I’m going to put all this aside after this blog, and step back in my cage and write. But I feel, really strongly, this single issue deserves attention before I do.
When I checked the latest comments on yesterday’s blog, Blowback, I found this.
In reply to Nora Roberts.
The link you posted above is suggesting that authors cannot sell their intellectual property (their books) to other authors and publishers. It’s literally calling someone a “scammer” for selling the rights to some books they wrote.
How on Earth is that a scam?
By that measure, every single traditional publisher that has ever bought rights to a book (and subsequently published that title with their own cover and marketing spin) would be a “scammer”.
Do you genuinely think it’s a scam for someone to sell the publishing rights/copyright for their original work to another person? If that person then packages and sells that book to the masses, is that a scam?
I’m genuinely open to talk if you want to have a quick dialogue about this stuff. That link you posted is just an honest author trying to sell the books THEY wrote, and some random silliness besides.
This is, first, just stunning to me. After the stun, the anger and the outrage for every real writer, every single reader in the whole freaking world–in the whole damn multi-verse–rose up like the red, fiery tongues of ten thousand suns.
This commenter feels it’s just perfectly peachy for someone (because I’m not going to dignify that someone by calling him/her a writer) to publish a book, rack up, one assumes, some sales, some income. Then when that person decides that income stream has run its course, to offer that book for sale to another person (new income stream!). That person can do a search and replace on names, maybe a few tweaks (or maybe not) then slap a new cover and name on it, publish it all over again.
I suppose that could be done multiple times. I suppose it is. Income stream dries up, sell, someone else opens a new stream.
This commenter equates this with a traditionally published author who gets the rights back to their book, then republishes it. Under THEIR OWN NAME.
That is such utter bullshit.
First, I know many, many writers who have done just this. When rights revert, those writers take their book, do the work–or hire a pro to do the work–of formatting for e-form. They find a fresh cover–but in every case I know use the original title, or explain the title change. And they market it as classic or vintage or whatever term suits. They’re not deceiving the reader. It remains their book, their name, their work.
They put the publication on their website, their social media, letting readers know their book, previously published in paper, is now available in e-format. Full freaking disclosure.
They’re not selling it to somebody who’ll now pretend he/she wrote it to recharge that income stream.
That’s a cheat. A lie. And it infuriates every pulsing cell in my writer’s being.
It undermines and disrespects the very art, the essential craft of writing. Hey, why spend time actually writing (which I will bet a whole buncha money they can’t do anyway) if I can just buy a manuscript and put my name on it?
I will also bet a whole buncha money that many of the original somebodys paid to have a ghost write the book in the first place.
It smirks at the reader while it does so, showing him/her no respect. The reader isn’t valued, they’re just dupes to this scammer–and yes, by all the gods, they are scammers.
These people aren’t writers. They have no pride in their work. If it was ever their work. They couldn’t possibly have put any real heart in the work as they obviously have no emotional attachment to the story, the characters, the words.
It’s just an income stream.
Anyone who does this deserves to be outed, deserves to be banned from the site on which they ‘publish’.
Those of you who work in the indie world, if you don’t start naming and shaming this sort of deplorable scheme and those who perpetuate and profit from it, it won’t ever stop. I don’t mean those who have, and continue to try, but those who keep silent out of fear.
Stand up for yourself.
I can speak out, but there’s no point and will be no stop to it, if you don’t stand up.
Some of you have asked what you can do.