Friday, August 23, 2013
Why I Signed
Recently some events have transpired that have compelled me to closely examine my core beliefs and where I stand regarding the writing and publishing industry. I choose to stand with some of my fellow authors on the side of civility and respect. There is a link to the blog that contains our statement and signatures at the bottom of this post.
A publishing company accepted a YA book coauthored by two men. The book was set to go to press earlier this month. In reviewing the materials before the book went to press, one of the authors noticed that his bio had been changed. He asked that it be changed back. The publishing company refused because they took issue with something one of the authors had mentioned in his bio. (I'm being purposely vague here, stick with me.) The author refused to change it. Ultimately, the deal was cancelled, the publishing company refused to publish the book and gave the rights back to the author.
I believe publishing companies have the right to choose the books they publish. So what's the problem?
1. If a publishing company has a problem with an author, they should let them know as soon as the issue comes to light. They should NOT change the bio without the author's knowledge. In this case it seems like they were trying to sneak in the change instead of being open about what they took issue with.
2. Communication should be handled in a respectful and professional manner. If all reports are accurate, that did not happen in this case.
3. I get that when we sign a contract with a publishing company they own the work. They are the ones going out on a limb monetarily. They can (and do, believe me) change things to suit their vision and to increase marketability. However, they cannot change who we are.
I've heard stories of LDS (Mormon) authors being turned down because no one will buy a Christian book authored by a Mormon. Some authors have been asked to leave their religion out of their bio, and even where they are from if it's Utah. I'm certain there are other reasons out there that authors have been turned down not based on their ability to craft a great story, but because of who they are.
So I've signed the document. I'm taking a stand. For better or worse, please judge my writing based on how I write, not based on my race, religion, gender, physical abilities, or sexual orientation.
To read our statement, please visit:
Mormon Writers Blog
The blog contains links to the news stories that prompted the statement.
Posted by Marilyn Bunderson at 12:02 PM