Has.BookPusher Shelf
Reblogged URL
ONTD Original: Cassandra Clare Controversies

This piece is epic, and pretty comprehensive.

Reblogged from TezMillerOz
Victim Blaming Awfulness

 

Today on twitter, a friend pointed out a screencap and a link to Karen Marie Moning’s post about the status of her audiobooks. One of her narrators, Philip Gigante, will be continuing to be the voice of the Fever books in the future. If no one is aware, Phillip Gigante is a popular audiobook narrator for a lot of romance and thriller books. Earlier this week it was reported he was found guilty of accosting a child for immoral purposes and possession of child sexually abusive material.

 

I was actually shocked and saddened, as well beyond disappointed, to see Karen Marie Moning on her Facebook page dismissing people’s concerns over this matter and was standing by him, which is her prerogative. However, what I found really shocking and disappointing was the reactions in the comments. For more background information on this, Bibliodaze has a great write-up on the whole sorry saga.

 

I don’t want to focus on Moning’s stance (although that is part of it) and I don’t want to attack her personally because I understand her reasons in standing by a friend. However, she used her professional page to state she was standing by him. As well as refusing to discuss the issues surrounding him and the wider impact this may have to her readers and fans, who may have been touched or experienced similar situations or abuse. I found this really disheartening and dismissive. It can’t be dismissed or ignored. And what I found even more sadder were the comments victim blaming the girl and implying that she was the reason that caused him to be arrested, leading to his conviction.

 

This is the very reason why so many people refuse to come forward and report their abuse and/or rapes. It’s a terrible message to send out, especially when someone who is experiencing something similar and sees similar comments. What if a young reader today saw this reaction and refuses to come forward in the future when they are faced in a similar situation, because they think they will be blamed instead of the perpetrator?

 

I know this post will probably unpopular to many but I don’t care because this needed to be said and not dismissed, ignored or whitewashed that this never happened. People should be aware if they decide to buy audiobooks it may be narrated by a man convicted with these charges, because I would want to know.

Reblogged
Fans of Karen Marie Moning Take Note: Defending The Indefensible: On Phil Gigante & Karen Marie Moning

From Bibliodaze: http://bibliodaze.com/2016/01/defending-the-indefensible-on-phil-gigante-karen-marie-moning/

 

"Content warning: This post discusses rape and the sexual accosting of a minor. Nothing in great detail but if these topics are triggering or troubling to you, please approach with caution.

 

Feverborn is the latest novel in the New York Times bestselling series by romance author Karen Marie Moning. The books have an extensive and dedicated fanbase and remains one of the few urban fantasy series that’s retained its popularity over the course of several years. After a change in audiobook narrators, Moning announced that the original and preferred pairing of Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante would be returning for the latest book.

 

In July of last year, two men in Michigan were arrested for exchanging indecent images of themselves with a teenage girl. In October, one of the men pleaded guilty to the charges of accosting a child for immoral purposes and possession of sexually abusive images of a child. That man was Phil Gigante."

 

More links to note: 

 

Phil Gigante pleads guilty to accosting a child for immoral purposes, possession of child sexually abusive material: 

http://www.shorelinemedia.net/ludington_daily_news/news/local/phil-gigante-pleads-guilty-to-accosting-a-child-for-immoral/article_502116d2-71d4-11e5-a921-8b0e8f496b4a.html#.Vp2TfdoHX0g.twitter

 

Facebook suspicion leads to arrests on allegations of exchanging explicit photos:

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2015/07/facebook_suspicion_leads_to_ar.html

Reblogged from Katiebabs Library of Books
Review
4.5 Stars
Hold by Claire Kent
Hold - Claire Kent

 

Gritty stark erotic romance that hit all the right buttons! Riana is thrust in an underground prison, after being found guilty of trespassing during an archeological dig. To survive she has to partner up with a man who can field off dangerous convicts who have no qualms in raping and killing her. Her instincts lead her to trust a man called Cain who has the only working cell and he may have a plan to escape.

