Should publishers reign in authors?


By now the links have all made the rounds about the crazy Candance Sams who went off on a reviewer for daring to give a 1 star review of her book. For those that are new to the wankfest in Romancelandia, the link is HERE. It’s huge and continues on even 2 weeks later as the author just…won’t…shut…up. Even other authors jump in and tell her to chill but she continues to berate readers and reviewers for daring to disagree. The author even goes to considerable length blaming editors and saying authors have “scant” control over such things as scene placement and dialogue.

Yea, I thought that was called writing a book but whatever. This post isn’t about the craziness of one author. At this time I was talking with someone and wondered if Sams’ publisher knew what this author was doing.

So out of curiosity, I sent an email to the customer service at Love Spell. I basically gave them the link, asked if they were aware of the author’s actions and the ramifications it has on the publisher as a whole.

This is their reply:

Kassa,

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We always welcome the opportunity to listen to the comments, opinions and concerns of our readers, whether positive or negative.

As with most authors and publishers, Ms. Sams has opinions that may differ from our own. We have neither the time nor the manpower, nor quite frankly the right, to police these opinions. We like to think that comments posted online will be weighed with the merit they deserve. We appreciate the fact that readers may be wary of purchasing books by authors who engage in indecorous behavior in any forum. Please be assured that we neither solicit nor encourage any attack by our authors on readers or reviewers. We hope that you will judge each of our authors based on his or her own individual works.

Once again, thank you, Kassa, for taking the time to share your concerns. We value your opinion as a reader and appreciate your point of view.

Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!
Customer Service

I thought this was a really interesting reply, which brings me to the point and question of this post.

Should publishers keep their authors from such behavior or let them hang themselves?

I’m not talking about publishers policing every single comment an author makes or even every wankfest that occurs but something of this magnitude has to be more than a blip on their radar, right?

Thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “Should publishers reign in authors?

  1. The short answer to the question in the title is “No.”
    A publisher should publish a manuscript simply on its merits. No more, no less. They’re buying the manuscript, not the author.
    However…
    If that author goes on to make a 4-star, tin-hatted butthole of him/herself all over the place insulting people and displaying distasteful attitudes that alienate their audience, the publisher certainly has the option not to take any further submissions from that person.

    • I don’t think publishers should be policing their authors and apparently that’s the popular opinion as well. I do wonder though if publishers realize that such actions DO have impact on the publisher. I realize publishers buy mss and thus an author’s insanity doesn’t make a difference on if said insane person can write well, but readers are influenced people as well.
      So it’d be interesting if say Love Spell no longer accepted Sams’ books due to her behavior.

  2. Hi, Kassa! I agree with Kirby Crow. I really couldn’t phrase it better than she did. Publishers just don’t have the staff and time to police their authors, and if they did, those resources would be better served in continuing to improve editing and proofreading.
    However, I think that’s awesome that you wrote an email because I too can’t help being curious if publishers are aware of how nuts some of their writers can be (I didn’t read too far in to the Amazon comments because it was getting just TOO nuts). I think they are aware, especially if they’re e-publishers (i.e., very in tune with the www) and small.
    I found the response you got interesting as well, and it confirms what I thought. They just can’t police someone like that, though their reply carries a slightly defensive and regretful tone (understandable under the circumstances).
    I think Kirby is right and this author won’t get another contract from this publisher in the future unless she’s making mega-sales.

    • Indeed Kirby said it very well I think. No publisher could or should police their authors but they should likely be aware of the actions the authors are taking.
      I emailed the publisher mostly out of curiosity. I wasn’t looking for anything really other than wondering if they take action when their authors go off the rails. I wonder who else emailed asking the same? It’s not up to the publishers to quiet the author but wow.. that insanity isnt good for anyone!
      I’ll be curious if her next book is published with Love Spell.

  3. Publishers have one weapon against authors who make an ass of themselves – they drop them. This happened recently when another author was dropped by a very well known epub. and everyone knows why.
    The short answer to your question is that publishers shouldn’t police their authors – they would be spending most of their time doing so based on some of the craziness I see on amazon and elsewhere, including Twitter where another author had a field day because she didn’t get a 5 star review on amazon. If you think this woman is crazy there was a case about a year or so ago when an author was so incensed at a negative review she somehow got the home address of the reviewer and threatened her. Nasty stuff!

    • Hi Wave and I remember that! I remember when that crazy author put the phone number of the Boston Globe (?) reviewer up on Twitter for fans to complain directly. I mean wow… overreaction much? I mean ppl think William Maltese was overreacting with his post, but that’s almost tame in comparison what to some of these authors do lol.
      I do remember that case you’re referring to with the author being dropped but really, I wonder how often that happens. And if say Sams would be dropped since her insanity is not directed @ the publisher per se (though she blames editors). I mean considering no one really likes reviewers when the review is bad – is behavior like this blown off since all authors have wanted to do the same but are just too smart. Or is such behavior really destructive to an author’s career?
      Makes me wonder!

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