Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Piers Got it Wrong

You all know that I have recommended Piers Anthony's Internet Publishing site in the past, as a good source for writers trying to determine whether or not a publisher is ethical.

I want to say that, although I know some people don't agree, I do still recommend it. I said in my publishing series that you must use your head, and use Piers as one source of many, and that hasn't changed. Smoke doesn't always mean fire, but a LOT of smoke, or certain types of smoke, are still warning signs. I feel and have always felt that we are too often forced to keep quiet and let other writers leap into doom because to go public is to invite a shitstorm, and I think that's wrong (but what do we do, when it's our careers on the line).

Anyway. I still like Piers and still think his site has value.

But he got something very, very wrong in his December update, and I want to correct it here in case any of my readers saw it.

Under the listing for Ellora's Cave, he wrote the following:

"December 2007 update: they will no longer accept historicals, and I am told they are yanking them from their lineup."

This is NOT TRUE.

I have a statement from Ellora's Cave Publisher (and onetime guest here), the lovely and charming Raelene Gorlinsky, which she has kindly given me permission to pass on to you all:

"I assure you this is completely untrue. We continue to accept and publish historicals of all time periods and settings, from sweet traditional Regencies to extremely erotic historical romances. We do, however, reject a vast quantity of historical submissions because the authors clearly failed to do their research and the stories are glaringly lacking in historical accuracy."

In fact, the new EC editors' blog (which is really a great blog, btw) Redlines and Deadlines, just did a post on historicals and historical accuracy on Monday. (And I have a medieval releasing from Cerridwen in February, don't forget!)

I have no idea why someone would report such a thing to Piers, and I have to be honest--I've always thought, from reading his site in the past, that on an issue like this he would take the time to check.

It's disappointing. I wouldn't go so far as to remove him from my list of sources to check, but I wouldn't look to him for submission information, and I am (as I said) disappointed.

Unholy Ghosts

New Words: 4,675
Total wordcount: 76,697
The Good: Mystery solved. Two almost sweet moments interrupted.
The Bad: All hell is breaking loose. Bad guys everywhere. Evil spirits abound.
The Gross: Bad guy gets throat cut, that mutilated body makes another appearance.
The rampant drug use: Gotta do speed to stay alive.
Location: Haunted airport
Downspeech:““Ay, lookie be my ladybird.”
I Hate My Work: Is this actually exciting, or is it too easy and lame?


Anonymous said...

All sources should be checked and doubled checked -especially by high profile folks like Piers.

I admire you honesty and courage, December (and envy your intelligence). -V95

P.S. Give your dad my thanks for his service.

Anonymous said...

Hm. That one entry smacks of reaction to rejection. Checking the recent releases of a publisher can pretty much tell you whether or not a claim like that one is valid.


Gabriele C. said...

I agree with SdB, it looks like someone got his hysterical back because the research sucked, and now tries to blackmail EC. But Piers should check such information.

kirsten saell said...

It does sound like a case of sour grapes, but the (alleged) rejected author needs to consider who it is she's hurting. A house like EC, they've got submissions coming out the wazoo--something like this isn't going to put a dent in their bottom line. It will hurt authors out there who might be good enough, but will now pass EC over when querying.

December/Stacia said...

Yes, V95, I know he trucks mostly in gossip, and I do honestly believe that in an industry where we're expected to be very quiet his site performs a valuable service. But I really am upset that he didn't check on this. It's not a report of unpaid royalties or bad treatment, it's something he could/should have expected and gotten comment from EC mgmnt on.

And thank you. :-)

That's my theory too, Seeley and Gabriele. I know historicals don't sell as well as some other genres at EC, but they certainly would like to sell more and still buy them. And I really think you have to be some kind of jerk to make up something like that--especially that they're "purging their list"?!! WFT?

That's exactly right, Kirsten. It doesn't hurt EC. It hurts people who could benefit from EC's professionalism and high profile, but who might not now submit. We'll see if he takes amends his "update"--he usually only updates quarterly but I would really think in this case he wouldn't leave such egregiously false info up.

Bernita said...

Still, it's the writers's responsibility to check - especially since he only updates quarterly.

BernardL said...

His website was one of the best links you've given. I check it for updates at least once a week. As you say, a little common sense is still vital. :)

Sam said...

I just got the note from EC - what on earth???
Presumably they will let Piers know that the info is eroneous and he'll change it.

December/Stacia said...

Oh, absolutely, Bernita, it is. I just hate to think someone might think the info isn't up at the EC site yet.

Thanks, Bernard! Like I said, I do still believe it's a useful and important site, as it's so difficult to get real information on a lot of these companies. But I found this upsetting.

Thay have notified him, Sam...he hasn't changed it yet, hopefully he will.

Anonymous said...

Okay, now I'm totally sure the comment Peirs acted on was the result of a rejection. The last 3 posts at Redlines have been about bad historicals and research for the sake of accuracy.

They must have seen some doozies lately to be going on like this. Though it does give me hope, since it means they are actively readng historical submissions.


Rachel Carrington said...

I was surprised at his post, too, December, because information such as that would have been provided to the authors long before it would have been provided to Piers Anthony.

I'm a proud EC author, and they keep us informed!

I'm glad you brought this some additional attention on your blog!

Rachel Carrington