This was soooo good. I was in the mood of something dark and atmospheric and I enjoyed a few of Kent's books. But this is her first foray in SF romance and she created a fantastic gritty and claustrophobic tone. The romance grows slowly and the erotic elements adds to their relationship. I really hope she writes more in this world!

Review
4.5 Stars
Review: This Gun For Hire by Jo Goodman
This Gun for Hire - Jo Goodman

I am still having the lingering after-effects of a book hangover with this book. I loved the hero and heroine, whose romance was filled with witty banter and a reserved but sizzling undertone chemistry that carries throughout the book. Jo Goodman is a fabulous author who has a great grasp and use of dialogue and likeable characters. But I think she threw the ball out of the ballpark with this one.

Although the romance was slow burn, and other than the beginning and ending, which was action packed, I highly enjoyed this book!

I also did a joint review with Lou - here at The Book Pushers.

http://thebookpushers.com/2015/04/07/joint-review-this-gun-for-hire-by-jo-goodman/#comments

Reblogged
Anne Rice finally, truly, jumps the shark

When you choose the hill you are going to die on, don't let it be this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Jeffersons-Mistress-Werewolf-Vampire-ebook/dp/B00RY5J54G/ref=cm_rdp_product

 

You would have to be living under a rock to not be aware that Anne Rice is in a pitched battle with a few people in the amazon forums, as well as all reviewers who don't hand out 5-star reviews like they are candy, and, not coincidentally, Jenny Trout, who got on her bad side (again) by pointing out how offensive this book is.

 

Let's just take it apart for a small moment. Some self-published author with a stupid pseudonym (in this case, Fionna Free Men) slaps together a bunch of crappy erotica and equally crappy covers, and then puts them on amazon for sale. So far, nothing to see here, right?

 

Except one of those pieces of erotica is a "master-slave BDSM fic" about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Sally Hemings is a real historical personage. She was the half-sister of Jefferson's dead wife and Jefferson's slave, and, while there is dispute amongst historians, there is significant historical evidence to demonstrate that Jefferson raped her for the first time when she was between 14 and 15 years old, and continued raping her indefinitely, fathering six children with her. 

 

Let me not mince words. I use the word "rape" intentionally because Sally Hemings was an enslaved person and was unable to consent to a relationship with Jefferson. One can only consent if one can refuse consent. A slave is not an owner of her body, she has no agency. She cannot say no, and therefore, she cannot say yes. So the idea that Hemings "consented" to a relationship with Jefferson in any fashion whatsoever is bullshit.

 

But that isn't the point of this post. The point of this post is that Anne Rice - and honestly, I still expected better of her, which I guess makes me nuts - has chosen to defend that book because she hates Jenny Trout more than she hates racist rape apologia. Which even I didn't expect of her. 

 

Here is her original facebook post, screenshotted:

 

 

And here's her response to another person who is going to go buy the book to "support free speech":

 

For completeness, let's get the original offending post linked as well:

 

http://jennytrout.com/?p=8823

 

Now, let's get a couple things straight. 

 

First off, this has nothing to do with free speech. Fionna Free Men, wherever the fuck she is, has a right to write all of the racist, disgusting and despicable rape apologia that she wants. She is free to speak. What she doesn't have a right to, actually, is a platform. The government is prohibited from interfering with her free speech. Neither amazon nor Jenny Trout are the government. So the next person who mentions "free speech" in the discussion should be sent back to high school and forced to attend civics class until they can pass the section on the Bill of Rights.

 

Second, Jenny Trout did not tell people to pirate the book. She told them neither to buy nor to read it. But if they, for whatever reason, couldn't stand the thought of not firsthand experiencing 19 pages of glorified racism and rape, then by all means, they should pirate it rather than giving the author one thin dime off of the pile of shit that is this book.

 

And that, my friends, is the hill that Anne Rice has chosen to die on. She hates Jenny Trout so much that she will support that crap over Jenny. And she hates the "bullies" so much than anything that they think is bad, she must go on record as calling good. Even if that thing that is "good" is a disgusting rape fic about a 14-year-old black enslaved person who was raped by her 44 year old white owner for decades.

