Letters To The Editor For May 6th

Re: This Makes Me Sick: How Far One Company Will Go to Snare Hopeful Authors

Hi Angela, my name is John Wolf. LinDee is a dear friend of mine and, ironically enough, your book outlet plans to sponsor my books in June, so there is good reason for our paths to cross. LinDee included me in her reply concerning our favorite villain Author Solutions and the bastardization of yet another term to describe writers – the “indie.”

I just wanted to comment on two items, one is this thing called Author Solutions, which is anything but. The name is a facade in itself. I have researched the tree of this organization to its slim covered roots. I thought Author House, iUniverse, Xlibris were all dens of iniquity by themselves, but combined, that’s diabolical.

I can see why your hackles would rise watching innocent writers wandering off the path into the woods that should be warned, but the ignorant or plain dumb will step off the cliff no matter how many times they’re warned. The emotional blast is to be expected. This company, Author Solutions, is a front, a holding company, owned by a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He has totally destroyed any credence that these consolidated publishing houses ever had in the first place. There are many people that have had a nice book placed in the public’s hands via these companies, albeit, for a whopping fee. Well, there might be an exception with Xlibiris. They have been a little slippery from the start. Altogether, they form a critical mass of self-destruction, not self-publishers. Let’s not overlook WordClay is part of this as well.

This Bertram Capital outfit hired a software techie to be the CEO to write the business plan, craft the model, establish the profit-and-loss risk charts. This is nothing more than another dot-com bubble scheme that will burst over the heads of new authors. This is just like the companies that came out of the woodwork to take peoples’ money that became enthralled with genealogies. They would pay anything to see their surname mentioned on a record or listed in a book without an inkling if that name was even remotely connected to their family tree. Even the honest Mormons will soak you for tons of money searching for long lost relatives by throwing stacks of documents at you that are uncorrelated to your actual family tree. I say buyer beware and let it go at that.

Second is this identity crisis writers are struggling with. If you’re famous, and have a book written for you or even if you write it yourself (probably not a good idea), you become an author. If a no-name newbie writes a book, no one knows what to call him. We can’t find a word that will stick, especially if the book gets printed and becomes available to the public. It’s like buying porn in an alley. Intellectuals everywhere cringe at the thought of touching a book published by any other than the New York six or five or however many of these tough, take no prisoners companies there are nowadays that control distribution with an iron fist. You are better known by the publisher’s name than your own and for good reason, because you don’t exist anymore. The books, the content, the ideas, font style, cover art; all of it belongs to them. So I ask you, who is the real author?

I say authors are free, independent writers that own their own copyright, stand behind their work like any artist, are free to display and distribute same by any means possible to gain recognition in the public eye, just like a painter that places his work in a gallery for all to see. If the public doesn’t care for it; they will when he’s dead. The bickering and gnashing of teeth are ridiculous. Ben Franklin was an indie. Most authors prior to controlled media were independently published. Publishing for goodness sakes is fundamentally a printing process! It has been turned into a legal instrument not unlike junk bonds or below-prime mortgage loans. It’s a way to brokerage rights away from writers and exploit their talent. God bless the free writer. We are writers, not self-published bitches, POD people, “indies”, or any other freak of nature. We are writers, like musicians, and painters. Stand back or I’ll drive an ink filled pen through your black heart!

John Wolf – free and lovein’ it!
http://www.JohnWolfBooks.com
http://www.FoxandQuill.com

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Thanks for bringing this to light. They are getting pretty desperate to stoop to this.

Tom Gregory
Infinity Publishing
http://www.infinitypublishing.com

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Yup, you hit the nail on the head. It is dishonest, shady, unethical and dirty marketing. But that’s nothing new for those scumbags. They’ve been using tactics like that for as long as they’ve been in business. I’m glad you chose to expose them for what they are – no good, dirty rotten scoundrels.

Jacquie

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Re: COMPLAINT about Cantara Christopher / cantaraville / cantaraville.com / cantarabooks / cantarabooks.com

Reader comments at the link above include the following:

“Run, do not walk away from this idiot!” – RR

“Cantara is obviously a jerk and really not worth the time it would take to engage in further discussion or argument.” – Beth Stewart

“This person has the stench of “nonprofessional”, which unfortunately, is typical of many publishers today who mistake professional writers for those who will write just to see their name in print.” – Cheryl

“Oh my goodness, Angela! That Cantara person’s responses to you and the writer were pathetic. Sounds as if she’s not only got a chip on her shoulder and a superiority complex, but also waaay too much time on her hands. ” – Pamela

“I find it criminal that there are companies out there with the impression that writers at any stage of their careers are expected to give away their talents. It’s absurd. Are they giving away publications since they’ve been in business only two years? I don’t think so.” – Lori W.

Comments in their entirety can be seen here:
http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?p=66761