You all know I’ve been ranting about my first ever publication coming out for the last little while… “She makes me smile” was picked up by Undead Press (Anthony Giangregorio) to be published in their anthology called Cavalcade of Terror and the book was released May 1st 2012.
I waited… and waited… I was SO excited to see my story and name in print.
One of my friends even went as far as to pay 40$ to Expresspost me a copy of Cavalcade, I waited around two days for the delivery. (Apparently I’m dealing with a buzzer issue here at the house.)
It finally came in and believe me, I didn’t waste any time ripping into the package…
FLIP, FLIP, FLIP… Find the Table of Contents.
…and my heart sank.
Wtf? There’s a spelling mistake in the title of my story. *(Not from my submission however… They changed it to wrong.)
“She Make’s Me Smile” by Mandy J. De Geit
Well that made me sad, but okay the Mandy part is kinda cool. Let’s see the story itself…
ARGH!!! Same mistake on the title page. Fack, She Make is Me Smile… Really? Oh well… Read on.
… … …
Read read read… WTF? WHO THE HELL? (Run to computer and load up the submitted file with great difficulty, cause your breathing is laboured from a really tight chest, your hands are shaking to the point you can hardly type and you can hardly see the screen cause you’re about to lose your shit waterworks wise… and you NEVER do that…)
Fucking Bastards! They changed my story without telling me.
Let’s see: They turned a non-gendered character into a boy, they named the best friend, they created a memory for the main character about animal abuse. They added a suggestion of rape at the end… I feel like they ruined the suspense in the story. I don’t know what else, I haven’t even read the whole thing through yet because it makes me SOO FREAKING ANGRY!!! *(I’m angry now… just talking about it riles me up. EFFIN GRRRRRR! I could totally kill someone with a paperback, I wonder if that’s been done…) Grrr… I hate anger.
THEY SHOULD’VE ASKED!!!
(I’d have said NO, give me my story back, because you can’t spell and your story makes no sense, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The story didn’t pay anything, not even a contributor’s copy, but still I signed the contract (which said “EDIT” not “revamp”) and let them publish my story. I was rushing on the fact that I was actually going to be a published author.
Let’s not forget the fact that I stayed in contact with the owner of Undead Press throughout the entire time since I was ordering a large quantity of books to sell to my family and friends here in Canada. Never once did he tell me anything about the story being changed. I called friends to make sure that he can do that to the story and found out that he can’t.
I sent him an concise email covering the following points:
1- Why there was a mistake in the title
2- Why my bio was shortened? There were much longer ones (like his own) so it wasn’t for space issues.
3- Why the story was changed?
I told him it wasn’t acceptable and that he should pull the story because it was different from the one I submitted and this was his response. (I haven’t changed anything from the email, I simply cut and pasted and italicized for easier comprehension.)
“wow, i truly cant believe that e,mail. you go girl. this one one hell of a story about dealing with unstable writers
on the contract, it clearly says publisher has the right to EDIT work. you signed it. are you saying you are a dishonest and immoral person and will now try to deny you signed the contract? well i have a copy right here
and as for the story. the editor had a hard time with it, it was very rough and he did alot to make it readable. despite what you think, your writing has a long way to go before its worthy of being printed professionally.
we did what we had to do to make the story printable. you should be thankful, not complaining. ah, the ungrateful writer, gotta love it
the contract also says any disagreements you have about the contract must be filed legally in Massachusetts and when you lose, you must pay all court costs.
so, we are done here. any more correspondences from you must be from your lawyer. i will then send any of those letters to my lawyer and they can hash it out as i dont waste my time arguing with writers over legalities. thats what lawyers are for.
you are so funny. thanks for this email, it truly made my day.”
Wait one fucking dickfaced minute… If my writing has a long way to go before being published professionally… Then you aren’t a professional publisher? Thought so. As for the “publisher has the right to EDIT work”, I know what EDIT means, do you?
Here’s a paragraph copied directly from She Make’s Me Smile in the book.
“Something strange happened then. I recalled a moment when I was a boy. I was playing in my backyard when the dog in my neighbor’s yard escaped through an open gate. My neighbor, an elderly man who lived alone and spoke in a thick accent (I later discovered that is was German), managed to corral the dog back into his yard. I watched, fascinated as the man ripped his long black belt from the loops at his waist and brought it down with a hellish fury upon the dog’s back. The dog slunk down and rested it’s head upon its paws, resigned to its fate. Why didn’t it fight back? Why didn’t it bite the hand of the master?
With the only friend I ever truly had writhing between my legs, I became aroused.”
This was what was in my story.
NOTHING OF THAT IS IN MY ORIGINAL STORY!!! A-D-D-E-D! THIS IS ADD NOT EDIT!!!
*(It’s also shitty writing and I don’t like it in my story… It hurt my face having to retype it here on the blog.)
Shortly after that douchey email from Tony G. I received another one. (I hadn’t even responded to the first one yet.)
here’s something else i am gonna give you cause youre not happy. it should “make you smile” get it?
though the contract says the story is exclusive for 365 days, i am gonna wave that with this email and the story is now NON exclusive.
that means as of now, you are free to resell that story to any market you wish and get it out there again.
His email DID NOT make me smile…
*Fast Forward to Next Day*
I find out that the box of books has been here in Ottawa, Ontario Canada for the last 4 days. Because I don’t have a tracking number, I have no way of knowing this. Only cause Tony FINALLY sent me this…
“Re:update on your books
i double checked the address, too, the one you sent me is the address i made the books out to. see, this is why i dislike international mail.
|2012-05-11||06:19 AM||Address Correction Required via OTTAWA, ON depot|
|2012-05-10||06:32 AM||Address Correction Required via OTTAWA, ON depot|
|2012-05-09||01:45 PM||Address Correction Required via OTTAWA, ON depot|
|2012-05-09||06:27 AM||Address Correction Required via OTTAWA, ON depot|
|2012-05-08||04:49 PM||Address Correction Required via OTTAWA, ON depot|
|2012-05-08||12:30 PM||Address Correction Required via OTTAWA, ON depot|
|2012-05-08||07:58 AM||On vehicle for delivery via OTTAWA, ON depot|
|2012-05-08||05:00 AM||Shipment In Transit via OTTAWA, ON depot|
|2012-05-07||09:43 PM||Left via TORONTO SORT CTR/CTR TRIE, ON depot|
|2012-05-07||09:33 PM||Shipment In Transit via TORONTO SORT CTR/CTR TRIE, ON depot|
|2012-05-07||09:32 PM||Picked up by Purolator via TORONTO SORT CTR/CTR TRIE, ON depot|
|2012-05-07||11:24 AM||Left via DETROIT, MI depot|
(If he had that information, that means there’s a tracking number… FML!)
So he has one, but I don’t… I took a chance anyway and went to fight with Purolator.
Approximately two hours after getting my book… I received this email from Tony G. (I emailed him earlier in the day for the tracking numbers, again… but never mind that, it’s the end part that gets me.)
“here ya go. there are 2 tracking #s. sorry i haven’t gotten back to ya, been busy all morning, not all email at all till right now.
While all this was going on, Vincenzo posted an apology and explanation, I had just agreed to do the interview with Books of the Dead and I thought it would be a good opportunity for Vincenzo Bilof to state his side of the story. Please take a moment to check out the interviews.