 

When this fight started, did she imagine that it would end with her defending the glorification of child abuse and racism? Somehow, I think not.

Reblogged from Moonlight Murder
URL
Sam Taylor Johnson Pulls out of Fifty Shades sequel

Anyone want to bet they replace her with a guy.... But not surprising especially after the reports of the onset tensions and arguments between her and James. 

Reblogged
How E.L. James Responds To DV Victims and Rape Suvivors...

in regards to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (From Jenny Trout)

 

 

 

----------------------------------------

 

I really wished James could recognize other viewpoints and peoples experience without being insultingly dismissive. Part of being Romancelandia we can discuss similar issues like bodice rippers and forced seduction. Its not necessarily a bad thing but instead of treating a rape abuse survivors for being wrong because James refused to acknowledge the tropes shes uses which ironically is partially based on Twilight and old skool HQN Presents. Instead there could be a discourse and she doesn't have to come across as an arsehole.

Reblogged from Katiebabs Library of Books
Source: http://jennytrout.com/?p=8759
Reblogged
Editorial: The State of Publishing (More on Midlists, Marketing, and Kickstarting)

 

On Monday, I posted a post about how I believe midlist novels don’t get the attention they probably deserve and rambled about how I’m considering doing some sort of feature devoted to these books.  Since that post, things have exploded in the Twitter world.

 

Stacey Jay decided to take down her illy phrased kick starter and let’s just say all hell broke loose.  I really didn’t want to go into all the particulars about the campaign in my blog because I didn’t think there was anything done out of intentional malice from it.  But now that things have imploded, I think it might be a good idea to discuss Kickstart and sites like it and how they might have an impact on publishing in the future.  And that sort of means I have to talk about the elephant in the room…Jay’s book.

 

I’ve been looking forward to Princess of Thorns since it was announced in January 2014.  I loved Jay’s previous novel Of Beast and Beautyit was a wonderful adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, and mixed fairytale with futuristic dystopia quite well.  So, when I heard she had another fairytale retelling coming out, you can say I was very excited.

 

Not so much when I read the Kickstarter.  While I wouldn’t have mind chipping in for production and editing cost, I didn’t want to be paying for Jay’s living expenses.  Maybe this was in part because she was using Kickstarter rather than another crowd sourcing site that focuses more on the creator than the product.  While many have held the 7k as being like an advance, it’s not.  There’s not a contract between the donators and Jay like there would be with a publisher and Jay becuase there’s no freaking consideration (you know, getting a chunk out of the royalties from future sales like a publisher would).  Plus, most self pub authors I know don’t get an advance

.

I heard arguments about how you can’t write a book while working a job.

 

 

Um, no.

 

Most writers start out and continue writing while working.  I know some writers who are working multiple jobs while writing and have a family life.  While it’s true that I don’t know Jay and her finances, I just find the whole thing a little annoying.

 

Especially since I come from a family of artists.  For example, my sister is a professional musician.  In order to make ends meet she has another full job as a private lesson teacher.  She used to sell her reeds commercially as well and still find time to practice.  And guess what, no one paid her to practice for her orchestra.  Oh, she gets paid for rehearsals and performances, but not for merely practicing.

 

And then there was the whole  I won’t write anymore books in the YA genre if the KS fails line.

 

 

That last line left a really bad taste in my mouth.

 

But again, that’s just my opinion and believe it or not I do see where Jay is coming from.  I just don’t think the crowd sourcing site was utilized properly.  I do think that crowd sourcing is going to become an important part of the publishing process (especially for midlist authors) in the future.

 

Publishing is completely different than it was even five years ago.  Like it or hate it, Amazon  has changed the landscape especially when it comes to authors who don’t get the sort of press like big names.

 

Marketing is also a different game than it was years ago.  Publishing companies often will do little to no marketing.  With Princess of Thorns, for example, I only found out about it because I was interested in what else Jay was working on.  There wasn’t any fancy cover reveal.  I didn’t even realize it was on Netgalley till it was next to  impossible to obtain a copy.

