As I prepare for this week’s blog, I feel the need to address a couple of things that I will not write about on Thursday.
First, I got a lot of hate mail and vile comments last week for my blog post, all because I told people to learn business, understand the issues they’re complaining about, and then, if those issues matter to them, to take action. Well, apparently a lot of folks seem to think writing on another writer’s blog is action. It isn’t. It’s a waste of phosphors.
Fortunately, Mark Coker of Smashwords.com doesn’t think that writing on someone else’s blog is action. He has been taking very strong action on the PayPal mess for the past few weeks. He blogs about it on the Smashwords site, but more importantly, he gives the customers of Smashwords a guide as to the action they can take. If you’re upset about PayPal’s decision on refusing to support sites that sell certain types of erotica, then go to Mark’s Press Room, read this post, and take the steps he outlines for you.
Folks, everything Mark is doing is the way you fight a legal action that you disagree with. Whether or not you like what PayPal is doing, there is no law preventing them from doing so. Until there is, the only way you can stop them is to hit them in the pocketbook–or to show them how their pocketbook will get damaged by their actions. Mark is doing this quite effectively. Kudos to him for taking action.
Secondly, in the middle of last week, an agent named Terrie Wolf, who works at AKA Literary, tweeted this in her @AKA_Terrie account: “Authors, listen up. Unless you’ve passed the bar – don’t argue contract law with agents/editors. We get it. Promise. #pubtips” If you need to see the tweet for yourself, check it out here. I found out about it because a number of you sent me to that tweet, shocked by it. I wasn’t. I have been saying that a lot of agents and many others in traditional publishing hold writers in complete contempt. I tweeted about her comment, pointing out how egregious this was, and she answered me (and another person) with this tweet: “@Morigutakir @KristineRusch this is not an attack on anyone’s abilities. It is a reminder that all parties must abide by the same rules.”
Which is both silly and not true. I was going to blog (again) about agents who treat writers like small children–which is what Terrie Wolf does here. She assumes we don’t know as much as she does. It’s offensive.
Here’s the advantage or disadvantage (I’m not sure which) of a once-per-week business blog: Sometimes someone handles the topic ahead of you. In this case, Mike Stackpole wrote a blog post that I wish I had written. He doesn’t tar all agents with Terrie Wolf’s brush, but he makes an excellent point about agents writers should hire and agents writers should avoid. Please click over to Mike’s blog and read this. It’s important.
And now I shall return to writing, and preparing for this week’s blog.