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Beach Bunny
10-07-2009, 12:29 PM
As some of you know, I started a small press a few months ago. I just finished the third edition of Emerald Tales and I'm working on the third. I'll be adding links to the contributors websites and blogs to my website and blog. Here's the situation: One of my contributors published his book through PA. His website about his book has a link to PA. There is no way that I am going to put a link up to his website when his book is published through PA, not after everything that I have read about them here.

I know if I tell him flat out that he will not take it well, AT ALL. I can see him lashing out at the messenger, as he got a bit snippy with my editing of his run on sentences. :rolleyes:

The sad part is that he is a really good writer and has the potential to write a book that someone would want to publish, but he doesn't take kindly to suggestions.

I have no fear that he will come across this thread and read it, because if he was a member of AW, he wouldn't be running around telling everyone he's published with PA.

So, what would you do if you found yourself in this situation?

Cassiopeia
10-07-2009, 12:34 PM
As some of you know, I started a small press a few months ago. I just finished the third edition of Emerald Tales and I'm working on the third. I'll be adding links to the contributors websites and blogs to my website and blog. Here's the situation: One of my contributors published his book through PA. His website about his book has a link to PA. There is no way that I am going to put a link up to his website when his book is published through PA, not after everything that I have read about them here.

I know if I tell him flat out that he will not take it well, AT ALL. I can see him lashing out at the messenger, as he got a bit snippy with my editing of his run on sentences. :rolleyes:

The sad part is that he is a really good writer and has the potential to write a book that someone would want to publish, but he doesn't take kindly to suggestions.

I have no fear that he will come across this thread and read it, because if he was a member of AW, he wouldn't be running around telling everyone he's published with PA.

So, what would you do if you found yourself in this situation?I have no affection for PA. But this isn't about PA, it's about your contributor and your wanting to police what he puts on HIS website. Are you going to do that to every single contributor?

The way I see it, you control what you post on your site, he controls what he has on his. You aren't condoning PA by letting him link to his book.

I think it's grossly unfair to tell him he can't link to his book he's marketing. Mac has her reasons for no longer linking to Amazon but she doesn't insist we remove our links to books that are being sold there.

Beach Bunny
10-07-2009, 12:37 PM
No. I am policing what I link to.

Mostly though, I am concerned about this contributor and wondering how or if to tell him what I know about PA.

Cassiopeia
10-07-2009, 12:40 PM
No. I am policing what I link to.

Mostly though, I am concerned about this contributor and wondering how or if to tell him what I know about PA. Well, it's certainly your choice to do that, but you are going to be a very busy lady because PA isn't the only vanity press that cheats people.
I don't think Mac denies people the opportunity to link to their books that are listed with PA. Though maybe I'm wrong about that.

But if you want to be fair, why don't you start your own Background checks and bewares section of your forum and clue him up or better yet, point him to AW?

Terie
10-07-2009, 01:11 PM
I'm with Cassiopeia on this one. My publisher links to all of its authors' websites (assuming the author asks them to) with no regard to what we put on our sites. What I put on my site has nothing to do with my publisher. I think you're being overly sensitive, as what this bloke has on his site is in no way a reflection on your company. You either link to your contributors' sites, or you don't. Picking and choosing puts you in a precarious position and is, IMO, totally unfair.

Mumut
10-07-2009, 01:34 PM
I agree that you help the person by pointing to Preditors and Editors and other sites which discuss PA. The way he is sensitive about the subject suggests he has a fair idea something is wrong and is defensive about his situation. Once he is aware of the enormity of his plight he could easily be happy with your decision.

kaitie
10-07-2009, 02:01 PM
I'm going with the opinion that you don't want to appear to support a site by suggesting it. If people went to your site and found his direct linked they would consider that an endorsement from you, and I could easily see a secondary endorsement assumption for PA as well. You could put a prominent note somewhere that says, "opinions expressed on these sites are not necessarily the opinion of the Beach Bunny." :P That way people know when they click that you aren't supporting PA.

I would also write to the guy even if it does piss him off and tell him just upfront that it's a bad idea. Say what you said here, that he has a lot of talent as a writer and you were concerned to see that he had a link to PA on his website. Then mention that most publishers and agents will see this as a major negative because of all the controversy surrounding the company, and that because you want to see him be a success you thought it would be best to let him know because he might choose to take it down. Then point him to either here or P&E or somewhere that has some information to look through.

