Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Power Trip???? - writing tip

Granted, I'm not having a particularly good week. But last week I sent out four acceptances to new authors who requested we publish their material and to whom the Book Committee voted we should offer publication.

AFTER acceptance, three have asked for more information about what happens next with publication, all of which is posted on our web site under "What Happens Next."

I did take time from my day to day work to answer, only to receive STILL more questions from two them, both of whom accused me of being on a "power trip" because I complained of the time I had to spend telling them stuff they could have read on the web site it they had looked. One hinted that our firm might cheat him of his success and after his fifth e-mail, with still more questions and veiled accusations, we cancelled his contract. Another wanted to rewrite his manuscript and have us check it behind him before submitting it for publication.

There are only two rules in publishing:

1. Never confuse your reader.

2. Never make extra work for your publisher.

Just now I am in process with preparation for 10 print books for publication. It is almost time for the quarterly payment to authors, and with more than 200 authors, it's a long and involved process and one I delight in.

I have been a new author. I have made every mistake an author can make, including making work for my publisher, the late Connie Foster, God rest her soul. I do try to be patient and to answer simple, quick questions. I have been in this business 10 years and anyone who wants to do business with us can check us out on the Preditors & Editors web site.

But the past three days make me wonder if I am becoming a curmudgeon. Three out of four have questions... AM I on a power trip?

You tell me...


  1. Mighty strange...It looks like people who want more info. will go to the website to save you time and them time. After all, many answers are just a few clicks away.

  2. Arline, I'm so sorry these people are behaving so. You are an amazingly patient and kind person - and I feel BLESSED having you as my publisher. Even now, with multiple books under my belt, I still went to your website to make sure I'd formatted everything correctly on my new manuscript. There's no excuse for their behavior. For certain - it's THEM, not you.

  3. Arline, those of us who are lucky to have you as our Publisher can only wonder about those misguided fools that apparently want everything handed to them on a silver platter. Your patience and understanding towards us is priceless. Don't let THEM GET TO YOU! And don't let THEM question you.

  4. OMG... you are HONEST, YOU PAY ON TIME (huge credit to you, in this industry), you PAY QUARTERLY (yet another huge credit to you) and you'll issue a quick reply to a request for a royalty read-out (that is exceptionally detailed!)PLUS, you distribute our books to the best retailers in the industry.... I get e-mail letters from readers all over the world (most recently from India and Germany)and never (Until signing with you) have I had such an amazing world-wide distribution of my work. Arline, you rock!

    Elizabeth Eagan-Cox

  5. I can understand an author's being leery. Before I stumbled upon Write Words, Inc. I contacted a great many editors and agents in the hope of getting published. The only "nice" ones had an agenda: they were really after my money. Real editors for the most part sent only rejection slips and/or refused to look at my work unless I submitted it through an agent. Agents, that's where the real snakes in the grass slither about. I'm sure there are some good ones, and probably honest ones, but the agents we're likely to encounter (read: The nice enthusiastic agents) are only after our money. Often our submission needs work but luckily they can recommend a service what will fix all that...for a fee. One actually called me on the phone in his enthusiasm and wanted $350 to "generate a contract". And then there are the editors who want you to pay all the costs of publication, or only for the covers, or for the ISBNs. In my novel Tape, the office of my two (wannabe) detectives is an old garage. Where did I get that idea? From a now defunct publishing company that was entirely located in an old garage. Websites are relatively cheap. Looking at a website we may never know whether the company behind it is located in a state-of-the-art office building in Manhattan or in a tumble-down thirty-foot trailer in Salton City, California. My advice to a wannabe author: If a nice lady like Arline Chase accepts your book without adding, "By the way..." you better grab the opportunity and be grateful. Wow, I got myself all worked up. Now I have to go lie down for a few minutes.