Publisher Of Anthology Screws Over Writer: A Cautionary Tale
via Pluck You, Too!:
Today's cautionary tale about the publishing industry comes by way of writer Mandy DeGeit. She was thrilled when her short story, She makes me smile, was accepted for an anthology, Calvacade of Terror.
But that elation turned to dismay when she found out the publisher, Undead Press, made major changes to the story without running them by her.
DeGeit recounts the situation on her blog: She signed the contract, and the anthology was due to come out May 1. When she got a copy of the book, she learned that Undead inserted a typo into the title, renaming the story She Make's Me Smile. Which is pretty bad--but not as bad as the fact that they also made some heavy changes to the story without her approval. Said DeGeit:
They turned a non-gendered character into a boy, they named the best friend, they created a memory for the main character about animal abuse. They added a suggestion of rape at the end…
Edits are one thing, but this is ridiculous. They even inserted an entire new paragraph, with that animal abuse memory--and it was a terribly written paragraph, at that.
To make matters even worse, when she e-mailed the owner of the press, Anthony Giangregorio, to find out what happened, she got a response the was shockingly dumb. Here's an excerpt:
and as for the story. the editor had a hard time with it, it was very rough and he did alot to make it readable. despite what you think, your writing has a long way to go before its worthy of being printed professionally.
we did what we had to do to make the story printable. you should be thankful, not complaining. ah, the ungrateful writer, gotta love it
Giangregorio even made some vague legal threats, but in a subsequent e-mail offered to waive Undead's one-year exclusivity rights to the story, letting DeGeit take it elsewhere. Which doesn't really make up for anything, does it?
The comments on DeGeit's post reveal that this isn't the first time Giangregorio has pulled some bullshit on a writer. While I feel bad for DeGeit, this is a good example of why you should thoroughly research a press before submitting to them. I'm not victim-blaming, but while the publishing world is full of wonderful people, there are also plenty of unprofessional assholes.
Has anyone else ever experienced something like this? Ever seen your work changed to the point where you don't even want your name on it? (Personally, I know the feeling, from my journalism days. It sucks.)
Share your tales of woe in the comments.
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