As long as you're very polite and do it in a "I noticed and didn't want you to get hurt" way he might not take it as badly. And if he does get pissed, all you have to do is write back and say, "I was just trying to help" and ignore anything after that. That's hard to do, but if someone is going to be irrationally irritated and take it out on you they aren't worth the time.


That's my two cents, anyway. :tongue

Unimportant
10-07-2009, 02:20 PM
I'll be adding links to the contributors websites and blogs to my website and blog.

.....

So, what would you do if you found yourself in this situation?

Me? I'd tell the authors that they can put a link to their webpage in their bio, assuming that the issue with their story also has their bio in it. But I wouldn't put links to each contributor's website on blog on the publishing website or blog. For one thing, imagine how big the link list will get when you're on issue twenty. For another, people go to the website to find out about the ezine; they go to the blog to read about the latest issue or what the editor is thinking and doing. Not to get a bunch of links to a bunch of people they've never heard of.

I only click to an author's website when I've read a story by them and liked it -- so for me, the link to an author's website belongs in his bio, which belongs with his published story or in the back of the issue/anthology/etc with the let of bios.

Terie
10-07-2009, 02:55 PM
For one thing, imagine how big the link list will get when you're on issue twenty.

It would look something like this (http://www.llewellyn.com/authors_az.php?letter=G), except that this is just the 'G' page for my publisher. Or like this (http://www.randomhouse.com/author/lst.pperl?mode=a&letr=R), which is just the 'R' page for Random House. I mean, it's not exactly unusual for publishers to have links to their authors' pages. What they don't do is exlude an author because of content that isn't actually objectionable.

As much as PA is objectionable to many of us as a company, a link on an author's site to their PA-published book is not an endorsement of PA as a company by someone who links to the author's site.

Cyia
10-07-2009, 03:39 PM
Put a disclaimer on your page that says you do not endorse and are not responsible for the content and recommendations on author's sites. You simply provide links to them as a courtesy.

KTC
10-07-2009, 03:55 PM
Tell your contributor that it is your strict policy that you do not link to Publish America. You don't have to have a reason. I don't see this as being about the contributor...I see it as your company's choice not to link to garbage. Tell the contributor that you'd be happy to link to something else, but that Publish America is a no-no. End of story.

nitaworm
10-07-2009, 04:44 PM
Have you read the book? Is it bad? I wouldn't make a decision based on who his book publisher is. I would go ahead and post him. If you feel uncomfortable with it than don't. It's your website.

KTC
10-07-2009, 04:45 PM
Have you read the book? Is it bad? I wouldn't make a decision based on who his book publisher is. I would go ahead and post him. If you feel uncomfortable with it than don't. It's your website.

The decision should be based on PA. Not on the book.

Terie
10-07-2009, 04:48 PM
Tell your contributor that it is your strict policy that you do not link to Publish America.

The link in question isn't TO PublishAmerica. The link in question is to the author's website, which talks about his book published by PA (and presumably has a link to his book).

No one clicking from a publisher's site (A) to an author's site (B) and from there through to another site (C) is going to think that the owner of site A endorses site C. If they did, well, it's pretty safe to assume that every single website owner in the world is 'connected' (by far less than six degrees!) to all kinds of objectionable stuff. That's why it's call the 'web'.

KTC
10-07-2009, 04:52 PM
I understood that. I guess I worded it incorrectly. Bunny...it is your site. You can do what you want. If you don't want to link to someone's site because they link to their PA published book...Don't do it.

DaveKuzminski
10-07-2009, 05:52 PM
Go with what feels right to you.

Speaking for P&E, it's been P&E's policy that we support writers including those who signed with PA. Since the day P&E began listing new books on its New Books page, even books by PA's authors have been featured and that meant placing a link there to PA if that was what the author wished to be linked to. And yes, a few PA authors have asked over the years to have their books featured on the New Book page. P&E did so without hesitation and without posting any warnings beside those links because our purpose was to feature the book and the new writer.

allenparker
10-07-2009, 07:05 PM
Go with what feels right to you.

P&E did so without hesitation and without posting any warnings beside those links because our purpose was to feature the book and the new writer.


<=== Living proof.

There is also life after PA. If someone googles my name, they will find the published authors site that carries both of my PA books. So what? It is a piece of my past that tell the world an old dog can learn new tricks and go on to be an author at other places.

