I’ve seen it on social media a few times in recent weeks. I’d like to say something, but not on a public forum. Every time I see it, I sigh and shake my head. I understand the impetus behind it. I really do. Trust me, having been in this business for a long time on both the publisher and the author side of the desk I have seen the good and the bad. I understand that someone may not want to speak up, may not want to be “that” author. And yet…
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it? So why are we seeing some of the same scams, the same publisher issues that existed ten, twenty years ago, rearing their ugly heads? Shouldn’t social media make it easier for us to spread the word, not harder?
I ponder this, not because I’m holding something back or hiding some sordid detail. Those who know me know I’m pretty vocal. Although it was a comment on another topic, when I’d told my husband, not only is the field in which my fucks are grown barren, but it has huge caverns that would take a bulldozer to fill… in other words, not only do I not have any fucks to give, my ability to grow such fucks has been damaged probably beyond repair because of the things I’ve dealt with, mostly on a personal level the last couple of years. (Trust me, when the medical community pretty much declares you and your mother disposable people, you stop caring what other people think.)
I also know that because of these personal things, I’m in a prickly mood. I’m paingry a lot of the time…in excruciating pain, angry about it, and knowing there’s no real good solution. So when I do speak up, no matter what others may think, there’s already been a lot of thought going on in the back of my mind. Is this something to speak up about? Is it true or am I letting my pain and anger speak for me? How will this affect the community and does it have the ability to impact other authors? If the answer to the later is yes, this will impact other authors and not in a good way, then I’ll say something. Because if I could put in a Cher wig and turn back time, I’d do so to prevent a lot of the heartbreak I’ve experienced at the hands of other publishers, I totally would.
I think because everything is so visible in this modern day and age of we tend to hold ourselves back. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Not when it comes to things that could potentially impact someone’s career or livelihood. We need to be careful, of course, but when authors have the potential to get hurt or red flags are seen, we should speak up. Otherwise, we’re not going to learn from history and keep repeating it…over and over again.