NOTE: Please excuse the repetition of the term “alleged,” and its derivatives, throughout this post. I use them because:
From Wiktionary.org: Allegedly: “This term is used in the media to avoid litigation when the facts are not 100% certain, or when referring to evidence in an ongoing trial.”
(I’m not sure if a defamation suit is a trial, but let’s err on the side of caution.)
Jaid Black of Ellora’s Cave has filed a defamation suit against Jane Litte of Dear Author, allegedly-based on the post Ms. Litte compiled about EC’s allegedly-questionable business practices. Ms. Litte backed up her view with links to financial and news articles, along with public posts from Ms. Black’s social media. But because Ms. Litte shared alleged-information and linked to the sources…
One would think allegedly-not paying one’s authors, editors, and staff – or allegedly-not reverting rights to the authors – is what’s most allegedly-defaming EC.
When anyone – author, blogger, or other – shares opinions that leaves us open to criticism. We weigh up the pros and cons, and consider, “Is this worth it?”
But some time between then and now, Ms. McGuire no longer likes Ms. Litte and Dear Author. Ms. McGuire, Teresa Mummert, and who knows who else have openly celebrated the defamation suit, calling it “karma.” But because they deliberately did NOT name the publisher, they can deny – however untruthfully – that they weren’t talking about EC at all. Ms. McGuire claims “zero knowledge” if or not EC pays their authors. So she’s up-to-date enough to know that the suit has been filed, but NOT enough to know that EC allegedly-owes a lot of people a lot of money, and they allegedly-haven’t reverted publication rights back to the authors?
Ms. McGuire was “subTweeting”: Clearly talking about a person/group in particular, but deliberately NOT naming names. I do it, and I’m just a lowly reader. But authors subTweet as much as anyone else.
And I’m so vain I think the following subTweets are about me…
On September 5th, I blogged about Why Public Perception Matters. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I have a “let’s agree to disagree” motto, meaning that I know nothing I say will change anyone’s opinion, and likely no one will change mine, either.
Unsurprisingly, it seemed clear (to me) that on September 7th an author subTweeted about my post.
I’m not a professional author. I don’t get paid to use words, form sentences, or tell stories, so my communication skills are terrible. The point I tried, and obviously failed, to get across in my post was: Public perception can affect one’s career, for better or worse. Whether it’s fair or not, chances are you – author, blogger, or other – may be judged for your words. But if you’ve weighed up the pros and cons, and still decide to say what you want, go for it.
But because my writing was so terrible, it makes sense that the subTweeter remarked how, “In now times, people write long blog posts criticizing how and why others are wrong and deserve to fail”. I failed in making my point clear, and I am sorry for that.
(Meme from here.)
“I know it’s a blessing and curse to have your heroes right here on social media.” Hold up – did she insinuate that authors are “heroes”? I hope not. My heroes are paramedics, and trauma surgeons – people who literally save other people’s lives. I can’t fathom why anyone would put authors in that “hero” classification, unless those authors are also medical professionals. Generally speaking, I like authors and I respect authors. But they are not my heroes. Though maybe her idea of heroism differs from mine. (For the record, I’ve never had Chelsea Cain’s books on my wishlist, so my opinion of her did not change after I read the Facebook posts I discussed on September 5th. She never has been, or ever will be, my “hero.”)
“So if your hero pisses you off, well okay, that’s fine. Be sad/mad. Boycott if you want. But don’t believe you were owed a better person.” Again, Ms. Cain was never my hero. And I wasn’t sad/mad as much as I was confused as to why she would publically complain about not making the New York Times Bestseller List. Maybe she didn’t know a reaction would occur, which is why I wrote the post: To show that what authors say on social media can affect public perception, which can lead to loss of sales.
NO ONE OWES ME ANYTHING. Did I expect Ms. Cain to be more courteous? Yes, but that’s just something I generally expect from ANYONE – author, blogger, or other. Yes, I have expectations, and it’s nice when or if they’re met, but no one “owes” ME anything. Be as rude directly to, or subTweet about, me as you wish – you don’t owe me politeness or kindness. I am not owed ANYTHING.
“When you write long blog posts about how your heroes need better PR skills or should behave differently, you’re wrong. They behave like humans.” Again with the “heroes” – the more you use that word, the less meaning you give it. Does Ms. Cain “need better PR skills or should behave differently”? No. Of course, having better PR skills would more positively serve her career, but if she doesn’t want to work on her PR skills or behave differently, she doesn’t have to.
“But they weren’t WRONG and they won’t change for you.” And they don’t owe it to anyone to change. They can choose to be static; they can choose to make informed decisions. People won’t change for me, and I’m not egotistical enough to believe that anyone would.
“As much as you want to think so, customer satisfaction is NOT an author’s job. You like the book or you don’t. We won’t dance for you, too.” Of course customer satisfaction is NOT an author’s job. It’s nice when it happens, but really the author, agent, and publisher decide what’s part of an author’s job, so as a reader my thoughts are irrelevant. No dancing required, or requested.
“If you obsess how authors behave & revel in their failures, you’re not a very good person, it’s just the internet isn’t calling you out” I don’t judge “failures” – it’s up to each author to decide for themselves if they, the author, “failed.”
And yes, I’m “not a very good person.” But YOU are part of the Internet, so technically the Internet – you – IS calling me out.
So yeah, subTweeting. Jamie McGuire isn’t the first to do it, and she won’t be the last.