A couple of weeks ago, I gave my take of the AMP nightmare in The Seamier Side of Publishing. So have other authors with their respective blogs. Since then, rights reversal letters started to trickle through. I was one of the lucky recipients. A lot of people are still waiting, and the trickle seems to have stopped.
I told myself I would pick up and move on. The dark side of the moon will rise again, just the way my balloons do. I’m working on another project and hope to have good things happen with my books in 2012. All well and good. Then last night when I came home from work, I was chagrined to read an article posted in the Sentinel Newspaper: “Battle Among Local Porn Authors Heats up on Facebook as Aurora Publisher Goes Mum.”
Local? Porn authors? Are you kidding?
I thought reporters were supposed to print facts. Even with fiction writing, workshop leaders have counseled me about the seriousness of libel, i.e. publishing a false statement damaging to a person’s reputation. For starters, most of the authors live outside Colorado, and some live overseas. My editor for Dark Side of the Moon lived in Africa. I’d hardly call this local.
The “spat” the reporter referred to wasn’t just about royalties. Some people are owed thousands of dollars. A couple of authors almost lost their homes because of this. The contracts on a lot of the AMP books had expired, and the publisher continued selling them without paying the authors. Months went by without any reply to emails and certified letters. When you work for someone you expect to be paid. Can you imagine working your butt off at the office all week, only to find out your boss spent your paycheck on furniture? Can you picture going months at a time without a paycheck and without communication from your boss? That was exactly what happened with AMP.
Dark Side of the Moon is SF/H. A lot of other people wrote horror and science fiction for AMP. Some people wrote erotica for AMP. I’m sure that most major retail bookstores have an aisle for erotica books. Does that make them porn? Of course not.
Said reporter emailed me for an interview. He contacted other authors around the same time, and most refused to comment or didn’t respond. Here’s why I didn’t respond. The publisher has a teenage son in school. Teenagers and children can be cruel, and I was afraid classmates might read the article, and bully and tease her son. I know about bullies. Bullies went after me in grade school and high school, and I would hate to see that happen to someone else. I can’t speak for others, but the lack of response must have teed this reporter off good. So he resorted to yellow journalism. Worse, his editor went along with it. I guess this reporter and his editor must have fallen asleep during the lectures on ethics.
I’ve interviewed several other AMP authors on my blog: Sharon Bidwell, Jefferson Dane, and Cynthia Vespia, and heartily recommend their books. I’m also reading Dark Moon Presents Zombies, edited by Julie Janson, and will be posting the review on my blog soon. Stop by and check out their websites.