That’s right, I’m feeling a bit let down tonight. See, I’ve taken my work down from authonomy. The fit hit the shan late this afternoon (or at least that’s when it hit my attention, anyway) and after much reading and much soul-searching, I decided that this was the right thing for me to do.
What could have prompted such a decision? The story of Carl Ashmore, author of The Time Hunters. The book was up on authonomy a few years ago and reached the Editor’s Desk (if you’re unfamiliar with authonomy, the top five books each month make the desk and receive a review from a HarperCollins editor). The review was good, stating that the book had “…terrific potential.
You can read all about it here and here. Suffice it to say, Mr. Ashmore published his novel and it began to sell well and now all of a sudden, there’s a new series called Time Hunters being released by HarperCollins that is eerily similar to Mr. Ashmore’s work. Anyway, check out the links above for the full scoop.
I’ve not heard anything about HC’s side of this story, but I am interested in hearing it. I’m going on the assumption that Mr. Ashmore is telling the truth because after all, what would dishonesty get him? A lawsuit, and likely a nasty one. This whole thing has left me feeling a bit disillusioned with sites like authonomy because, if we can’t trust the proprietors of such sites to be honest and forthright with authors, especially when such proprietors are major publishing houses, who can we trust?
Perhaps this is all very naïve on my part. If that’s what you’re thinking, then here’s my response: This is why I want an agent. To help me navigate such potential landmines with my career, my sanity, and my rights more or less intact. It saddened me to delete my books from autho, a site on which I’ve happily wiled away many an hour over the last three years. I’ve gained so much knowledge and insight into writing there, and my books are better for it.
But as the old saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. So I will likely not be putting my work up elsewhere for people to see, except for maybe a tidbit here on occasion (yes, that means I’ve made my Chapter 1 excerpt page here private as well).
There is always a risk when you post something on the internet; it is the nature of the beast. Once it’s out in the open, you can’t take it back, no matter how much you might one day want to. As of this moment, I have no complaints about authonomy (other than the usual complaints about the speed of the site, the frequent error messages, etc. that are familiar complaints to all regular users) and a quick – very quick – Google search has given me no reason to fear, either. But that does not absolve me from my duty to be vigilant and protect my work, which is why I’ve taken it down.
Authonomy users appear to be retiring their accounts en masse, or so I’ve read. A lot of books have disappeared from shelves. Not a very auspicious start to autho’s big site redesign. I’ve left my account active because I still enjoy the fora, or at least I enjoy the Alliance of Worldbuilders thread – it’s the only one I venture onto anymore. I can only hope now that the authonomy powers that be will honor their word and not keep a copy of what I had posted on their server.
I hope one day that I’ll be able to say that if you really want to read my work, you can buy it at such-and-such retailer and then post the appropriate link. Oh, wait – I can! If you’re just dying to read some haiku about picnic lunches and harvest moons, then check out Tuesday Daydreams: A Journal in Verse. But if it’s my fantasy work you’re lusting after, I’m afraid you’ve got a while longer to wait.
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