dorchester

Amazon, Dorchester, Vacuous Nasty Bloggers, and Thoughts From Nora Ephron…

This seems to have been a particularly evil week on the Interwebs for nasty bloggers. I read where one extremely decent elderly gay author (who happens to have great books and great sales with a great publisher) was ripped to shreds on one particularly vicious blog. As a result, he announced he no longer wants to write. I’ve seen so-called gay fiction authors attack other authors in public, which is something I rarely see people in other professions ever do (try to get a doctor to trash, or even testify against, another doctor). And I’ve read blog posts where many authors seem both disillusioned and frustrated about all of this. I don’t blame them. I feel the same way.

On top of all this, Nora Ephron passed away. I wasn’t always a huge fan of everything she did.I would have rather seen more Julia than Julie in the film “Julie and Julia”. (Many don’t know this but Julia Child was often attacked by vicious jealous people in the world of cookery during her time, so it’s not something new.) But I loved how Ephron did it, and I respected everything she did. I think Ephron will go down as one of the greats of our time.

This photo I found on social media is a great example of what I’m talking about. And when you think about how short life is, those vicious, vacuous blogs that go for the kill really don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. I’m not a huge fan of authors behaving badly in public. But what is considered bad behavior covers far more ground than authors attacking reviews/reviewers. It also covers authors who attack other authors with reviews and opinion pieces for no other reason than to spread hate.

I also saw this good news this morning. It looks as if Amazon is trying to acquire Dorchester’s assets, which would mean all authors/agents who haven’t been paid will finally see their money.

Amazon Publishing would buy Dorchester’s entire backlist and customer list and would pay Dorchester authors any outstanding royalties they are owed.

I remember following the Dorchester debacle while it was happening and I felt bad for the authors. And what happened to Dorchester is something that could happen to any publisher. Once again, you can’t fault Amazon for doing something no one esle seemed willing to do. You can also read more here at a blog I frequent often, written by Richard Curtis.

And a little further down is the good news that authors and agents who had despaired of recovering royalties from the sinking publisher will be made whole by Amazon: “All publication contacts regarding certain literary works (collectively, the “Works”) and related outbound license agreements of DP (collectively, the “Contracts”), subject to the purchaser negotiating certain amendments with the authors of the Works in exchange for payment by Amazon Publishing of the full amount of back royalties that DP indicates is owed to those authors as of May 31, 2012…”