Friday, November 18, 2011

Penguin, You’re A Dirty Bird


Are you kidding me?

Just in case the ridiculous vitriol coming out of the publishing industry these days isn’t quite nasty enough, Penguin just took a big ole bird poop on its own reputation. This is embarrassing. This is absurd.

This is Book Country, where you can chitty-chat about books, share fiction with others, and for a mere $549, you can publish your own title!

I'm not making it up. Check me HERE.

No, really! And if you are daring enough to format it yourself by… say, running it through Epub Converter for free, or downloading the Open Office add-on that puts an actual MAKE-THIS-AN-EBOOK BUTTON right on your word processor, you can make a sweet deal for $299! And if you ONLY want an EBOOK it’s ONLY $99!

In one sense I feel as though any author who is foolish enough to do this math, google this process, and still fork over the cash deserves to be screwed. But this preys on the stupid. And it’s inelegant. It’s tacky. It exploits dumb writers. Isn’t pointing and laughing enough? Writers—good ones, bad ones, all of us—get enough bitch-slapping from critics, forums, and family members. Do we really need one of the NY Sacred Circle acting like this?

Others have weighed in:

David Gaughran

Joe Konrath

I dislike the whole “direct / indie vs. NY” thing that has emerged this past year. I’m happy to be independently published and publishing. I did not come to this place in my career because my work wasn’t offered other homes. I passed on two deals offered by epubs because I wanted print, and in both instances didn’t think the publishers who were kind enough to extend me an offer looked like places I’d be comfortable. I wanted control and speed. And time was a big factor. Every rejection I’ve had over the past five years has been incredibly encouraging and positive. There are good people out there who simply didn’t want my story for their agency or house.

But this? This is disgusting. This makes me sad. This really, really doesn’t help anyone or anything.

And Penguin should be very, very ashamed.

2 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Gina/Katherine said...

I really wish I could say I'm surprised, but I predicted this in April when Book Country launched. This was the direction they intended from the start. Unfortunately, there are too many uninformed who won't see beyond the idea "I'll be published by Penguin!" to the evils lurking in this deal.
They're not the first house to pull this crap. Sadly, they won't be the last.

Chrissy said...

What you said, Gina. I was horrified by Harlequin doing something similar, and I have friends with them.

This bothers me a lot.

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