Sunday, June 16, 2019

Abandon Ship!

Writing is a horrible profession.  By that, I am  not talking about horrible writing. I am talking about the business side of writing--getting stuff published, getting paid, that sort of thing.  Well over a year ago I edited a horror anthology for a small, two-bit publisher in Colorado Springs..  Well, the book never came out, folks never got their token payments, and months went by as the publisher complained she was too depressed to do anything.  It became obvious that this book was going nowhere.  But, the contract gave the publisher until January of this year to bring out the book. Of course that never happened.  I saw an opportunity for the writers to get out of this deal and urged them to withdraw their stories.  They didn't. The publisher did cough up the token payments to everyone.

Case closed? Hardly.  You would think if the editor of an anthology was contacting a writer and urging that writer to get out while you can and withdraw your story, the writer would have enough sense to say "Hey, maybe I should do that."  Well, apparently not.  Now the January deadline to bring out the book has long since passed and there is no sign of the book. I doubt it will ever be published and this publisher is simply wasting everyone's time.  In my case, I made very little editing this book and it's not going to affect me very much.  For people just starting out as writers, that's a different story. This book had a few seasoned pros and some novice writers in it.  While I still would prefer that it was released, I'm also so damned sick of this project that I've written it off..  

So, what do you do when this happens?  I tried to warn people to get out. I saw this coming. I did all I could,  But I'm not the publisher.  The publisher controls the rights to this book.  There is only so much I can do.  I could contact the grievance committee of a writing organization such as SFWA or HWA and ask for help getting the rights released. But, hell, that opportunity was available once and they wouldn't take it.  So I'll do nothing.  Being an editor isn't the glamour job folks think it is.

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