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Monday, January 20, 2014

When a CEO Has No Concept of Social Media

For the record, I have nothing against traditional publishing. My regular readers know that I advocate READING AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR FUCKING CONTRACT before you EVER SIGN IT! But that's the former lawyer in me talking.

I also have nothing personal against Steven Zacharius, CEO and President of Kensington Publishing.

But apparently, Mr. Zacharius has something against me as an indie published writer according to an article he wrote in the Huffington Post. His diatribe about how I don't make any money, how I don't have any editing done, how I can't get quality cover art felt pretty damn personal. But I let go because I had a deadline...

Until a Kensington writer crafted a blog post aimed at readers saying how she was not rolling in gold. Apparently, she was being hit up quite a bit for free books. I would link to it, but within four hours of her post going live, it was taken down.

And that one big difference about indies. We talk money. We talk business. We give each other recommendations on services. But then we have our big girl and big boy panties on. I've got friends who make a lot more than I do. I have friends who make a lot less. And frankly, y'all know what I made last year.

Trad publishers don't want writers talking about their contracts. The scary part is they treat their writers like employees when they are independent contractors. Unfortunately, many writers accept this treatment because they are afraid they will be blackballed. And shunning was a real problem when trad publishers were the only game in town.

But the game has changed, folks. Big time.

Why did the Kensington author take her post down? I can only speculate in my own warped mind, but there's another problem.

Whatever you post on the internet takes on a life of its own. Even though she took the post down, it was cached. And copied. And spread. And discussed. Including at The Passive Voice.

And Mr. Zacharius responded at TPV.

All I can say is if I were Kensington's PR person, I wouldn't have any hair left after he was done. He apparently didn't know who hangs out at TPV. Sure, we're all writers. But we are also attorneys, doctors, psychologists, accountants, game designers, military vets, and teachers, just to mention a handful of the occupations. And a great many of us have been trad published.

One person published at Kensington was brave enough to comment though she did it anonymously because she's trying to get her rights reverted and fears retaliation. PG posted her comment as a main post because he felt it was important. And it is important because it shows Mr. Zacharius isn't talking to the people he needs to--those already under contract with his company.

However, J.A. ("Joe") Konrath took the questions Mr. Zacharius posed at TPV and crafted his own answers on his blog. Mr. Zacharius has said in Joe's comments that he's sending a reply to Joe, and Joe has said he will post the reply.

Can Mr. Zacharius have a meaningful dialogue with writers, or will he stick his other foot in his mouth? It should be a very interesting and entertaining Monday indeed.

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