One of my least favorite misconceptions about authors is we’re rich. We’re not, but folks think we are. I’ve been hit up from time to time and asked for free copies of my work, and there have been screenshots of people on Facebook asking their friends where the best pirate sites are to download free books. Libraries apparently aren’t popular anymore.
One thing readers don’t always have to do—mostly because we do it for them since it’s our trade—is keep their finger on the pulse of the publishing industry. In the good ol’ days, an author who made a career of publishing novels did so with one publisher. They grew together. They flourished together. And there was a relationship. These days? Many of us having a saying, and it’s one you’ve heard of, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
Because sometimes publishers are late paying royalties, are VERY late paying royalties, some publishers close, and some publishers close in a colossally bad way. And it’s not even publishers anymore. Distributors can close in a colossally bad way. One distributor announced they were closing, and gave three days notice. They also announced that authors would only be paid a mere $0.10 on the dollar for what they were owed in royalties—ready for this—only if they wouldn’t sue.
Other publishers have closed, and it’s been a ridiculous fight for authors to get paid, or even get the rights to their work back. Publishers who have announced they weren’t able to pay royalties have continued selling authors books and collecting the money. Kind of a shitty thing, isn’t it? But it happens.
Sometimes it’s done right, though. One of my publishers, Wilde City Press, announced they were closing their doors. Unlike many of the other publishers, they were up front, gave more than enough notice, have stated they will continue to pay all royalties owed, and have been very forthcoming about making sure the rights to our work come back to us. If it’s going to happen, that’s the way to do it.
I’m actually sad about Wilde City closing because I’m part of four anthologies with them. They’ve got wonderful covers, I love each and every one of the contributing authors, and those books represented my way of coping with a very, very difficult time in my life, my father’s Alzheimer’s. Not that I don’t have a plan, because I do.
The rights to the stories are coming back to me, and I think I’m going to put them all into one collection, write another one or two new stories so that folks who have some or all of the anthologies have a reason to buy it, and self-publish it. This also gives me a chance to go through the stories again, and take care of anything that’s been bugging me since their publication.
It’s a plan. It’s not a plan I wanted to put into motion anytime soon, but at least it’s something I can do. Unless something goes wrong, then you’ll hear me shout “Oh, sushi!” again.
Kage Alan is the Band of the Hand watching, Edgar Froese listening author of the novels “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins,” and “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell,” plus short stories “Spacehunters: Master Elite and the Maternal Order of Loganites Beyond Uranus” featured in the “Butt Pirates In Space” anthology, “Twink Ninja Tiger, Flaxen Buns of Fury” featured in the “Butt Ninjas From Hell” anthology, “It’s A Wonderful Lube” featured in the “Butt Babes In Boyland” anthology, “Chinchilla Chimichangas” in the “Butt Riders On The Range” anthology, the novella, Falling Awake, and “Master Malevolence in: The Tail of the Fluffy Monkey” featured in the “Butt Villains on Vacation” anthology.