 

I think the lack of marketing is in part to the over hype of what social media is AND isn’t.  While social media is a great tool to utilize when on a shoe string budget, it’s not fool proof and to be fully effective traditional marketing has to be employed with it.

Add an author’s already busy schedule and…well, ineffective marketing here we come.

Blogs are often thought to be a source of free marketing.  Despite what publishers might think, I don’t (and I know others don’t) have time to market a book like it should be marketed.  In Jay’s case, I plugged the book on several features and I saw the book plugged on some of my friend’s blogs as well.  And the book still didn’t garner enough attention to be given the green light for a sequel by Jay’s traditional publisher. In part, this might be because blogging really is a niche community.

 

While there are tons and tons of book blogs,  most of the time people will find a few they like and keep to those few.  And most of the time…those people you follow read similar things to you.

 

So, exposing the audience that would not normally read the book…not that likely.

Sigh…

 

The marketing for midlist titles has to change.  Here are some solutions (some are way better than others):

 

  • Publishing Downsizes: As much as I hate to say it, maybe it would be better if larger houses downsized their amount of titles.  While this would be less books, more time and resources could be spent on refining the product and marketing it.  There would less likely be as many flops as there are in the current market.  The downside to this is downsizing would more than likely cost jobs in the short term.
  • More Houses: I’d like to see smaller houses or more imprints of larger companies, but more of them incorporating the same concept as solution number one and having more independence from their parent company.  I already am a fan of small presses  and I would love to see more successful start ups. The problem is that the Big Six have a lot more resources than smaller houses.  Publishing is expensive.  I think if smaller houses are going to succeed and make a bigger impact in the market, they need to think outside the box in how to manage their resources.
  • Third Party Publicists: Sure, some authors have access to a strong publicity team, but not every author can afford a publicist.  I think there needs to be a cheaper middle man.  Maybe not performing all the services that a publicist does, but performing some of them at a lower cost.  Maybe advising in social media usage or promoting the author through a blog tour company or running their crowd funder.  Some of the services already exist, but I think it needs to be refined.
  • Stop Being Dependent on a Broken System: This one is the biggest one.  I really wish there wasn’t such a dependence on using primarily social media from unpaid third parties (aka bloggers) to market books.  I like blogging, but it’s a hobby and my focus isn’t on marketing.  I feel safe to assume that this is the same for many bloggers.  While we might have our favorite books, write reviews for them, and go gaga over covers and ships it’s not the same as actual marketing attention towards a book.  Even though I have some favorite midlist titles that I pimp out all the stinking time, I don’t have the resources (time or money) to do an effective marketing campaign.  Let alone, know anything really about marketing.  While bloggers should be part of the equation, they shouldn’t make up a large part of the equation.  And neither should authors.
  • Use Crowd Sourcing, but in an Effective Way: It’s been used before.  But I think when authors use methods like crowd sourcing, they need to pay close attention to the medium they are using.  Honestly, I think they might should have a third party handle the CS site. Having a third party write up the proposal will allow for another perspective and allow discussion before posting a campaign that is less than likely to succeed.

I am sad about losing Jay to the genre.  I enjoyed her books and I really wish she would’ve been getting the sales she deserved.  I feel the situation has become out of control, and that some people are making it about things it’s not-cough, misogyny and piracy, cough.

 

The fact is, even though Jay’s Kickstarter ended up being canceled it highlights awareness to the ever changing world of publishing. Rather than deviating into us versus them talks like some authors have, I think the discussion should be focused on looking at solutions for the changing world that is publishing.

 

Reblogged from Howdy YAL!
Source: http://howdyyal.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-state-of-publishing-more-on-midlists-marketing-kickstarting
Reblogged
Stacey Jay and the Question No One Has Asked

I'm very, very sick right now so I am just posting a rant without links or screenshots, that will come later.

 

I am floored by the fact that no one seems to be thinking ahead. If Jay had left her KS up and she had gotten the money, what happens 3 months down the road? She has 14 books listed on GR and it seems they are not paying the bills. What would change in 3 months?

