Monday, May 21, 2007

The Next Cruise (and a bit of a rant)

Flights are all booked to Ft Lauderdale for our next cruise in September. This time, we're off to the Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Anitgua, and the Bahamas. I'm so glad we're making this an annual event! It really gives me something to look forward to.

September 13th will also mark the switch to my working full time for TAG Publishing. Not that I have any plans to discontinue the freelance work I'm doing - in fact I will probably be doing more since I will have more time, but I'm excited to see where it all leads.

On the slate this week is the next draft for the lipo book, finalizing the first draft for the Botox book, and finishing up a first draft on a business book for a client in London. I have to admit it's such a nice switch to go back to writing about business when I've been neck deep in nip, tuck, suck books this spring!

One other item that most of you have probably heard about is the uproar over Simon & Schuster changing the language in authors' contracts to now have indefinite rights to a work as long its in their electronic archives - which basically means forever. This is a perfect example of why small publishers (like ours) are popping up all over the place. As the corporate publishers squeeze more and more from the authors, they are looking for other options. While big name authors still have the power to negotiate a good contract, midlist and especially unknown authors are at their mercy.

The sad thing is that all of this is completely unnecessary. Big publishers operate from a sense of lack, that they must have every option available in order to squeeze out one more dime from a limited market. This is the worst backedup thinking that I have ever seen in a business environment. It's not like we're going to run out of readers! And the thing is, if you produce a good product, people will come to know that product and trust you to give them what they want.

It's time for authors to stop allowing publishers to push them into formula type, book mill books that are not where their heart is. It's time to just say no. No to the "us" versus "them" mentality. No to the disintegration of great fiction just to earn a buck. No to allowing your time and talent to be wasted while your book languishes in the corporate machine.

Personally, I think its time publishers and authors worked together for their mutual benefit. I think its time for honest communication and clarity in financial dealings and if it's broken, for God's sake fix it!!

Just my thoughts today.

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