Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Publishers Behaving Badly?

A quick post because (wouldn't you know it!) the work week is kicking tail.

In case you've missed this, Kiana Davenport (a traditionally pubbed writer recently turned indie) claims her publisher is demanding their advance back because she epubbed a short story collection after she signed their contract.

There is a discussion about it here, and a response here.

I'm sure there are others, but I lack the time necessary to hunt them down. 

I haven't formed a solid opinion about this story, yet. I just think we're going to have to wait and see how this plays out. Could something like this happen? Absolutely. But I don't think there's enough information out there, and I'm left with some lingering questions, especially "breach of contract"-related questions. Since I have no clue what Kiana's contract states, I'm not sure how she is or isn't in violation of it (which, I'm assuming, is what the disagreement boils down to).

(Is it sad that the English major in me wanted to fix that cliché to: "to what the disagreement boils down"?)

Anyway, I would love to see the publisher make a statement.

If nothing else, it's a great reminder to always, Always, ALWAYS read the fine print. If you don't understand it and your agent can't explain it, hire an attorney who can.

We're all still feeling our way around this "indie revolution." Traditional publishers are re-thinking their strategies (or should be, at least), agents are trying to figure out what role they play, Amazon is expanding its reaches. . . . I think it's a really great time to be a writer, but the landscape is changing faster than anyone predicted, and we're going to have to be vigilant as we ride out the "learning curve."