Sunday, March 19, 2006

Author Millenia Black Snubs Pyramid

And rightly so.

It takes a lot to surprise me, but this did. Up and coming author Millenia Black received an offensive e-mail from a bookstore in her native Florida. She wrote about it on her blog and asked her audience whether or not they feel it was appropriate for Pyramid Books to send her an e-mail asking her if she was black......and this is post the booking of the event! Why even bother to ask then?? Who knows.

I've read much about this all over the blogosphere (which is how I discovered the name and location of the store in question, since Millenia decided not to out them publicly in her blog) and many people feel MB overreacted. I disagree. I obviously see the impact of the point she's making. We all need to wake up and realize that racism exists because we all play roles (large and small) that support it....

Millenia Black is obviously playing another role altogether. Prime example worth following.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Is She Crazy? Hell Yeah.

A woman named Lynne W. Scanlon is advising authors to give up their advances against royalties in favor of getting one lump sum payment upfront. No royalties on copies sold, no piece of the potential pie. Just take your $10,000/$20,000/$50,000, etc. upfront, pay Uncle Sam, and get to work on the next book.

The woman is nuts. I think she must be a secret agent for a major publishing house....Here's some of what she says:
Here’s what I recommend for authors today. Don’t accept an advance against royalties. (Yippee! A $100,000 advance against royalties! OK, make it $10,000.) Surprise! It’s doled out upon signing the contract, turning in an “approved” manuscript, being published, and (horrors!) reaching the six-month mark after the pub date if the publishing house can get away with it. Get a check upfront as payment in full, and get as much as you can. Say the magic words “work for hire.” You can take less than the $100,000. (What? Give up $100,000?!) Money you have in your hand today is worth much more than money tomorrow.)

OOOOkay. Suppose your book gets picked by Oprah later on down the road? Hey---it could happen. Suppose you write a future book that becomes a runaway bestseller and that sparks interest in your previous works?? Hey---it happens. Under Ms. Scanlon's advice, you'd be shit out of luck. Suppose Hollywood comes calling? Foreign publishers? Audio? Merchandising? Yada, yada?? Yep, you guessed it---more shit for luck.

Take this example: James Frey's A Million Little Pieces came out a couple years before Oprah picked it. Now suppose he'd followed this advice and sold it as work-for-hire? Yeah, you're right again---he'd be shit out of luck.....Out of a shit-load of money, too.

My point is......DO NOT TAKE THIS ADVICE. Unless, of course, making money isn't your long-term MO.

Goodbye Octavia Butler