The Business Rusch and Shady Publishers

Although I follow a number of authors and writing advice blogs online, I don’t really post much about it. Partly because I feel like I don’t have much to contribute beyond what others are already saying. There’s a lot of great material out there, stuff that new writers wouldn’t have had any access to just a few years ago.

But today I read something that really torched me, and I feel the need to share it.

Writing is a lonely business, and too much about the actual business of it is hidden and never talked about. When you become a writer, you blaze your own trail.  That’s one reason why all of this material online is so valuable. If you’re a writer and aren’t already reading Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog, you should be, particularly her weekly series called The Business Rusch.

http://kriswrites.livejournal.com

Rusch cuts deeply into topics of the business of publishing and writing, which is both rare and valuable. In particular, you should check out this piece she wrote on the state of royalty accounting in the publishing world. After posting it, her blog got hacked and so she distributed it to various other blogs to post instead. Here’s one of them:

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/05/2012/kriss-post-spread-the-word/

When I attended one of David Farland’s workshops in Salt Lake City last year, he had mentioned that there was some shady business going on and that many authors were suing publishing companies, particularly over some problems with ebook royalties. At the time, he said that he was not advising new authors to sign traditional publishing deals. I didn’t know exactly what the trouble was back then, and I wasn’t even close to worrying about actually getting published so I didn’t pursue it at all. But Rusch’s post illuminates what has been happening. Apparently, many publishers don’t track actual sales of ebooks and instead use some generic formula to arrive at a number that’s supposed to represent ebook sales. Wha….? Combine that with other shady stuff, and you have a very disturbed publishing industry.

Tread carefully, and educate yourself.

2 comments so far

  1. Robert Daland | Thursday, 17 October 2013, 11:04 pm |

    Like the author, I have never heard or read it as anything but “Another thing coming.”

    With that said, I have to disagree with the phonetic point. “Think” ends in a voiceless /k/, while “thing” ends in a voiced /g/. (Actually many Americans do not pronounce a [g] at all, and only pronounce the preceding /n/ sound in the back of their mouth.) And it is indisputable that “coming” begins with a voiceless /k/. So the question is, were the original speakers intending to produce a /g#k/ sequence or a /k#k/ sequence (where # is the word boundary symbol)?

    Crosslinguistically, and in modern English, devoicing (/g/ –> [k]) is far more common than voicing (/k/ –> [g]). This is true both at the end of words, and also across syllable/compound boundaries. Thus, it is more likely to produce “another thin[k#k]oming” (when you meant thin/g/) than it is to produce “another thin[g#k]oming” when you meant thin/k/). In fact, it would be bizarre to mistakenly voice a word-final stop that occurs before a truly voiceless stop.

    In short, if one truly came before the other, I think it is much more likely that “another thing coming” was misproduced as “another think coming”, rather than the other way around. To go the other way, you would have to argue that listeners perceptually overcompensated for the devoicing process.

  2. Ben | Friday, 18 October 2013, 9:03 am |

    Hi Robert! Thanks for taking the time to comment! It looks like you accidentally submitted your comment on the wrong post, but I’ve duplicated it over on the correct post and replied there.

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