***Warning**** A rant from Sue Dent *****
I asked about doing a local signing at my brand spanking new Barnes & Noble here in Ridgeland, Mississippi in early June with author friend Susan Kirkland (correct me if I’m wrong on the date Susan.) No author event notification was posted on the website, no sign beforehand was up eluding to the event, (and I had the mayor show up) and books had to be ordered because a local author whose work has been short-listed for a Bram Stoker award and received overwhelming reviews from the British Fantasy Society doesn’t warrant shelf space not even in the local author section. :0 *GASP*
So we bring our own books in and are told we’ll be reimbursed for what is sold. Well, it’s August now and still no check for either one of us. While I was on the store site today to get the number for our local store I see an event posting for local authors. I have to admit I was a little bothered but after I looked at the publishers of these books, I was flat out disturbed. There were three authors and there publishers were respectively: Tate Publishing, Publish America and Author House. Two of these companies are being called reverse vanity presses because there’s no other way to describe them and both are on P&E’s top ten list of presses to avoid at all cost while the other is a regular vanity press.
When I questioned the CRM she explained that she gets lots of calls from authors so they just decided to throw three of them together. She then adds that they’re trying to give small publishers some shelf space.
Wow! Just wow!
FYI Technically, neither PA, Tate or Author House qualify as a small publisher. And of the two Author House is the only clean vanity press. They may actually qualify as a POD but I’m not inclined to google it to verify. You can if you want to. So for those authors who have fought the good fight and have put out the effort and money it takes to get picked up by a true traditional small press with real connections with real distributors (something that costs a lot of money that the average Joe Blow doesn’t have not to mention qualifications) and is the first step to getting on with one of the larger houses, I’d steer clear of my local B&N.
But that’s just my opinion. We did get free drinks while we were there so I guess that’s good.