So this one’s a bit of a rant. If you’re an author, you may have been following the recent story of a literary agency that let an agent go and dropped most of the agent’s clients with a mass email. According to the social media posts, some of these authors supposedly had contracts in mid‑negotiation when they received the message.
Remember, There Are Always Two Sides to a Story – Except on Social Media
And that’s when it became apparent that there was more to the story. No business knowingly walks away from an actual deal in the middle of a legitimate negotiation, just leaving all that lovely money on the table.
For the most part, I have given up on social media. In my opinion, it’s only good for two things:
- Creating an uproar by posting one-sided or incomplete information
So I ignored the brouhaha. Just the usual crazies on a social media rant.
But Social Media Spills Over
Of course, the business involved couldn’t ignore it because it affected the company’s reputation. They put out their own version of the facts and gave multiple interviews on the topic. So the topic again invaded my headspace, even though I gave the social media mess a wide berth.
Now, before you get angry at me and say I’m defending the bad guys, let me just say that I am not doing that at all. I am not defending the agency, not defending the displaced authors, not defending their erstwhile agent. I don’t have any skin in this game, except it reminded me of how grateful I am that I am self-published and don’t have to deal with this stuff.
But I am decrying two things. One, if I’d been let go from a job, I would not want the twitterverse endlessly hash-tagging and reposting the alleged facts. I’d want to go away, lick my wounds for a bit, and then reenter the fray. Smearing this all over the internet is not a nice way to treat the displaced agent.
And if I were the company, I wouldn’t continue offering interviews and social media posts explaining and justifying what they did or did not do, and when or if they did what they did. I’m not sure I’d even announce what I was doing to fix whatever I allegedly did.
There’s No Excuse For Rudeness
Really, what I find most deplorable about this situation is the rampant disregard the publishing industry has for authors. Without whom, may I add, the other factions in the industry have no reason to exist.
No matter which part of the industry they work in, it often feels like many people in publishing don’t treat other people the way people should be treated.
Courteously. Politely. Professionally.
This bad behavior is especially visible when the people they are mistreating are authors.
Publishing feels like a very rude industry. Sometimes it looks like anyone who has even a tiny bit of influence or control over the necessary resources uses that influence to make other people grovel or feel bad. Especially when those poor mistreated people are authors.
Maybe that’s why so many authors have turned to independent publishing.