Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG: Misguided loyalties


Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month, Insecure Writer's Support Group day. IWSG is the brainchild of our noble leader Alex J. Cavanaugh, who understands our need for fellowship. 

If this sounds like a group for you, check out IWSG's webpage for instructions. 

It's a simple process:

"Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post."


Our Twitter Hashtag is #IWSG

Alex's co-hosts for today are Krista McLaughlin Kim Van Sickler,  Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson

Please stop by and thank them for their time.  
THANKS!


We are also trying to get the IWSG on the Writers Digest Best 101 Websites list! 

Please email them at writersdigest@fwmedia.com, subject line 101 Websites, and suggest the IWSG - http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/




Today's Post:



My name is Joylene and I'm not only an insecure writer, I'm an insecure author.


I'm also a coward with misguided loyalties. 

When I found a publisher, after querying for 25 years, it was not happenstance. Someone knew someone who knew someone.


I was so grateful. A Metis from an obscure northern village in BC, and my writing was finally validated.


By my very nature I would never look a gift horse in the mouth. Even when it takes 19 months to receive a royalty cheque, I remain quiet. 

Why?

Do I not believe I deserve better?

Two years and seven months after I sent them the sequel to my novel, I’m just now realizing it’s okay to tell you how sad I feel. They're never going to read my blog or learn I've publicly acknowledged their disrespect. 

When I confessed to a Giller-prize nominated author and friend what was going on, she wasn't surprised. She advised I find a larger publishing house more worthy of my work. 


Eight months later, here I am. 

Why?

They published the first novel in the series and if they don't publish the second ... 

My validation will be revoked?


If this were you telling me about your publisher, I’d say "You deserve better." 

Beats me why I can’t say it to myself.



 Ask PZM - July ... is slated for Saturday, July 5, 2014.

 This month's Phyllis answers 2 questions:

1. Do you have any new thoughts on traditional publishing vs self-publishing? 
2. What do you think of entering book and story contests?

If you have a question you'd like to ask Phyllis for her ASK PZM: August, email it to cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca and I'll pass it along. 



82 comments :

  1. Then we'll have to keep telling you that you can do better. Wow, such a lag time for a royalty check. it shouldn't take that long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Their excuse was a turnover in management roles. Thanks, Alex.

      Delete
  2. Oh my. If I get started here, I'm going to write an essay. So I'll keep it short. Is it possible to get your novel back and publish it and your second book yourself? This situation has happened before to authors and it must be heartbreaking. But whatever happens, it sounds like you're forging ahead with other projects - which is the very best thing for a writer to do. Best wishes to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Anya. It was a huge step just telling my IWSG friends about this.

      Delete
  3. You Deserve Better, and so does your series. I am not there yet, but I can sympathise with you. Believe in yourself, and believe in your writing. You deserve better. They have neither earned your loyalty or respect or your praise for their services. Sounds like bad business for the authors who are their clients, and their business. You Deserve Better! You are the heroine find someone who earns your business, respect and loyalty. After all this is your business, not a friend dong you a favor. You deserve better business treatment as the professional you are.

    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Juneta. I know what you're saying, and I appreciate it.

      Delete
  4. Your validation can never be revoked. You've already made it. Period. Now you just have to decide it you want to challenge yourself even more. Find yourself a better publisher. You've earned it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good words, Ken. I love a good challenge. Time to sit down and make plans. Thanks!

      Delete
  5. I'm so sorry to read this. You definitely deserve better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie. Just writing about this has already helped. Keeping it in wasn't a good thing.

      Delete
  6. It's work finding a new publisher and no guarantees the new one will want to publish everything you write either. Look around at your options; you might find something that intrigues you. But you are right; you are standing still where you are right now. Time to move forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kim. I'm standing still. Can't hurt to look for someone else, you're right.

      Delete
  7. I'd say time to cut your losses and jump ship. That one might be sinking and at the very least, there are holes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you're right, Diane. And I'm picking up my socks as we speak. Thanks.

      Delete
  8. I think telling someone (or the blogosphere) about it is a good step--now you can look at your options. And there are so many out there these days! Keep going!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's amazing the range of emotions and thoughts us writers experience, isn't it? I am sure your future will be bright - you're a wonderful writer! Will be praying for you on this journey. We're in it with you, cheering you on. Have a great week! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Karen. That means a lot. Have a great week.

      Delete
  10. Yes, you definitely deserve better. We all do. I'm pretty sure this is why independent publishing will continue to proliferate. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, LG. I did self-publish my first book, which set everything in motion. Thanks for your kind words.

      Delete
  11. I am so sorry! This is not okay, you definitely deserve better. Honestly, you deserve better. Don't allow others to make you feel this sad. Life is too short. Do what makes you happy and get rid of the things, or people who bring you down. I am sending you tons of virtual hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much appreciated, Murees. Receiving with much gratitude.

      Delete
  12. I don't believe a publisher or agent validates any of us. We validate ourselves. You definitely deserve better. It's a business relationship and not a good one. Go with your gut.

    Going indie is all right. Building a fan base is validation enough... for me :)

    Whatever you decide, I wish you peace with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, M. I took a gigantic step today. Much blessings.