 

Bibliodaze has posted that Jay admitted to them on Twitter (now deleted) that Princess had sold 13 copies in stores. 13. I'm sure that since the clusterfuck has hit the fan that she has sold a few more but I doubt she is selling enough even after the rush to support "poor, poor Stacey".

 

So what happens in 3 months? What changes? Does she think that somehow this newest book will pull her out of the downward spiral? If 14 can't, I don't think 15 will either. A nd presumably she would want to continue to write so where does the next three months expenses come from?

 

Jay has been in the business fulltime for a decade and that is amazing and wondrous and something other Indies would give their blood and kidneys for. But everything changes and she got caught in change. She must have had The Talk with her agent or publisher before all this, I doubt it was a complete surprise.

 

What did she do to address the issue? It sounds like nothing. And that's her choice but she isn't alone in this, she has two kids to think about. It seems that she thought that we  should be feeding them and keeping a roof over their heads. Well, isn't that what we are doing when we buy her books?

 

I would love to see where anyone, ANYONE said that she should work for free. She writes a book, we buy a book. THat's how it generally works. Now Jay wanted to have her expenses up front paid for not by a publishing house but by her readers.  It didn't happen because she felt those of us who disagreed with her 3 month plan were somehow "vitriolic" or "bullying" or "tearing her apart".

 

Bull... feathers.

 

What would happen in three months? Would she ask for another $10,500 for the next book? When would it end? And it would be of no benefit to Jay and her kids, somewhere she has to find a more stable source of income because, I am telling you and you know it's true, that sooner rather than later people would tire of supporting a seemingly able-bodied woman just because she feels that working and working at writing are not compatible.

 

I realize that after 10 years going back into the workforce is scary, it's damn scary at any time but putting it off and asking people who might be struggling themselves to keep you going is not a viable plan.

 

All those who are vilifying others for not jumping on the Jay bandwagon should be ashamed of themselves, no one here would let her kids starve. No one here would refuse to help an author in trouble.

 

But you must ask the question, what would have happened in three months?

Reblogged from Spare Ammo
Reblogged
The amount of wilful ignorance being displayed by some, a few authors over the kickstarter incident

is making me want to lose my mind.

 

Here is a list of things that no one anywhere ever said (at least to my knowledge):

 

1. No one said that Stacey Jay was committing a crime or breaking kickstarter rules. It is possible to have a negative opinion of something that is neither a crime nor against rules.

 

2. No one suggested that she was a thief or a bad person. It is possible to disagree with a business model without believing that the person who has proposed the model is trying to steal my money or lacks honesty or integrity.

 

3. No one ever (EVER, EVER, EVER) said that all books should be free. Or that real writers exist on a higher plane above the rest of us where they have transcended the need for stuff like food and housing.

 

So, let me respond as follows:

 

 

Yes, I agree. I absolutely pay for the books I consume! I don't read fan fic! Yippee, we are on the same page. Except that no one ever said that authors shouldn't get paid for their books. Absolutely, they should get paid for their books WHEN I BUY THEIR BOOKS AFTER THEY HAVE PUBLISHED THEM!

 

 

Again, the logic failures are simply astounding. No one has suggested or is suggesting that authors should starve, romantically or otherwise. People are suggesting that perhaps a business model that expects donors to fund mortgages before the book is naught but a gleam in the author's eye is questionable. 

 

 

Wait? Where were the words "arrogant" or "greedy" used by anyone, leaving aside the question of the sex of the person at issue.

 

Here is the actual deal. Publishing is in disarray. I totally get that. And you know why publishing is in disarray? Because of the market. Because barriers to entry have all but disappeared. Because it is now possible for ANYONE to publish ANYTHING at ANYTIME and call it a book and potentially make money off of it. Your market is glutted. This is what happens when markets are glutted. The product loses value.

 

This is not the reader's fault.

 

So, is it harder now than ever before to be a full-time author and make a living at it? Yes. But the flip side of that is that it is also easier now than ever before to be a full-time author and make a living at it. Either way, the risk is yours, author. Take it, love it, reap the benefits of it. Or fail. On your own.

