Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Well, cyberspace is abuzz over Diana Laurence's comments about erotic romance over at Novelspot. I'm interested to see that quite a few people seem to be blaming her publisher (which, BTW, is also my publisher for my children's book, so this is not unbiased commentary:-). Some people have gone so far as to say they won't buy an NAD book now.

But why blame the publisher for one of its author's comments? I can say anything I want in a public forum-- I could make offensive sexist or racist comments, for example-- and there's nothing any of my publishers could do to stop me. Besides, I think it's obvious that my thoughts and beliefs don't necessarily reflect my publishers' thoughts. I've seen other, New York-pubbed authors get involved in big blowups on blogs, yet their readers didn't suggest it was the publisher's fault, or threaten to boycott Avon or Kensington. Are readers more likely to assume that an e-pub is closely associated with its authors than a New York pub is?

I'll admit that often the lines are blurrier in e-publishing-- I know of three e-pubs that have an owner who's also an author. But that doesn't mean that every author in e-publishing is intimately involved with the publisher. And my opinions are not necessarily the opinions of my publisher. Besides, if I say something stupid, it's okay if you quit buying my books... but I don't want anyone else to lose sales as a result of my comments.

So please, if I tick you off at some point, don't blame my publishers:-).


  1. People are blaming the PUBLISHER??? Ooh, must go check this out! *g*

  2. Well I won't be buying her stuff, but I'm afraid to say that publisher was already on my list of not to buys. The contract horror stories are astounding, and quite honestly what they produce is not up to my standard. I didn't know they had a kids line so I'm not judging you.

    Why are people blaming the publisher? Because the publisher came out and fueled the comments, because it was an obvious publicity stunt, because the publisher has acted most unprofessionally in forwarding complaints about the author to the author, when they were clearly written to the publisher. I could go on but I won't here.

    Good luck in your dealings with them,

  3. Thanks for your input, Jaynie. So far I haven't had any problems with them, but of course my book hasn't been issued yet:-). It sounds like some of the problems people had with the publisher originated BEFORE this incident, which puts a slightly different face on the matter.

    But even if this is an "obvious publicity stunt," I still say the publisher isn't necessarily at fault. I could generate a whole lot of buzz (not necessarily good buzz, mind you) for myself by saying something outrageous without my publisher's knowledge or input. They'd probably find it necessary to post in such a circumstance, too. What a publisher sees as damage control might be seen as "fueling the fire" by others.

    Anyway, it's all very interesting. Again, thanks for the input!

  4. An author from that same publisher owns the website and other authors from New Age Dimensions seem to be regular columnists there.

    There was a lot of negative buzz when the Preditor and Editor contest came up with so many #1s for New Age Dimensions at the 1th hour, including one category when the New Age Dimensions contestant went from #10 to #1 in the time it took me to vote and reply to the confirmation email while the person I voted for only fell one spot in rankings (She had been number one for almost the duration of the poll). Something didn't seem right there and a lot of people noticed.

  5. Hi Ellen! Glad I ran into your blog so I can clear up a few things.

    1. I too was horrified at the reaction of some people to my Novelspot column--that they would take out their ire on my publisher rather than me was incredible to me. I never expected a single person to think NAD had anything to do with my column, which is solely an expression of my independent opinion.

    2. Jaynie R posted that she had heard horror stories about NAD. Let me tell you, from all I know, NAD has the most author-friendly policies of any epublisher there is. I have experience with another company which shall remain nameless, and it was a nightmare (please ask me nothing further about that; I keep it to myself). NAD has an amazing royalty policy, communicates with authors constantly, produces books of tremendous quality, and is all around terrific.

    3. It is true that one of the people who runs Novelspot has one title published by NAD. But the connection ends there. I'm the only other Novelspot columnist or staff member that I'm aware of who has an affiliation with NAD. And think about spite of the fact that a NAD author was being flamed somewhat mercilessly, Novelspot chose not to censor those postings in any way. If Novelspot was biased in favor of NAD, do you think they would have done that? I suppose you might think so, if you think this was all a publicity stunt, but I assure you, I was just writing my monthly column and neither myself or Novelspot or NAD expected this huge thing to happen!

    4. I monitored the P&E poll throughout voting and my recollection is that the high ranks for NAD authors there stayed pretty consistent throughout. I don't recall seeing anything odd happen. I'll admit it was very surprising how well NAD did in that poll, being so new, but I do know there is no way to "fix" the voting. P&E has no connection whatsoever to NAD. Perhaps other publishers spent less time encouraging votes in the poll than NAD did, but that happens. At any rate, the company has too high of ethics to cheat on such a thing.

    All this said, you know I write for NAD so you can conclude I'm just biased. But keep in mind, I used to write for NAD and another publisher, and I terminated all my contracts with that other publisher and have been loyal to NAD for a reason: it's a great company.

    And one more humble request to any who read these postings: Before you believe anything about me or my opinions, please go to Novelspot and read the articles and postings that occurred. Please draw your own conclusions based upon what was said there, rather than anything second and third hand.

    Thanks, Ellen, and I hope this helps clear up any confusion and controversy!