On the way home from Anthocon 2012, I was sitting in the back of the car playing on my iPhone, when I came across this beauty of a submission call.
After reading it out loud to my buddies in the car, we laughed and laughed and laughed (and laughed some more).
Now, let’s not all run out and write a story for this…
Actually, NOBODY should write a story for this.
Any guesses on who STFU Publishing belongs to?
(Yes, it’s actually called Shut The F*ck Up Publishing, the name itself should give you a little hint.)
DRUM ROLL PLEASE!
Tony G. has reared his ugly head again.
I’m hoping you’ll share this post for two reasons.
- Protect the new authors who don’t know about him yet.
- It’s freaking hilarious.
I especially love this part.
“Formatting is how you like, but preferred is single spaced with no tabs. Have name address, phone number info on first page only. If you don’t want to put phone and other info that’s fine, but don’t bother submitting then, as there are times when direct communication is necessary during the editing process.”
It should say: “There are times when direct communication is necessary, unless I’m going to change everything in your story…”
“How my story was Tonied” By Mandy DeGeit
ARGH!!! I wish this issue would just go away…
The issue being Tony and his presses: Undead Press, Living Dead Press and OpenCasket Press*.
*(On that note, why does he need three presses anyway? It makes him seem sketchy. Well he is a sketchy publisher, we all know this, but after the whole fiasco and everyone knowing what he’s up to… he’s still trucking in the publishing world.)
I was messaged by one of my fellow authors yesterday, Brent Abell. He had originally been accepted into Cavalcade of Terror, but was smart enough to pull out of the ToC when he saw the contract. Tony emailed him a few days ago, asking if the story he had originally sent in was still “up for grabs”. You can read Brent’s story here. I shook my head and said WTF? I couldn’t believe that after Brent pulled out of the anthology, Tony had the nerve to message him asking for the story. Obviously, Brent said no.
Shortly after the above mentioned happened, I received a message from Wes Southard (one of the authors who was in Cavalcade of Terror) stating the same thing. Tony emailed him asking for a story. This request was also turned down with a resounding NO! and Wes blogged about it here.
Since Tony is still up to his shoddy/vanity publishing tricks, I feel it necessary to bring up a few facts that may have saved me a lot of trouble in the beginning.
The two most important rules for writing, which have been driven into my brain by Kelli Owen, are both #1’s because they are both EQUALLY IMPORTANT and they are:
1- GET PAID!
Is your book up on Amazon for free? Is this a work for charity? Fine then, not a problem. Continue on.
If it’s not free to the general public, this means the publisher is making money off something you created for free. That’s not right. We are writers, it’s a job for us, why are we working for free? Do you get free gas from the gas station? Harlan Ellison says it best in his rant about getting paid. Watch the rant here.
1- CONTRACTS CAN BE CHANGED! (Before signing obviously)
This is something I didn’t know. The contract sent to you isn’t the be all and end all. You have the right to change things that you don’t like and send it back. If you don’t understand contracts, find someone who does.
Here’s the first page of the contract Tony sent me for She Makes Me Smile. Let’s discuss.
First of all, there’s a mistake in the title. “Calvacade of Terror” should be “Cavalcade of Terror”, I noticed this, but signed anyways. Honestly I told Wes Southard: “Worse case scenario, the spelling mistake gives us a way out of the contract, if we need one.” (Jebus, if I only knew how right I was.)
#1- License to Publish: “Publisher has the right to edit WORK before release” EDIT EDIT EDIT. Now even thought Tony doesn’t know the difference between edit and rewrite/rework/create new paragraphs, it was up to me to ensure somewhere in here said “I GET TO SEE THESE EDITS BEFORE THE STORY GOES TO PRINT” aka a galley will be sent to me so I can approve my story. *(This tiny step would’ve saved Tony a lot of trouble). Make sure you see something of the sort, allowing you to approve edits before publication.
#4- “Author is to be paid the rate of one print copy of an overstock book.” This is crap. This is Tony having too many of his own VanityBullcrapBooks floating around in his mom’s basement and she’s sick of looking at them. He’s paying us with one of his own books which he couldn’t sell, not even a copy of our own anthology. NO NO NO!
