Author Chuck Wendig has been known to post a rant or two...or three or four...on his blog terribleminds....
In his most recent rant [Note: NSFW language], Dear Publishers, Chuck has a few words -- actually, a lot of words -- for publishers: what they should and should not do. I'll include the major points below, with a few succinct quotes, but you really need to read Chuck's blog post in its entirety, assuming of course that you are in some way connected to the business of publishing.
"I think [publishers] do the Story Lord's work in bringing books to to the world.... You are vital. A vital part of the ecosystem. A critical and competitive keystone of the entire book-reading, book-loving, book-smelling, book-humping culture. I love books. You publish books.... Still, as much as I like you, I think it's time we had a conversation. I've noticed some things you do that, frankly, I think you could be doing better...."
- DRM IS FOR ASSBADGERS"I get it. You like DRM. You think it's valuable in staving off waves of book-thieving pirates.... [But], for the most part, DRM is implemented poorly."
- I WILL BUY THE PHYSICAL BOOK AND YOU WILL GIVE ME THE E-BOOK"No, really, I'm not kidding. You tell me, 'You buy a hardcopy, we'll give you an e-copy,' then I'll take that deal every time."
- PARTNER WITH INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES"Indie bookstores want to sell books and spread the book-love around. And you, as publishers, are purveyors of those very books. Partner with them."
- LIBRARIES ARE OUR FRIENDS AND, ALSO, VITAL"You know another way that a lot of people learn to love books? Libraries. I mean, how awesome is a library?... Help libraries. Help them. They’re customers. But even beyond that, they’re the drug dealers of the book world."
- CHANGE STARTS FROM WITHIN"SFF right now is going through a lot of growing pains in terms of straining its white dude diapers.... A lot of this change happens inside publishing. It starts with hiring people at all strata within the industry from a variety of life experiences and social configurations."
- AUTHORS ARE YOUR PARTNERS, NOT YOUR BANGLADESHI CLIMATE CHANGE REFUGEES"I've been happy with my publishers. I know a lot of authors who are happy with theirs, too, and who have signed smart contracts.... [but] You try to grab rights that should never be yours, or offer up Byzantine rules so confusing and labyrinthine it's like a math puzzle for MENSA meth addicts."
- AUTHORS NEED SOME MOTHERFUCKING DATA, STAT"...if you keep data from us, it might seem as if you’re trying to hide something. Again, we want to feel like partners, not like employees. What you know, we should also know."
- STOP WITH THE SNEAKY VANITY PUBLISHING STUFF, BECAUSE, EW"...signing up with these services often wildly exploits the author."
- SELF-PUBLISHING IS CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE"Author-based publishing is here and it’s not going anywhere.... Relationships must evolve. The business models must change.... "
- LET US SEAL THIS FRIENDSHIP IN BLOOD.
I can't emphasize enough: If you are a writer, editor, publisher, self-publisher, please read Chuck Wendig's entire blog post, Dear Publishers. You won't be disappointed. And you might even learn something...or two...or three.