I’m about as far as you can get from being a fan of Brittany Spears (don’t even know if I spelled that right), but ever since yesterday morning that song has been running through my mind.  I hate that!  Having a song I actually like lodged in my brain makes me want to scream, but when I get one I don’t like, it makes me want to bang my head against a brick wall until the pain chases it away.

So, where did it come from and why can’t I get rid of it?  You’ve heard of the tip of the iceberg, right?  Well, a post left on the author’s loop at one of my publishers yesterday morning was exactly that.  As the day wore on, the iceberg slowly revealed itself and I am now at the point where I feel there’s no hope of avoiding the impending collision.  It’s time to morph into a rat, head for the lifeboats, and desert this sinking ship.

Hence the song.  You see, I’ve been through this before and when I felt the first minor shockwaves hit again, that damned Brittany Spears song popped into my head and it won’t leave!

The thing is, I’m entirely innocent in this one as I was in the last, so maybe I should change the words from, “Oops, I did it again…” to “Oops, they did it again…”

Who are they?  All the epublishers out there who are making promises to authors that they can not or will not honor.  Speaking from experience, being with a publisher who made promises and was unable to keep them–through no fault of their own–was bad enough.  But when you’re with a publisher who chooses not to answer emails or certified mail, who ignores the concerns of their authors, and who responds only to the posts on the author’s loop that they choose to respond to, then the only thing you can do is conclude said publisher is one of those who will not keep their promises.

Will not is a thousand times worse than can not.

To give the publisher its due, they finally made an appearance last night, but their response to the many concerns voiced by the authors was far from satisfactory.  They played the sympathy card first, the disapproval card next, and finally, turned up what I’ll call the WTF card–you know, the one that comes out of nowhere and blind-sides you, not because you didn’t know they had it, but because you can’t believe they pulled it out of their sleeve and played it.

This particular WTF card:  they suggested we have a loop party on Friday where the authors could post excerpts, hold contests, and in their words, shake things up a bit.

See what I mean?  Where is this coming from and WTF is the thinking behind it?  Why would authors who aren’t getting paid for their work want to pitch in and bail out a sinking ship by putting more of their hard work out there?  Granted, we might delay the inevitable for a while, but there’s no way we can do it by ourselves–we have to have their help!

We were also given a bottom line statement:  “[the publisher] will pull out of this.” 

That’s good, I like bottom lines, but all I have to say in this case is:

Dear [publisher],

I’m sorry, but I disagree, the bottom line here is your company is sinking down to the ocean floor, and that briny taste in your mouth is called dishonesty.  Spit it out and rise to the surface before you choke on it.