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Old 11-21-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
CRussel
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Open Letter from Author to Simon-Schuster

Interesting open letter. Leaving aside the author's issues, he does raise some very valid points about the state of the publishing business.
http://www.sebastianmarshall.com/an-...-carolyn-reidy
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:18 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
Interesting open letter. Leaving aside the author's issues, he does raise some very valid points about the state of the publishing business.
Yeah, but he wastes way too much time getting to them. I gave up on the letter about 15% through.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:43 AM   #3
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Yeah, but he wastes way too much time getting to them. I gave up on the letter about 15% through.
Me too. I'm sure he's good at what he does in business, but he's just not a good writer.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:27 PM   #4
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Oh, I don't disagree. But I did wade through his manic stuff to get to the actual meat.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:05 PM   #5
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Very manic. He reminds me of my uncle on one of his tears. But he must be one hell of a charismatic person, in person.

I can see a lot of his points - once I get past my knee-jerk tl;dr moment.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:11 PM   #6
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I think he's a narcissistic jerk.

The only specifics I can glean from his diatribe are:
  1. S&S was somewhat slow to pay his advance. (And wouldn't it be nice if he could spell the publisher's name properly?)
  2. S&S didn't agree to his idea of a money-back guarantee.
  3. S&S didn't use his cover ideas.
These are S&S's great crimes against him? Egads!

Oh, but apparently there were times when people at S&S were not immediately available to him--because of course HE is the only author anyone at the publishing house needs to deal with and should be everyone's priority. He wants what he wants when he wants it, and when he doesn't get it, he has a temper tantrum.

The rest of it--most of it--is meaningless blather. His recommendations are just generalizations that are empty of substance. He's rude and nasty and he doesn't know the first thing about writing, if that letter is any example.

S&S's biggest crime was signing this self-absorbed blowhard to a contract in the first place.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:27 PM   #7
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I agree with Catlady here.

I do believe traditional publishers have some adapting to do... and I do believe that the general landscape in the traditional publishing world is quite a huge mess right now.

But I don't believe that particular author addressed any real pressing issues that his publisher needs to worry about at this time (besides deciding if they want to cut him loose or not).
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:30 PM   #8
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He sounds like a coke head on a roll. What he really needs is a thesaurus so he can find a few alternatives to f.... When he needs an adjective.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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What he really needs is a thesaurus so he can find a few alternatives to f.... When he needs an adjective.
See... I didn't really even remember there were any f-bombs in the letter. I use the word too much myself to even notice, let alone criticize, someone else's use of it.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:03 PM   #10
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Am I the only one who started reading that and could only think

"This dude is an author?"

A $65k advance author?

From Simon and Schuester? <sic>
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:17 PM   #11
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I skimmed it a bit, and all I saw was a lot of ranting. If there was something worthwhile to read in there, I didn't come across it.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:34 PM   #12
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Did anybody else read around the website?

I can't even tell what it is this guy does but if you contact him apparently he can be something called a LVOC for you. Or make LVOCs for you. Or something else that I don't understand much of either.

Quote:
Professionally I’m consulting on increasing LVOC numbers (lifetime value of a customer – usually selling additional valuable things to customers you’ve already got, but also conversion rates, price points, referrals, etc), doing some light real estate development, and some professional writing.
He'll sell customers things they've already got? Or wait, he'll teach us to sell more things to our existing customers? And he's obtained wealth doing it and now S&S is publishing a book about it? I seriously am in the wrong career field.

btw The books is an authentic pithy essays on ambition and ..... other crap.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...6/simonsayscom


I'm thinking that editor probably needed the talked about vacation if he received hundreds of pages of that writing with the instructions to turn it into a $22 hardback book.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:52 PM   #13
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Self-Made is broken down into fifty pithy essays on ambition, strength, and character
Memo to CIA: I have an idea for a new interrogation method...
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:57 PM   #14
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I think he's a narcissistic jerk.
Agreed.

Quote:
S&S was somewhat slow to pay his advance.
They signed a contract (3 months after it was agreed to in principle) that laid out a specific timetable for paying portions of the advance, then paid the "immediately on signing of this contract" portion six weeks later.

Quote:
S&S didn't use his cover ideas.
It's not just that they didn't use his ideas, but that they entertained them in the first place (taking hours of his time and implying some level of openness), then it turns out the cover designer never even knew he had any ideas and just designed something completely unrelated.

Quote:
Oh, but apparently there were times when people at S&S were not immediately available to him--because of course HE is the only author anyone at the publishing house needs to deal with and should be everyone's priority.
You miss the entire point here. If those people were not going to be immediately available, the author just wanted not to be required to submit something to them until they were available to receive what he was being required to submit. I know I feel disrespected when I am given a deadline, and meet that deadline, only to discover that the next step in the process has to wait while the people who set the deadline finish their vacation.

The author's point is well made; that the publishing industry has its head buried in the sand and that's going to come up and bite them if they don't shape up: "I think you really ought to speed up. It’s not so hard. Modern businesses run fast, there’s people who know how to make that happen. Three months from agreement in principle to contract, followed by a six week breaching-of-contract delay? Not okay. Amazon’s publishing wing doesn’t make mistakes like that."
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:03 PM   #15
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You miss the entire point here. If those people were not going to be immediately available, the author just wanted not to be required to submit something to them until they were available to receive what he was being required to submit. I know I feel disrespected when I am given a deadline, and meet that deadline, only to discover that the next step in the process has to wait while the people who set the deadline finish their vacation.
I've had publishers pull this and it really annoys me. Fortunately, most don't do this.

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The author's point is well made; that the publishing industry has its head buried in the sand and that's going to come up and bite them if they don't shape up: "I think you really ought to speed up. It’s not so hard. Modern businesses run fast, there’s people who know how to make that happen. Three months from agreement in principle to contract, followed by a six week breaching-of-contract delay? Not okay. Amazon’s publishing wing doesn’t make mistakes like that."
Certainly, many conventional publishers are astonishingly slow. With arcane workflows and processes that have no modern rationale. Which doesn't change the fact that I find it hard to imagine ANY publisher giving this guy a $65k advance.
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