 

But when you start trying to establishing an eco-system where you shove the risk off of yourselves and onto others, while retaining all of the rewards, then what you are going to get is pushback. If you want to brazen it out, go right ahead. See if you can get your kickstarter funded to pay you whatever you want. Hell, if you can convince your fans that you require a personal watercraft in order to write your next thriller, knock yourself out.

 

But when readers balk, it isn't because they don't want to pay you for your books, or because they are greedy and they want free stuff, or they don't value your writing.

 

It is because the standard agreement between author and reader is: you write and publish it, I buy it for free market value. You bear the risk of failure, not me. And if you want to change that agreement to benefit you, and only you, you can expect that I will object.

 

Thanks.

 

P.S.: I had a few very pleasant discussions with authors on this subject. Those discussions aren't what this post is about.

Reblogged from Moonlight Murder
Reblogged
Kickstarter vs state funding grants

It has come to my attention that there are several parallels between Stacey Jay's Kickstarter campaign and something that angered me a few years ago.

 

An author (who shall remain nameless) wrote a book and got it published traditionally with a large publishing house. The book did not sell phenomenally well, but well enough for the publisher to request a sequel.

 

Meanwhile, the author applied for an arts grant provided by the state - that is to say, taxpayer dollars - to live on while she wrote said sequel. She received the grant, which meant she no longer had to work at a day job and could spend her time writing. Quite a nice cushy guaranteed income.

 

She wrote the sequel. She sold the sequel. She received an advance and royalties for the sequel.

 

She also had my tax money to live on while she wrote the sequel.

 

I don't think this should have happened. The problem with writing is that you never know who's going to buy it once it's done. I didn't get a say in my tax dollars going to support this author while she wrote her book.

 

Essentially I paid twice for it. Once for her to have a nice life while she wrote it, and again when I bought it.

 

And yes, there are instances where people are willing to pay up front before a book is even written - publishers do this all the time, taking books on 'proposal'. But authors have to earn out their advances before they get their royalties.

 

I once said there was an author I loved so much I didn't care what she wrote next, I was willing to pay up front for it (the whole TAKE MY MONEY thing). Well, that book's out now, and I have no interest in reading it. So that'd be a losing situation for me, too.

 

The same author also got another grant the next year. She's received two state grants, which were supposed to be for further sequels of the original series, but those books haven't been produced. Instead, last year a new stand-alone was written.

 

Two grants. One book produced.

 

Stacey Jay was asking for money in advance of producing something as well. On top of that, once the book was published she'd get royalties.

 

Lots of authors have day jobs as well as write. There used to be a time when it was only best-sellers who could afford to quit their day job.

 

But I've seen - especially around the indie community - this attitude that authors have a right to not work a day job while they pursue their 'dream'. This entitlement that authors' time is more precious than us plebs and they should get paid the same as us drones working a 9-5 job for sitting at a computer for a couple of hours a day and typing.

 

The idea that we need to buy their books because it's their dream to live off their royalties.

 

I'm sure Jay's a good author. I've wanted to read Princess of Thorns for a while.

 

But I can't find any good argument as to why I should pay for her cost of living and then buy the book on top of that. Or even pay for her cost of living at all. That's something she's meant to be covering with a) previous sales profit or b) a day job.

 

But at least with Stacey Jay, I had a choice of if I wanted to pay her up front. It's not my tax money going to support her while she writes a book she'll later take profit from.

Reblogged from Nemo @ Young Adult At Heart
Reblogged
#HaleNo

We are making this official and we hope you'll take this stand with us.

We as book bloggers will not give Kathleen Hale any publicity. No book tours, no interviews, no cover reveals, no reviews, not a shred of work from us. What she did is heinous and we can fight back in our own way. She has a new book coming out next year. Let's ignore it completely. 

Please join us. Come to Twitter & declare #HaleNo. Say No to Kathleen Hale.