Linking to the author's site is an important step in showing the common person that PA authors come in all varieties, from good to bad. People forget some of the book at PA are actually quite good. To me, that is part of the struggle.

you know, I really gotta ebay that soapbox.

CaoPaux
10-07-2009, 08:26 PM
Me? I'd tell the authors that they can put a link to their webpage in their bio, assuming that the issue with their story also has their bio in it. But I wouldn't put links to each contributor's website on blog on the publishing website or blog. For one thing, imagine how big the link list will get when you're on issue twenty. For another, people go to the website to find out about the ezine; they go to the blog to read about the latest issue or what the editor is thinking and doing. Not to get a bunch of links to a bunch of people they've never heard of.

I only click to an author's website when I've read a story by them and liked it -- so for me, the link to an author's website belongs in his bio, which belongs with his published story or in the back of the issue/anthology/etc with the let of bios.This.

Gillhoughly
10-08-2009, 02:51 AM
:Editor's Hat On:

Treat him the same as all your other contributors.

Link to his website and blog and leave it at that.

You do not have to put in a direct link to PA, though.

However good a writer he is, potential readers will take one look at the overpricing on his PA book and give it a pass.


Do not confront him about PA.

He's still in the honeymoon phase. In the future, you can certainly suggest that he try selling new work to a real commercial publisher or sub it to an agent. "You can do so much better than PA, y'know."



You can also do what others have and put in links to Editors and Preditors, links to Writer Beware, and links to sites that warn against publishing scams. See to it PA is listed there and let people know why they're a bad career choice, with links to those pages.


As for his overly sensitive 'tude about being edited--hardly professional. Tell him the changes you're asking for are there to make his writing better. If he wants to be a pro, then he has to cut a pro attitude.

Last year I had to deal with a "pro" who screamed bloody murder when I asked her to cut the deadwood from a too-long story.

Gillhoughly's Helpful Hints to Writers:

When your editor asks for 5K words DO NOT send 15K.

Do not freak out and act like the editor is feeding your firstborn to a wood chipper when you are asked to do a rewrite.


That pro had a book on the NYT bestseller list for a whole two weeks and figured that meant she was worth the trouble.

Not so. I've dropped her from my A list to my "never invite back, add to my cautionary tales list" instead.

OTOH, one of my favorite A-list writers told me "Meh, they're just words." and changed a few details on her work when I asked. I always phone her first when I have a new project going.

Oh, yeah, the same pro got dropped from her publisher. Good writer, lousy attitude. No one wants to work with her.

Be kind on the way up, for the road down is bumpy and hard on your arse.

Ken
10-08-2009, 03:02 AM
... then again, writers do have to stand their ground sometimes with editors if their work truly is being butchered, e.g. so much alteration that one has to look at their name on a piece after publication to see that it is really theirs. This happened to me some years back, and when I finally got up the courage to speak up, the butchering ended, but the gig did not.

Beach Bunny
10-08-2009, 02:25 PM
Thank you all, your input has been very helpful. I have a better idea of how I want to handle this dilemma.

Tell your contributor that it is your strict policy that you do not link to Publish America. You don't have to have a reason. I don't see this as being about the contributor...I see it as your company's choice not to link to garbage. Tell the contributor that you'd be happy to link to something else, but that Publish America is a no-no. End of story.

Basically, yes. Not that the book is garbage, but that another writer might think that PA is a legitimate publisher, instead of scam. People go through link lists for all sorts of reasons. Many of my visitors come to me from places other than AW and are not aware of what a scam PA is.

Go with what feels right to you.

Speaking for P&E, it's been P&E's policy that we support writers including those who signed with PA. Since the day P&E began listing new books on its New Books page, even books by PA's authors have been featured and that meant placing a link there to PA if that was what the author wished to be linked to. And yes, a few PA authors have asked over the years to have their books featured on the New Book page. P&E did so without hesitation and without posting any warnings beside those links because our purpose was to feature the book and the new writer.

Thank you. This is very helpful, though my situation is somewhat different. Other than linking to AW and P&E (once I update the links page), there's no indication on my website to avoid PA. And thus my dilemma, I want to help my contributors by linking to their personal blogs and websites, but I don't want to send a visiting writer to Publish America.

As I said above, I've figured out how to best handle the situation. Thank you.