Big news this morning about Christine Brashear, who is currently with Samhain Publishing and was previously a part of Ellora’s Cave. Ms. Brashear is filing suit against EC and its shareholders. Not being of a legal mindset, I don’t understand it enough to comment on it but you can read about the whole thing at Smart Bitches and Dear Author.
Both sites explain it much better than I could, and I have to admit, I payed more attention to the comments than I did to the actual blog posts. There are comments from readers, from authors, and some from people who understand far better than I what’s going on, but the thing that stood out for me is the way some of these commenters behave–trashing SB or DA for blogging about this, saying a lawsuit is private and shouldn’t be brought to the public’s attention, etc. Same old, same old, was my first take…until I took a minute to think about it.
This kind of behavior holds true for almost all the news stories that these blogs report on, whether it be about the Cassie Edwards thing, or New Concepts treating their authors badly, or an author acting like an idiot. There’s always someone who pops up and disses the site for the post and in most cases, the disser(s) turn downright mean–even if they didn’t start out that way.
The thing is…I’ve heard some derogatory comments that the reason all this trouble crops up with e-publishers is because the majority of e-publishing companies are owned by women and everybody knows women are driven by their hearts rather than their minds. They’re too emotional and don’t have the balls to make it in the business world. <eye roll>
I take exception to that because I know when Twilight Fantasies went down, it was the male half of the partnership who gave me the most trouble. His name calling, finger pointing, and all-around childish behavior, were the epitome of unprofessional behavior. In the end, it was the woman who stood up and addressed the problems, sending professional rights reversion letters to the authors. And when she did, the man, well, he faded away as if he’d never been there at all.
After all that, I’ve decided that I’d much rather deal with a female in a situation like this. And while the overwhelming femaleness of e-publishing may not be a good thing at times, I think it’s definitely going to be a plus in the long run. Women are still in the infant stage when it comes to being business owners and they have a double challenge when it come to e-publishing because it too is still a baby. But nurturing is one of the things we’re really good at. We’re not afraid to clean up a mess or tackle a seemingly hopeless cause or to dole out the proper discipline when it’s needed.
And I think that’s exactly what sites like SB, DA, Karen Knows Best, EREC, and yes, I’ll throw Piers Anthony in there too–even though he is a <gasp> man–are doing, they’re policing the e-publishing industry with a loving heart and a gentle, guiding hand backed up with a sharp slap to the butt when it’s needed.
I hope every author out there who writes for an e-publisher remembers to thank them for it one day.