I know there's probably nothing to be done about this, but I felt as if I had to
write someone about this situation.
To make a long story short, at the end of last year, I received an offer to write
a book for second grade readers from Compass International, somehow affiliated
with Lake Street Publishers. The money wasn't great - $500 - but the subject
matter was. It was on manatees, and why they're endangered. I love writing for
children, have published numerous other children's books, so I went ahead with
what I considered an important topic for kids.
Well, the book was turned in on time. I received two-thirds of my contract
payment, after practically having to threaten to send God after them. First
Warning Sign. In May or June I received a disjointed e-mail rambling about how
their "business model has changed," and how they're going to try and sell the
book to another publisher. Second Warning Sign.
As far as I knew, the book was still in limbo somewhere between being sold, being
reviewed, and being edited. Now today I accidently learned that the book was -
surprise! - published in September. It has an ISBN number (158417207x) and was
put out by Lake Street Publishers.
I never received the last third of my payment, but that's not really the point.
The point is that they obviously had no intention of ever telling me about the
real status of the book. I don't even have a copy of it, and I worked
exceptionally hard on it, so it would be nice to be able to hold it.
And that's the real point. Most writers work very hard, all for the goal of
seeing their labors get into print. I am so tired of scams perpetrated by sleazy
quick buck artists who just feel as if they can take advantage of freelancers. I
have seen too many in my 15+ years of writing. Just because a writer isn't
represented by some smooth-talking sharpie who spends more on clothes in one day
than most writers earn in a year, doesn't mean that they are any less important
than Mr. Big Shot Writer who earns huge bucks. Freelancers toil in obscurity,
just for the chance to see their material in print. To have to constantly fight
people like Lake Street Publishers wearies the spirit and sickens the soul. It
saps your will to write and will to keep on, in the face of impossible odds.
I know there's nothing to be done about it. Whatever or whoever Lake Street
Publishers is is probably congratulating themselves on having tricked another
group of freelancers. Good for you, Lake Street. You must be so proud.
------- End of forwarded message -------=====================================
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