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Mistake one: Recently a blogger vilified a small publisher for stating what they didn't publish, which happened to be LGBT themed books. Others joined in and said how terrible the publisher was because of this. Tweets and comments and an uproar resulted.
My thought process: Publishers invest money in what they are passionate about. They publish books they can be passionate about. Why should they publish something that doesn't fit that? (This publisher could also have stated they didn't publish nonfiction, which is true as well.) I know their are publishers who don't publish religious fiction. Getting upset about that is a waste of time.
Lesson to be learned: Don't be a complainer--a hater, as the blogger implied about the publisher. Move on to a publisher who does fit what you want to read and publish.
Mistake two: Small publisher took this too personally. Shared about it with her authors on a private Facebook page. Got upset and without seeming to think it through offered rights back to her authors who agreed with the blogger. A few days later, rescinded that offer as the submissions guidelines had been there all along.
My thought process: Like reviews of a book, authors are told not to take one person's opinion too much to heart. Don't dwell on negative comments. Wait and see what happens.
Lesson to be learned: When you're upset is not the time to make important decisions.
Mistake three: One of the authors who wants her rights back was upset about the guidelines. She'd sold the book through an agent and had never read the guidelines.
My thought process: You didn't research the publisher the agent recommended? Ouch. You have a signed contract now. I don't know whether what the publisher said on a Facebook page about giving rights back will hold up. Or even whether it should or shouldn't.
Lesson to be learned: Make sure you read about a publisher, even if your agent has gotten you a contract, before you sign. And know that you aren't going to agree 100% about everything with any publisher.
Here's what has happened since. In this order...
Publisher decided to change her submission guidelines.
Blogger decided to apologize to publisher with another blog post before he knew about the change.
Publisher shared with her authors that they had talked in person and about the new blog post.
Authors are still angry or upset--some at blogger and some at publisher.
Matthew 18:15 says: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." I realized this is written for Christians dealing with other Christians, but the principle can prevent a lot of pain if we don't complain about another, who now complains about our complaining, and others get involved complaining on both sides.
This is a good reminder to me.
We all make mistakes, but sometimes we can learn from other's mistakes as well as our own.
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.