Writer Wednesday—Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I really hate to be lied about. Some people believe that their words, all their words, are protected speech. They think they can say whatever they want and there will be no consequences. They are wrong.

One of our authors at RHP claims to have been “fired” for “asking a question.” She’s spreading it all over the Internet and using words like “dishonest” in reference to me.

Please, allow me to clear up a few things:

She did ask a question, in a private group. And I did answer.

But then she “wondered” more: how did I have so much invested in each book that RHP publishes, and why didn’t I do it more cheaply, and she began to list all the things that I could do for “free” because she had a friend who did those very things. She posted links. She claimed that her books had not been edited, and that I was not an editor, only a proofreader, and she went on and on.

I terminated her contracts. Both of them. Why? Because she was rude and insulting. Because it was long overdue. Because it’s none of her business how I run MY business. It’s not HER money; RHP doesn’t accept money from authors, we aren’t a vanity press. We invest in our books, and we expect our authors to invest in their own—if not dollars, then time, in the form of promotion of those books and dedication to their careers.

This author did none of that. She made a few phone calls or sent a few emails; she belonged to no writers’ groups except online, and rarely posted there. She had a children’s book, and blogged about hating children . . . when she blogged. She was negative about everything. Whenever someone posted a promo opportunity, she’d whine that it was too expensive or call it a scam.

The reaction of RHP’s other authors to this conversation was not surprising in the least: they, too, were surprised at the costs involved in publishing, but expressed their determination to work harder and sell more books. That was the point—RHP has invested in YOU, RHP believes in YOU. You should believe in  yourself too.

I talked to my daughter the other day. She’d just learned, coincidentally, how much her company spent on her training. Her response: Wow, that’s a lot! I better work hard to make it all worth it for them! Wouldn’t that be most people’s reaction? What do you think would have happened if she’d marched in to her boss’ office and told him how to run that company, and how he could do it for less money, and that he really hadn’t trained her at all because he wasn’t a professional?

She wouldn’t have a job.

When this author received the termination email, she immediately went back to the group and posted it, then posted it on her Facebook page. Then she blogged about it, with the title including the words “dishonest publisher.”

Well, I am a publisher. Dishonest? Why? Am I supposed to tell everyone the financial details of my business? How and why I do things and spend money? Really? Go ahead, call your boss right now and demand to know the company’s financial details. Tell him he’s dishonest if he doesn’t disclose that information.

You won’t have a job.

Funny thing about her blog post. She calls me “Rosa.” Until about two-thirds of the way down when she uses “Robin.” She apparently doesn’t realize that all of this is legally actionable. All of it. It’s called libel.

Her next blog post was about her royalties. Once, not long ago, she emailed and told me that her Amazon rankings had gone up and she asked what that meant. In her blog, she claimed my answer was, “I don’t know.” Again, not true. Amazon rankings depend on the number of sales and the number of books on the site. If 200 books are uploaded, the ones already on the site that have had even one sale will change ranking. Once any of those 200 books start selling, rankings will change again.

What I DID tell her was that I had no idea what algorithms were used and how Amazon’s tech department functioned. I don’t. I doubt anyone but Amazon techs could explain this.

Based on this, she “doubted” the accuracy of her sales figures. While it’s true that our authors can’t check on sales figures directly, a simple email or message can prompt me to look them up, particularly if they’re doing a promotion or their rankings change drastically and remain there.

Her third blog post—she’s like a dog with a bone, really—listed pseudonyms of supposed RHP authors whom she quoted with such gems as “she [meaning ME, of course] is unreasonable;” “I hate my book cover;” “I don’t trust her;” “I’m afraid of her;” and so forth. And, too, this author added that several others “applauded” her for standing up to me.

Er, there was nothing to stand up FOR. And I assure you, any standing up was done by the rest of the RHP authors, for me and the publishing house. There is a palpable air of relief in the group now, and authors are posting all kinds of ideas and sites and links about promotion, writing, blogging, etc.

I can also tell you that most RHP books are doing just fine with sales. Most of our authors, the ones whose books sell, work at it every day. They make phone calls, they visit with people in person, they care about their fans, they use social media very effectively; they spend time, and some spend money, amounts ranging from $5.00 on up, and they get results.

The question, of course, is whether or not to post this rebuttal. If you’re reading, I’ve decided to set the record straight. Of course, those of you who know me understand the ridiculousness of the situation, and those who follow this particular author won’t believe it anyway. Most probably won’t even care, but at least I spoke my piece.



This will be the last RHP blog post on WordPress—I’ve moved this segment over to the actual RHP website, listed under “more” for now, and I’ll be bringing you author features and blogs as well as the usual announcements about upcoming releases.

The first post will be very similar to this one, starting today as well, and you can subscribe to the blog via email or RSS. The web addy is http://www.rockinghorsepublishing.com/blog. Pretty simple.

This is going to be a great way to keep up with your favorite RHP authors!