      Delete
  13. I can't imagine this eventhough I've heard this kind of thing before. Publishing shouldn't be like this. Keep your head up and make a tough decision. Do what's best. We'll all be here rooting for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for kind advise, Toi. Hope you have luck finding beta readers. Keep us posted.

      Delete
  14. I agree with the others. You deserve better. Your validation is definitely not revoked.

    Loni

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Loni! Great post today on your blog

      Delete
  15. I'm sorry that you've received this disrespect from your publisher. You definitely deserve better. Whatever you decide to do will be the best thing for you and your books. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  16. So happy you were able to vent at the IWSG. Reminds me of that song from Frozen...Let It Go--good to get it off your chest and now you can move on!!! Kudos to you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Janet. That's exactly the way I see it too. I needed to do this.

      Delete
  17. I feel you pain, and I get how you feel. You shouldn't equate your self worth as an author to your publishing experience. And now that there are so many different ways to reach your reader, and that's really what you want here, to reach your reader, you have more control than ever. I think you should really look into self-publishing. Most of the up and coming stars are indies, and the bigger pub houses are scrambling to fit into this new matrix. There' is so much control in being an indie, and while the marketing aspect can be daunting, it's entirely doable. You just have to be patient and work at it everyday. Any sort of validation will be entirely up to you, and you will feel that much more real when you make it on your own. You already have an audience and platform. Embrace the brave new world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Embracing, Nancy. Thanks. I did self-publish my 1st novel Dead Witness. Sadly, self-publishing is very expensive in Canada. We don't have the competition to help lower prices. Shame, too. Thanks so much. I know you've had your fair share of obstacles.

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. Feel the same way about you, dear Keith. You need to take me with you to PV next time you go!

      Delete
    2. You got it. Cold beer on the beach under an umbrella. We'll talk writing and call it a business trip.

      Delete
  19. Joylene, you are a wonderful writer, and no, you don't deserve this. Royalties should be paid every 6 months. Yes, go for a larger publisher. You deserve to have your work read by as many readers as possible. You should know that having books published doesn't take away our insecurities. Many, many authors are insecure. It's something we need to work through. You will get through it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura. I'll definitely get thru this. So glad I finally said something. Hope you're having a great day. We just had a horrendous thunderstorm. In July!

      Delete
  20. Wow! The hurdles we face as writers! Just when you think you've made it too. But I had read finding a publisher or even an agent isn't the happy ending many thought it would be. I hope you find something better- you deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rose. I remember back before I was published when authors would warn me about that. LOL. I'm grateful for my blogger friends!

      Delete
  21. Most book contracts last 3 or 4 years. Yours should be running out. You may want to consider not renewing and taking books 1 & 2 to another publisher or self-publishing. And there's nothing that says you can't take any other books to other publishers anyway. However, getting published is still a bear. It's been 6 months and I haven't seen any royalties from MuseItUp. I don't like it, but no one ever said that being in the publishing business was fun. If I were you, I'd write a standalone and see if you can't catch a better publisher. (That's what I'm doing.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Lexa. It just means some research, learning how to write a decent query letter, and putting in an effort. Doable.

      Delete
  22. What a story--a warning to all of us. It's so easy to grab at an agent or publisher who loves your work 'just because' and clearly--as you experienced--that's not wise. I had a good agent--well-vetted, kind, great advice--and still it didn't work out. But, thanks to the deal I'd struck, I left better albeit it older than when I entered. Part of it was because I read experiences like yours and was prepared. You are helping a lot of writers by telling your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jacqui. Best of luck with your story. Hope you don't give up on it.

      Delete
  23. My jaw always drops when I read these kinds of stories. So sorry to hear how you've been treated, but if there's any consolation it's in knowing there are a lot of authors with equally or worse stories to share. Don't let this stop you. Take what you've learned and figure out what to do next.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because of yours and everyone's support, I've begun querying again. Feels great. Thanks so much, Lee!

      Delete
  24. That sucks, but I do understand hesitating to be the squeaky wheel. We strive for recognition in an industry that recruits and idolizes writers while simultaneously making them jump through a staggering array of hoops. It's not what we deserve, and what you experienced is definitely not okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim. I really do feel better. I sure appreciate our community.

      Delete
  25. Hey Joylene,

    Yes, dear lady, you most assuredly deserve better and then some. Part of it is because of your own easy going nature. The disrespect you have encountered will bite them in the butt. You will see. You never know, they might find the time to check out your blog. Then I woke up.

    Stay real, Joylene.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Thanks for waking up, Gary. Seriously, your support means a lot. Always.

      Delete
  26. You do deserve better. Can you withdraw your manuscript and send it elsewhere? Would that work even though it is a sequel? If not, perhaps a letter following up? Perhaps someone's memory needs a jog?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until they say whether they'll publish it or not, the ms is still mine. I can take it back any time. I've already sent so many emails and phone calls, I feel like a stalker. Not a good feeling. Thanks, Liza.

