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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yet Another Epub Bites the Dust

First, I'm not trying to be insensitive to the authors, editors, cover artists, etc. of this (or any) epublisher that has recently gone the way of the dodo, but I have to admit, I'm getting a little jaded (and even cynical) about some of the smaller epubs these days.

Is it something in the water?

Last week, an author and former editor of one epublisher (Silk's Vault) went public with complaints about failings of the company to pay authors' royalties and wages owed to company employees. And now I've heard that Mardi Gras Publishing has just closed up shop, leaving authors wondering what will happen to their contracted books.

What the hell?

Reportedly, Silk's Vault failed to respond to attempts by Dear Author to interview them. By default, they'd sent a very disturbing message. They are choosing not to defend themselves. In other words, they're guilty. At least, that's my take.

What's the story about Mardi Gras? If you read Piers Anthony's epublisher report on Mardi Gras, it looks like the trouble started some time ago. Reports of authors being "viciously attacked", the publisher charging listing fees for ebooks appearing on their site (what the f*&k?), authors' books being pulled after they questioned royalty statements, etc.

Let me make one thing clear. I am NOT happy to see any epublisher portrayed in this light in the media. People tend to generalize, and before you know it, *all* epublishers are startups, risky and run by scam artists. And all ebooks are second rate, poorly edited, and written by untalented hacks who couldn't sell to a NY house.

That's not the case.

To the newbie authors out there, PLEASE be careful when selecting publishers--print or ebook. Do your homework. Read and carefully consider reports from reputable sites like Piers Anthony, Predators and Editors and Writer Beware. Talk to authors who have been published with the house, in particular those who've left.

Kudos to the authors who've taken a stance, risked who-knows-what to share their problems with other writers, and to the bloggers who've helped spread the word. It sucks that even one author is treated poorly, let alone hundreds. It's been said some authors are so desperate to be published, they'll either put up with crap they shouldn't, or they're afraid if they tell someone about their troubles they'll be labeled a "bad author" or "trouble maker". I have to agree, to a certain extent, although I'm certainly not blaming any author for the mistreatment they've suffered.

It's a sad truth, that some people are just rotten enough that they'll take advantage of others' dreams...and their desperation to see them come true.

Edited on 8/28/07 to add: It's reported the owner of Mardi Gras Publishing has made public her intent to file bankrupcy on Sept. 1. Authors, if you have books contracted by Mardi Gras, make sure you send a registered letter overnight, requesting immediate return of all rights.

Vampilicious Erotic Romance

posted by Tawny Taylor at 2:46 PM |


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