Letters To The Editor For June 3rd

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PIERS ANTHONY’S ANONYMOUS SOURCE IS A LIAR RESPONSES

I like the article you wrote about Piers Anthony. Good for you!! People like that are a P.I.T.A. (pain in the a..).

Again, you amaze me with all the stamina and fortitude that you are blessed with.

Stan

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Angela,

I had never heard of him before but what a (profanity deleted)! Couldn’t all the maligned publishers launch a suit together? Better still, if Random House or some other legitimate publisher is tied to him through XLibris, why not contact their legal counsel? He needs to be shut down.

I’m sure that if you supplied your readers with contact information for the presidents and legal counsels for the big publishers he might be connected with that you could inspire a major avalanche of letters of protest. I for one would write.

Ann

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I am dismayed by your commentary about Piers Anthony in this week’s newsletter and am writing to present another viewpoint.

For years I have consulted Anthony’s internet publishing list, along with Predators and Editors and Whispers and Warnings and like resources. I take none of them as gospel; merely use them as a source of general information plus heads-up warnings about pitfalls I might encounter if unwary. There’s no way any such site can be 100% accurate and current, and I don’t demand that they be. Anyone who does has unrealistic expectations.

In Anthony’s case, I’ve always found him straightforward in stating his parameters and priorities. It has been clear from day one that his information is incomplete and/or subjective, and “your mileage may vary.” He is not in the full-time business of running a totally accurate, fact-checked website; he is in the business of writing novels and has opened a personal database, as an adjunct to his personal website, that provides “a service to writers” by saving them vast labor and alerting them of potential danger zones. It is accurate to the best of his knowledge under the parameters he declares.

His comments on both the site and in the snippets of correspondence you share show that he is reporting what he finds on on a given date, along with what other people say to him. He has the right to establish policies for his own site, such as allowing sources to be anonymous, and sticks to his guns when challenged. I do not feel deceived. I do feel that I, not Piers Anthony or Angela Hoy, am responsible for follow-up and cross-reference. So I can’t understand or sympathize with your outrage.

–Carolyn

EDITORS’ NOTE:

Hi Carolyn,

I’m stunned that you use a site as a source for finding publishers that you know is not “accurate” and “current.” If it has been clear for you “from day one that his information is incomplete and/or subjective”, he is far from reliable. I’m absolutely floored that you’re supporting him in his efforts by sending this email.

Piers Anthony isn’t running a forum where people can post complaints and where publishers can then post their rebuttals. That would absolve him of legal liability. He’s accepting anonymous complaints and rewording them.

His method of rewording and then publishing “anonymous” lies submitted by others (and then refusing to immediately remove/correct those lies) may very well be illegal and Piers Anthony, in my opinion, does not have the “right to establish policies for his own site” when those policies involve libel and defamation.

If he’s not in the business of “running a totally accurate, fact-checked website” then he shouldn’t be running a website at all. And, people like you, who know the site is inaccurate, shouldn’t be relying in it to shop for a publisher.


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I’ve written you a couple of times but it’s been a while so you might not remember me. I’ve been busy and happy to say since the last time I spoke to you I’ve had quite a bit of success. I have two novels under my belt from Simon and Schuster now. Just mentioning this because I was reading your newsletter when I started out years ago and I still receive it. Wanted to catch you up on me.

I HAD to comment on this Piers Anthony thing. Of course, being in the industry myself, I have heard of him but never went to his site. Now I don’t want to. This is sick! I felt horrible when I read your article. I wish you could take some action on this (profanity deleted) because I really think that Piers has not only gone too far with posting (anonymous) lies about you, but this to me is on the borderline of stalking.

Angela, you are very successful and you’ve helped steer a lot of writers in the correct direction. I am sure a lot of people envy that and you for what you accomplished. I gotta be honest, I’ve seen this treatment before (authors sabotage each other everyday) but this made me sick to my stomach. It’s like Piers is a runaway train and no one can stop him and he can go on, unleashing this trash at will! He shouldn’t be able to do this to people. Maybe if the pubs banded together and took legal action that could help? Do you think? Someone needs to get that web site off the Internet because it’s not fair to smaller or POD presses (like yours) that are actually doing good by authors.

This is the downside of the Internet. Any idiot can get on it and make the “truth” come out of lies.

Best Wishes,

S.

WRITERS MUST STOP WORKING FOR NOTHING!

Dear Angela,

I just have to stand up and applaud Ang Dee for the letter she wrote that was on your site on May 28, 2009. The letter dealt with paying writers what we are worth.

Like many, I took the low pay when I was first starting out so I could get the experience, and the clips, but now I’m not willing to jump at just anything when an opportunity arises. That may sound a little self-centered, but something has to be said for time and experience.

A few weeks ago a magazine wanted to pay about $250 for a 2200-word article. That would have been okay if I could have just written it off the top of my head, but the editor wanted several interviews, quotes, etc., which was going to take quite a bit of time. I wrote back and thanked her, but declined the assignment, explaining why.

Editors need to know that if they want quality work, then they need to provide better pay. But, there was one incident where a local magazine wanted me to go out and do my interviews for an article, and I told them that I wanted to be paid for mileage. The editor checked with the publisher, and they paid me an extra $30. Standing up for yourself can have a positive return.

Thanks!

Julie Engelhardt

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THANKS!

Angela,
I’ve quit my full time job to make a career out of freelance writing. Your newsletter is a key component to my weekly schedule. I love reading your tips, examining the job section and feeling inspired by your stories. I wake up thankful it’s Wednesday because I know that is “WritersWeekly” day!

Thanks for all you do … I think you’re great!

Anne