      Delete
  27. That's a difficult situation! I can see how you are torn. It does seem a little bit slow, even for publishing and how slow it can be. I would almost say to no. You deserve better. I agree with the others, wondering if you can withdraw your MS or remind someone of how important it is to you. I'm sorry that this is what you are struggling with it! You have all of us standing behind you, so do what you think is best for your book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I very much appreciate hearing that, Krista. Thank you so much.

      Delete
  28. These kinds of stories always make me so sad. Writers deserve so much more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, Lynda. But this reinforces how very important IWSG is. We feel alone, but we aren't. We have each other. We are part of a nurturing community.

      Delete
  29. Joylene, Of course you deserve better. I can't believe we've never touched upon this topic in our personal emails. I've been in a similar boat. *glancing at my feet*, My publishing experience has been horrible. It's really doused my writing enthusiasm. I'm trying, struggling, to get myself back in gear. I mean really if this what it's like, the lack of communication - lack of respect and I could go on, what's the point. I know it's not the way to look at it. There are good publishers out there, and a rise in self-publishing. There are options, but we have to go after them. I suggest pulling that second manuscript unless they have first rights to the characters. Why put yourself through the same experience? You already know the results. Take a chance and try another. You have publication experience under your belt now. You may actually find it's not as difficult as before. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part of the problem was my embarrassed over not knowing how to handle this. I'm comforted by your wisdom and support, Cher. Thank you.

      Delete
  30. We don't do anything, for we cling to the hope that things will get better and we don't want to make them worse. I see the solution as writing more books, trying every avenue, and I'm taking my own advice, despite obstacles such as a sick husband. You can do it! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly it, Carole. We don't want to rock the boat. Best wishes to your dear husband. Thank you.

      Delete
  31. Waiting 19 months for a cheque?
    OH MY WORD. I hope it's 19 months + interest on that money for making you wait...? I suppose that's wishful thinking...

    This makes me think that my decision to eventually go the self-pub route is the correct one.
    I am captain of my ship and answerable for whatever does/doesn't happen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a good attitude, Michelle. It's a real pleasure working with you. Thanks for your words.

      Delete
  32. One of the things that I am coming to understand about myself is that old saying, "We accept the love we think we deserve." I think maybe love and respect are interchangeable with this one. In order to make a change, you are going to have to readjust your thinking on the respect you think you deserve. Because, as you say, if someone told you this story, you would give the Right Advice. So KNOW what is right and acceptable. Our internal work is the hardest, BUT once you figure out why you allow what you shouldn't and make those changes... well, you never accept less than you know you deserve ever again. And that is something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sad thing is, I know all this. I've let it slip over the years. It's a long story, but my confidence left a while back. Thanks, Robin, for reminding me what I need to do.

      Delete
  33. Oh, my. I was aghast reading this post. I hope you are in a better place career wise now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Learning to move into a better place, RR. Thanks!

      Delete
  34. HI, Joylene,
    The sad reality is that this is the way of the world for those of us who have our work published by small publishers. I had my first two books published in 2010 & 2011 and to date, I have not collected a dollar in royalty. I got my right back and put out one book under my own name. I realized that putting my work out through a publisher that's not looking out for my interest wasn't for me and so I self-published most of my other stuff. If nothing else, I appreciate that monthly cheque that comes from Amazon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy for you, Joy. I think your strength of character is a wonderful example for the rest of us. Wishing you the stars!

      Delete
  35. Wow, what a dilemma. That's a difficult one to handle, (says the insecure writer) :). You do deserve better. I hope you take your words to heart and seek a better opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
  36. This post made me sad, Joylene. It's a tough, tough spot to be in. I've known others who have had similar mistreatment from publishers. You absolutely deserve better! Unfortunately, you may have to cut your loses and move on. Hopefully, you can retain the rights to your second manuscript. Sending you hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Fundy. I'm in the process of searching for an agent. Self-publishing is difficult here if one wants a tradecover. But who knows. Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  37. My sympathies. Too often, authors are made to believe signing a contract with a publisher is the beginning and end of the journey, that until you get that contract, you're not a 'real' writer and once you have, all your problems are over. I talked about my own publishing nightmare on my blog; http://nigelgmitchell.blogspot.com/2013/08/publishing-nightmares-brief-history-of.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your link, Nigel. I'm setting some time aside to read it carefully. Blessings.

      Delete
  38. That's such a shame that a company calling themselves publishers don't value their authors more. Maybe when the rights revert back to you, you could self-publish? It's scary how much we have to look out for and be careful of with every contract offer (I haven't had one yet...).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what is so reassuring. All of all mishaps are lessons learned for those yet to publish. Thanks for visiting, Deniz.

      Delete
  39. Thanks as always for your kind support, Joylene. We lurch from one health crisis to another, but there is slow progress and we are looking forward to the time when all is well :0)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am sorry to hear your experience with your publisher hasn't been the best. I hope they were at least helpful in getting the first book out into the world. It looks like people have given you a lot of great advice. When and if it feels right for you to try another publisher, you will. Remember to believe in yourself. :) Best of luck!
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my first book had a different publisher, same house. They did lots. It was a great experience. Thanks, Jess.

      Delete

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please come in and sit for while. We will talk about writing. We will share our dreams. Then I will serve tea and cookies. Home made and Gluten Free.