Monday, April 14, 2014

Rallying Call

This is going to sound weird, but I'm so glad that I went through that nightmare with my former publishing house.

No really.

In terms that we writers all understand, that was the dark of the night. The moment when I was at my absolute lowest. That bleak time when I wasn't sure if I could carry on. Where I had to take stock and somewhere, somehow, find the strength I needed to keep going.

You know what? That's exactly what I did. And what I realized is this. I love writing. I write just for the hell of it. I write it's because my passion. But I'm not going to allow that my loving a story I wrote will enable someone to bully or exploit me or push me around in any way that I don't want to go.

So in the interests of that, I'm changing the way I'm looking at the publishing business. Before, I just signed when I got the offer because the contract seemed fair and I didn't feel I had bargaining power. Now... I'm saying screw it.

From now on I'm having an attorney going over ever publishing contract I might sign with a fine-toothed comb. And if I don't like something, I'm going to ask for it to be changed.

You know why? I'm a writer. I face monsters and insecurities and all sorts of darknesses within my own soul in order to create books. And

I
DESERVE
RESPECT.


But no one will respect me if I don't respect myself.  And respecting myself means standing up for myself and acting like the powerhouse I know is lurking within me.

You know the thing about powerhouses? They keep moving forward to bigger and better things.


30 comments:

Carrie-Anne said...

This is one of the reasons I decided on indie publishing, since the thought of signing any kind of contract terrified me. If a contract is signed, it should be absolutely fair to the writer and not have any surprises or lies by omission.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was advised to have a lawyer take a look at my first contract and after seeing what you went through, I'm glad I did.

Rena said...

Yes, yes and yes. I'm glad you're going to go with a publishing lawyer. It would be easier with an agent, but if that isn't working out, a lawyer can be very helpful when sorting out those crazy contracts.

D.G. Hudson said...

Legal counsel is worth the fee.

Richard Hughes said...

I've learned a good lesson through your experience. Thank you.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Good for you, Misha... Don't let ANYONE take advantage of you like that again...

I would NEVER sign any contract no matter how great it sounds with a lawyer raking over every word... it is worth their outrageous fees in the long run!

Robin said...

I am so glad that you made it through the tunnel and are back in the light. AND you appreciate it all. You learned so much about what To Do And Not Do. Not only that... you came out *stronger.*

ROAR!

Neurotic Workaholic said...

It's great that you have such a positive perspective about this Misha; I hope that the attorney will help you. I wish I had my own lawyer to help me with my dissertation committee, because then I would feel like I'm more in a position to stand up for myself.

Botanist said...

Way to go, Misha. Writers deserve respect, something that some of the publishing industry seems to have forgotten. Without writers, there is no industry!

Linda King said...

I'm with you. Great post.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

I had a friend who worked (at the time) for a publishing house look over my first contract. Getting that little bit of expert advice is so valuable.

I'm glad you've come out of this stronger.

Shelley Sly said...

Good for you, Misha! You DO deserve respect. I think this is one of those cases where, if you don't stick up for yourself, who will?

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Glad you learned from your experience Misha.

Crystal Collier said...

I'm wishing you all the best going forward. It's a battlefield, eh?

S.P. Bowers said...

I agree we have to respect ourselves. Definitely get a lawyer or agent. They know what they're doing.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

You go girl!! never let them get you down or run you over!

Beth said...

So glad you got your rights back. And going over your posts I see I missed update day. I'll update tomorrow. So sorry about this! Geez. I'm a horrible co-host. Crap just keeps happening.

J.L. Campbell said...

Well done, Misha. Keep standing up for yourself!

Loni Townsend said...

Good for you! It's fantastic to see you with renewed strength and resolve!

Shell Flower said...

Right on, Misha. You are the one with the power because you are the one writing the awesome stories. Without your work, the publisher doesn't have anything. Yeah, there are others out there fighting for that spot, but when you start knowing what you are worth, you start getting it. Live and learn. All the best for your future projects.

Katie Cross said...

Let's just say this: you totally rocked that, Mischa. You were a strong, powerful woman through all of it.

You have my support!

LD Masterson said...

If you don't stand up for yourself, no one else will.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I'm sorry your publishing house has been so awful. An attorney sounds like a good thing to have when it comes to contracts.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Way to go, Misha!!! Roar!

Dean K Miller said...

We often enter the publishing arena with trepidation and uncertainty, even when an outside entity says they like our work. But they will always like it to their advantage and gain. You've done well to learn, grow and become a force to be reckoned with. Nice!

Murees Dupé said...

You go girl! I love that you picked yourself back up again and that you won't allow anyone to step on you. I am so cheering for you right now.

Ella said...

Cheers to you and fighting for your power! I had a similar experience lately-in another arena. We have to remain true to our passion, pride and power. In the words of Katy Perry...I am glad you let out your Roar~

Nicki Elson said...

Oh Misha -- I hadn't realized I'd been THIS behind in blog visits and I completely missed what you've been going though (I just looked up back posts to catch myself up). I'm so, so sorry you had to go through that---but it's awesome to see you already on the bright side and stronger for it. Congrats to you on standing up for yourself and getting your rights back!

Sandra Cox said...

Wishing you all the best in your writing journey. Lots of dark water to navigate sometimes.

Fe said...

Hello, Misha

Visiting from Alex's page and so glad I did. Whereabouts in SA are you? I'm in Jhb and would love to catch up sometime so that I can avoid the publisher issues you're experiencing. 'The easiest part of writing a book is the writing thereof' is never a truer expression than when dealing with publishers...