#5- “Subsidiary Rights” This means: Tony would get paid if you ever sold it for any movie rights or anything, that HE would get paid, so for a story he never paid YOU for, HE would get paid. THIS IS CRAP! *(I didn’t understand this one, and just signed it, that was my mistake. Kelli Owen explained it to me.) Please be cautious, again if you don’t understand something, ask around.
I could spend time going over the whole contract, but there’s really no point. Tony’s grammar and spelling in correspondance should’ve been enough for me to walk the hell away from whatever he was doing as a publisher, but the stars in my eyes blocked me from seeing what I should have. I let “the idea of being published” get in the way of common sense.
What I know now:
-Getting published in a vanity book like his isn’t worth the time I spent writing my stories.
-How to deal with contracts.
-Good presses will allow you to change your contract if there’s something you don’t like.
-If they want your story, the publisher will make things happen.
(I understand not everyone wants to hear me talk about this issue. I’m directing this specifically to the girl who told me off when I tried to warn her and a friend about Tony’s bad habits. While I understand you haven’t been screwed over YET, why risk it? To be published in a book that no one will see, which was just made so the publisher can showcase his stories and make money off something you worked on? If that’s why you write, then I bow out to you. You should check your contracts though, because I’m 100% sure you’ve lost a hell a lot more than you should’ve… but that’s okay, because you know better than me. 😀 Good luck with your writing. Sorry for trying to help. Also, I have a big fat I-told-you-so waiting, so don’t come crying to me when something does happens…)
Sorry, the above should’ve been: The Cavalcade of Vengeance Come’s in Canadian Sizes. *EYeTwItCh*
She Makes Me Smile (REDUX) is now available on Amazon.com for 0.99. This is the version I wanted everyone to enjoy.
To reiterate what is happening with the sales of SMMS: 50% is going into a bank account/mattress/piggybank and from those monies I’ll be paying all the authors in Cavalcade of Terror* $25 and a contributor’s copy of the now defunct Cavalcade of Terror, for their stories. *(Even TonyG. He can get his own book though…)
I also encourage you all to please take the time to find out if these authors have anything else available to read and read it. They do not deserve what’s happened to them, I only wanted my story pulled not the entire book.
Here’s the list of authors you should check out:
David James Keaton
M. L. Traxler
Kelly M. Hudson
P. A. Douglas
Wayne C. Rogers
*Cavalcade of Terror has been pulled from distribution again. It was taken down originally and SMMS was removed and replaced with a wonderfully titled story by TonyG. “Morgue of the Dead”. (Ummmm, as opposed to what… Morgue of the Living?) A day later, Wes Southard received an email from Tony stating he had no idea how Cavalcade got back up on Amazon as it was supposed to have been pulled because of an issue. He wouldn’t state what the issue was in the email, but if Wes wanted to talk on the phone, he’d tell him. Ha, Wes and I both know, I’m the Canadian issue.
Once the authors are paid, I will be contacting a contract lawyer based in Massachusetts to look over the contracts for Tony’s three presses. *(Even if just for an hour.) If something can be done, we shall forge ahead. I’m not looking for money or any form of compensation. My main concern is voiding contracts between Tony and the writers who feel their work was altered past the point of “editing”.
You can follow the progress here on my SMMS page. I even added a cool little thermometer thing. The first 900$ is to pay authors of SMMS because I broke their book. After I reach that goal, I’ll change it up to track the lawyer fees.
I want to take a moment to once again thanks everyone who had a part in this, and that includes everyone who shared, re-tweeted or told someone about what was going on. It wouldn’t have had the impact or the reach without all of your support.
I hope you enjoy the story, please let me know what you think, post a comment or tell a friend about it.
I’m not going to lie, I have been freaking out a little. I feel like expectations are so high with everyone watching me.
Well, I’ve always said I’m happy if just one person likes what I write. I think in this case, there’ll be more than that.
Thank for reading.