THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS?

I went to Vegas, and Reno, with editors at Abrams, but if the implication of the US Authors Guild’s article below is the House always wins, what exactly did Abrams win in my long battle? A waste of time and money, the destruction of a US career, the loss of a potentially winning or valuable book, indeed three, and above all a complete disrespect to me, and to my own fans and readership too. It is a point the Guild does not make, in talking only about economics. The relationship between editors and writers can be an extremely important and sensitive thing, while there is also a cultural pact, an act of trust, between readers and authors, and that the publishing industry very rarely respects, indeed often mutilates, unless a straight success story. It’s why when editors’ eyes turn like searchlights on their own internal political ambitions, led by the big marketing phenomenons, in Abram’s case Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Hello Kitty, or The Sister’s Grimm, they start to lose their souls, if they ever had any. It’s a money machine, especially in the US, that’s very hard to control, since the engine is so big, but of course editors rise too on their success stories. In terms of culture though, the House loses all round, because we’re all impoverished in the end by that tyranny. It is unique stories that really matter, books of wonder, forged by a writer, enjoyed by a reader, bottom line, not a publisher’s ‘power’ or profits, and in that the protection of the author is vital. Abrams should read the Guild’s last line, about the old partnership, that out of the disrespect to a private relationship too, they so distorted and abused. But, as they say in the US, what happens in ‘Vegas’ should stay in Vegas, so we can believe and express the values and ideals we find within the pages of books! DCD

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