How to Kill Your Writing Career.
We’ve all heard stories on how lackluster book sales can slowly leech the life out of your publishing career. But why wait for the returns? This guy is an innovator in killing one’s publishing career in one spectacularly insane gesture:
From Publishers Weekly:
“A few weeks ago John Mitzel, proprietor of Calamus Books in Boston, was surprised to open his mail and discover he’d been named in a lawsuit filed by an author. The suit, filed by Larry Townsend’s attorney for copyright infringement, stems from a dispute over unpaid fees allegedly owed the author by his distributor, the Oklahoma-based Nazca Plains Corp. Nonetheless, the suit charges that Mitzel, along with over 40 other booksellers (including Amazon and Barnes & Noble), infringed on Townsend’s copyright by selling the author’s books in his store.”
“According to [Townsend’s attorney], Nazca Plains, aka Moseley, copied Townsend’s works without permission and then distributed the books to the booksellers.”
That’s right kids, an author is suing booksellers for selling his books.
It’s difficult enough for a self-published author to get his books carried in bookstores, but with the added threat of a potential lawsuit, that window may have just slammed shut forever. What bookstore wants to deal with that hassle, when the big NY houses are churning out a hundred thousand titles a year? (And will promise not to sue?)
Obviously he has a major beef with his distributor, but the second my attorney spit out the words,
“Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s name all the bookstores in the lawsuit!,” I’d have to take a minute to think things over.
I’d rather gnaw off my signing arm than name a BOOKSTORE in a lawsuit, let alone 40, including all of the majors. Especially bookstores that had NO IDEA what was going on — other than the usual business of selling books. Call me crazy.
Now, as a fellow author, I think Larry should be compensated handsomely by Nazca Plains. If what he claims in his lawsuit is true, they ripped him off and pirated his work, they should pay and pay big.
Even Amazon, a haven for self-publishers, which will carry nearly anything in print, is named in the suit. I guess after this Larry will be selling his books out of the back of his trunk.
My guess is that the pressure from bookstores will cause Nazca to settle quickly, and possibly put them out of business, even if he has no intention of actually attempting to squeeze any cash out of the bookstores.
But my guess is that after this, every book buyer in the country is going to have a mug shot of Larry’s backlist taped up on the wall like a sort of PW’s Most Wanted. And I’m pretty sure that “Larry Townsend” is a name the bookstores won’t soon forget.
Okay. Rant over.
Now, on to my purse.
An epi-pen (my daughter has a peanut allergy)
tiny notebook to jot down ideas
Fifteen Minutes of Shame bookmarks
Fifteen Minutes of Shame postcards
6 Sharpie pens (I have no idea why I needed 6)
business card case
Junior Mints left over from Kung Fu Panda
my iPhone (I love this thing!)
teasing comb (Needed for the glamour pour on the back — leftover from 8 million tour TV appearances on book tour.)
lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss
DVD of Daytime Show I want to put on my website
And 23 (yes, actually 23) little scraps of paper with various notes written on them. Some make no sense at all, like this one that reads — July — green shoes.
Do I need to buy green shoes for some leprechaun ball in July? Was it a note to remind me about someone who was wearing green shoes? A riddle? A mysterious character in my next book? I have no idea, and I can’t recall writing it.