 

(Credit to Cuddlebuggery for the epic tag)

Reblogged from The Book Lantern
Reblogged
[Reblog -and a fab post!] Soapbox Saturday: An Open Letter to Jamie McGuire and Teresa Mummert

N.B.  This is involving an incident that's covered on Jenny Trout's blog in detail regarding the lawsuit against Dear Author/Jane Litte from a well known romance publisher, Ellora's Cave.  The two authors mentioned: Jamie McGuire (author of Beautiful Disaster) and Teresa Mummert (author of White Trash Damaged) had some vague public social media messages that celebrated the lawsuit against Dear Author, as retribution against a figure they didn't like or was critical of their works/behavior in the past. There were already tensions and an immense shock at the announcement of the lawsuit in and of itself because of the repercussions it could have on the book blogging community as a means of silencing, but also because of the effect it has on authors who publish under Ellora's Cave (and notably, I've read quite many Ellora's Cave authors in the past).  

 

I honestly have no idea if this post will be seen by the authors these words are addressed to, but it is intended as an open dialogue for conversation on an issue that some people, including myself, have had far too much of their fill of.  And it is worth the conversation.  I hope everyone takes it for what it is: food for thought, rather than a so called "witch hunt" - which I'll address in my letter soon enough.  YMMV.

 

To the parties of concern,

 

I think we need to have a conversation.  Seriously.

 

There was a point where I almost didn't pen this post.  Not because I felt afraid to offer my two cents on this whole thing, but because I felt afraid of how it would be interpreted.  Will I get sued just for saying something that a group of authors do not like?  That I'll get their ire just for calling them out on doing things that I find to be highly unprofessional?  Will it hurt me even when I'm an aspiring writer who's also a book blogger, passionate about the books I read and offers my honest two cents?  Will I be labeled a bully when I've had a history of being shoved against lockers, called racial slurs, belittled by the shape of my body, among other things, repeatedly over months, years time, and never had the gall to speak about it until well after the fact? 

 

I hope not.  I seriously hope not.

 

This post isn't penned with mirth or jealousy (I've never had such a bone in my body), it's not even penned with anger. I'm just tired at this point.  Fed up. Disgusted.  In a lot of pain.

 

Why the hell would anyone want to revel in someone else's (anyone else's) problems is beyond my comprehension.  Why anyone in a professional capacity would childishly and publicly post this information on social media where anyone and everyone could see it is also beyond me. I'm not even saying that it's right to do it even privately (YMMV), but the fact that it's public and pointing a mocking finger is just as bad call.

 

The internet is not a private place.  Even as we have our own little microspaces on the webs, the repercussions of what we say in a public sphere have consequences, and people can (and most likely will) be hurt by them.   If you start pointing fingers and doing jigs at something that has very serious repercussions for a whole lot of people, there's a pushback effect.  If you push, people will push back.  If you perpetuate drama, the drama will find its way back to you, and you may not want it to happen, you may run with your tails between your legs from the matter and wipe your hands of it, but it's still there.  It exists.

 

The whole issue with Ellora's Cave is serious business.  The whole measure of what they're trying to do to Dear Author, who is run by figures that you may not like, has serious repercussions that effect people far beyond that blog site.  

 

But you don't see that.  You only see what it means for yourselves.

 

It's not about you.  It is not always about YOU.

 

It is not a "witch hunt" to voice having a problem with what you two chose to say and the way you said it.  You're authors, you're public figures, your words are a reflection of the business you choose to promote, and while it may have been in something of a personal space, the whole freaking world can hear you.  Loud and clear.  There's no subtlety in the malice that came across with your posts.

 

The thing that I ask is why?  Why?  It hurts my head and my heart thinking about all this crap.  All this unnecessary and unwelcome drama.  This is not high school, this is not the movie Mean Girls, this is the real world. Because as someone who loves writing and voicing opinions about books and buying from authors whose works I love, you know - I care about this stuff, and by stuff I mean blogger-reader-writer-author relationships.  I do, a lot.  I don't think it's right for people to be silenced, even if it's from people I may not have a good relationship with.  But I think in larger considerations, it would depend on what the conversation is about.  If we're talking about criticism against books or other forms of media - that's fair. People can have problems with what they read or watch or consume in the public spectrum if they see it as problematic, and voice those concerns.   Likewise, people can have problems with public figures or businesses if the services they provide are not to par.

