms. Davenport was dealing with will get with the program and realize that, as the old adage says, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

—————

** Note that Michael helped to edit Ric Locke’s novel.  (Which should tell you how long Locke tried to get his novel published before finally taking the plunge and publishing it himself, as Michael has been dead for nearly seven years.)  I read it and commented, too, but compared to Michael’s comprehensive efforts, it was nothing.