Kristine Kathryn Rusch maintains a very educational blog on the business of writing:
A few weeks ago, she published an article reporting some pretty disturbing accounting discrepancies in her BPH royalty statements. Yesterday, she updated it with further info of the extent and types of "oddities" that other BPH-published authors have discovered in *their* statements.
It should be visible here:
As of this posting the link is blocked--her website got hijacked.
While working to restore her site, she posted the article on another of her websites:
Which *also* got blocked.
Probably just a coincidence, right?
The internet doesn't like this sort of things so the article is now being referenced and replicated in various locations. I finally found it here:
You'll need to scroll down through the comments to find a non-blocked (yet) copy of the article.
Other blogs are picking up on it:
Lots of things to ponder in there.
But the big message to authors is this:
Read your statements, read your contracts, sign nothing without flying it past your lawyer (who should *not* have anything to do with your agent).
Two weeks later, I got an e-mail from a writer with that agency asking me if I knew about the new e-book addendum to all of her contracts that the agency had sent out. The agency had sent the addendum with a “sign immediately” letter. I hadn’t heard any of this. I asked to see the letter and the addendum.
This writer was disturbed that the addendum was generic. It had arrived on her desk—get this—without her name or the name of the book typed in. She was supposed to fill out the contract number, the book’s title, her name, and all that pertinent information.
I had her send me her original contracts, which she did. The addendum destroyed her excellent e-book rights in that contract, substituting better terms for the publisher. Said publisher handled both of that agency’s bright writing stars.
So I contacted other friends with that agency. They had all received the addendum. Most had just signed the addendum without comparing it to the original contract, trusting their agent who was (after all) supposed to protect them.
Wrong-o. The agency, it turned out, had made a deal with the publisher. The publisher would correct the royalties for the big names if agency sent out the addendum to every contract it had negotiated with that contract. The publisher and the agency both knew that not all writers would sign the addendum, but the publisher (and probably the agency) also knew that a good percentage of the writers would sign without reading it.
In other words, the publisher took the money it was originally paying to small fish and paid it to the big fish—with the small fish’s permission.
Yes, I’m furious about this, but not at the publisher. I’m mad at the authors who signed, but mostly, I’m mad at the agency that made this deal. This agency had a chance to make a good decision for all of its clients. Instead, it opted to make a good deal for only its big names.
Oh, and wait until the DOJ forensic accountants hit the BPHs.
Fireworks are coming.
(Oh, and in case further "accidents" happen, I copied out the article text myself. Just in case. I'm sure I'm not the only one.)
The internet doesn't like shennannigans.
Neither do I.
Your milleage will vary.