 

But a person who's a blogger acting as an informant on an unfair practice, and is getting punished for telling people of the unethical notations and ramifications of that practice - that's not cool.

 

I run the risk of getting both of your ire, but I'm going to speak out anyway.  This isn't about you, and it isn't about your books.  It's about something much bigger than that.  Heck, for one of you I've never read your books, and the other I've read all of your books and pretty much raged at every single one in some capacity.  (And apparently I'm taking another one of the team picking up one this month on behalf of a friend who's insanely curious but wouldn't touch the book with a ten foot pole.  The things I do man, the things I do.  = )  But at least I can accept that with the maturity it lends and own up to that factor.  I have the freedoms to speak on things that I find are problematic and can own that opinion without fear of retribution.  Yes, some people may dislike me for it, but I can take it.  I'm a grown woman, and I can accept when I'm wrong about things and apologize and take ownership of it if that's the case.

 

That doesn't make me weak, it makes me strong.  Can you say the same thing about yourselves and the actions you take and perpetuate?

 

I would never think of reveling in any kind of misfortune that comes your way - public or private,  no matter what it is.  Heck, one of you was the victim of a plagiarist who took from your work among several other authors, and as someone who thinks plagiarism is horrible since I am a hardcore lover of words and individuality - I felt for that.  Ironically, Dear Author was one of the players who reported it, and you still proceeded to throw DA under the bus.  Why dude?  That doesn't make any sense.  You can't say one thing, but mean another.  (And oddly, that's a line in a song that I really like, but I don't know if many people would know it.)

 

Apparently, that has it's history with you.  You make a statement, delete it, pretend it doesn't exist.  Or you make a statement, and feign ignorance or pass it off to someone else like it's their problem and not yours.  Denial is ignorance.  Perpetuating ignorance in the face of conflict is not the way to resolve it, especially if you have a firm hand in furthering the drama surrounding it, rather than constructively contributing to a dialogue.

 

I remember other incidents like this - just didn't say anything about it.  I remember when one of you made a callous comparative statement about "segregation" and the moment someone said they had a problem with your comparison of the term outside of its racial and civil rights meanings, you absolved yourself of all responsibility of it.

 

And as a POC myself, that fucking hurt.  But I didn't say anything.  It's your space, your words, your responsibility.  If people have a problem and turn away from your work or lose respect for you on that note, that's your own doing - not mine.  It's not a "witch hunt" if people complain when you make hurtful statements and then run like the wind in the other direction like you didn't do anything wrong.

 

Before you even sit in front of a keyboard, before you even put your finger to a keystroke - for the love of all that's holy, THINK before you act.  Take RESPONSIBILITY for your actions and words.

 

If you don't want yourself in the spotlight for making statements that people will find problematic or hurtful, don't make that statement.  And if somehow on impulse you end up saying something that upsets a lot of people, instead of feigning ignorance or wiping yourself of all responsibility, maybe it might be a better thing for you to actually read what people are saying is problematic with your words, join the dialogue constructively with a patient ear and openness to it, and you know...LEARN from it.

 

You might get something out of doing better by others in the long run.  And certainly, it would be a better alternative that perpetuating further drama, ire, and hurt by not acknowledging the problematic terms that you, directly or indirectly, furthered from your words.

 

Words matter.  Words matter.

 

My two cents, and none more.

 

Regards,

Rose Summers

Reblogged from The Reading Perusals of Rose Summers
URL
Dear Author Defense fund

We have listed the site, or other sources to donate for Dear Author/Jane's legal defense fund for the lawsuit which Ellora's Cave is embarking on. This lawsuit is a dangerous precedent in the world of blogging and romancelandia and it has given a chilling effect in this community because the repercussions in unimaginable. But I really love and proud to be a part of a community that is not taking this lying down and to date of linking this post, the fund has raised over 30 thousand dollars, which is over half of the target amount. 

Reblogged
Leafmarks now lets readers choose if want to see images/GIFs in feed posts

Reblogged from Debbie's Spurts