I recently had a bad experience with a small press publisher who inexplicably killed the publication of a novel I wrote under contract.
Well, apparently I’m not the only one with a horror story to tell about dealing with small, one-man publishing operations. Mandy DeGeit, a new, inexperienced writer tells in her blog the unbelievable story of what happened to a story she sold to Undead Press. Apparently the editor did a rewrite of her tale, inserting scenes she’d never written, and apparently never would have written, without consulting her. When she wrote to complain about it, the editor wrote back about the worst response I’ve ever read, short of “go to hell.”
What’s interesting to me about her blog is that there are hundreds of responses from writers of every caliber and level of achievement. All in full support of Mandy. I’m one of them. But beyond that, when you read the responses you find so many of the responders have had similar experiences with these little tin gods who set themselves up in a delusionary throne and think they really are editors and publishers. They’re not. They are pretenders.
Not all small presses are like these clowns. In fact, I don’t believe there are very many like that at all. Most small presses are run by good people who conduct themselves according to a strong code of ethics, and behave in a professional manner. I’ve dealt with many of them. But then there the others. Mandy’s blog has exposed one bad operator and turned her case over to the court of public opinion. That’s something some of these guys who run their publishing businesses over the Internet should remember. The Internet is a double-edged sword.