“Liars, cheats and thieves”
Hi everyone! This is my first of hopefully many, monthly posts here at Love Bytes. Some people know me as TM Smith, Author of the All Cocks stories. Some know me as Tams the reviewer and owner of TTC Books and more book blog. I’m so happy to have this opportunity and look forward to interacting with everyone every month. I decided to shoot for the moon with this first post if you couldn’t gather by the title. Let’s chat about recent events in our world of books that have left many of us with a sour taste in our mouth.
For me this series of unfortunate events started in early 2016. I was signed up for a book signing in Houston Texas that turned out to be nothing like it was initially presented to me, as well as many other Authors. The date changed, twice, and then the venue changed. As if that wasn’t bad enough, only the people that had booked flights that couldn’t be refunded were actually allowed to continue to be a part of the event. Yes, you read that right, my head jerked a bit too when I read the email. I had to dispute the charge via Paypal to get a refund since the event coordinators didn’t feel they needed to refund my money for an event I was no longer allowed to attend because I’d be driving instead of flying.
At the same time I was dealing with this, there was a fiasco unfolding in Las Vegas with a CON where the coordinator was not only extremely unfriendly, she was verbally abusive to some of the Authors attending. While their event wasn’t cancelled, it may have been better if it had been. Several other signings or CONs either cancelled with refund or cancelled by way of ducking, running and taking the Authors money with them happened in the late spring and summer of 2016 as well. Thankfully, I was signed on for the one that returned my money. But still, it was not a banner year for events like signings, CONs and book fairs. A few rotten apples threatening the success of events to follow because people were afraid they’d lose their money.
After a wonderful GRL in Kansas City and a pretty amazing Thanksgiving and Christmas, I felt things were getting better and I was so ready for 2017. And then I opened my email to find a lovely little note from some (insert extremely vile four letter word here that stars with the letter “c”) named Lori at All Romance E-books. For those reading that were either living under a rock or travelling the universe in an alien spacecraft for the few months, I’ll bring you up to speed. All Romace E-books (ARe) decided they (and by they, I mean she, that dirty C word) were closing shop. So what’s wrong with that you ask? They sent the email out mere days prior to closing, roughly 3 to be exact I think. Just wait, it gets better.
Indie Authors that sold books through this site were told they wouldn’t be getting paid their royalties for the final quarter of 2016… while our books are still up for sell on the site… someone could have been buying my book at the precise second I was reading the email and I will never get paid one red cent for that book. There’s more… you could basically sign a waiver saying “I’ll never sue your lying, cheating, thieving, sorry ass” and get paid ten cents on the dollar for what you were owed. I’m sorry, say what now?
I cannot tell you how happy I was to say goodbye to 2016 and ring in the New Year, even if we now have a petulant child in White House. Then I learn that an event I’d signed up for was in question. Over several weeks of emails, messages sent through facebook and questions asked in the group for the event went unanswered by the coordinator. You see, I attended this same event in 2016 so when the time came to sign up for 2017, it was a no brainer. Well, apparently somewhere between 16 & 17 the coordinator decided to duck and run… with everyone’s money.
It’s disheartening to say the lease. What all these different situations have in common is the title of my post… Liars, Cheats and Thieves. When you sign up for an event and pay money you are doing so in good faith that the person hosting, coordinating the event is doing so with the intention of actually following through. When that doesn’t happen for good reason or the money paid is refunded, that is all well and good. But when an event coordinator or publishing site do not follow through they are, effectively, lying to their consumer. By not fulfilling the duties promised to us Authors, among others, they are cheating us out of our hard earned money as well as our time, which makes them thieves.
The question now is, what is to be done about it, especially for Indie Authors like me. I rely on signings and CONs to spread the word about my work and to meet readers as I don’t have a publisher to do that for me. I rely on secondary publishing sites like ARe to sell my books so I can branch out from online retailers. Events of the past year make it very hard for other event coordinators as well. It’s hard to trust in someone after you’ve been burned multiple times by promises that weren’t met or kept.
I want to highlight a few events and alternative selling sites in this post as well, not just focus on the bad. LGBT Author J. Scott Coatsworth has started a site where LGBT Authors can list their books. https://www.queeromanceink.com/
Lucien O’Corvi of The O’Raven Chronicles is working on setting up a secondary publishing site as well. He has a campaign going to fund the site where you can go and donate to help him get the site up and running. Every penny helps, even if you can only donate $5. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/o-raven-house-publishing-books-arts#/
A new group has taken over the Deliciously Dirty events. Wanderlust Signing Events is focused on combining professionalism and creativity for their events.
Gay Rom Lit (GRL) is probably the top CON for LGBT Authors. https://www.gayromlit.com/
Thanks again to the gang here at Love Bytes for welcoming me, I promise to post something a bit more lighthearted in April. Happy Valentine’s day everyone!
A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.
Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!
Twitter – https://twitter.com/TTCBooksandmore