The Canadian speculative fiction industry has been shocked by the sheer number of accusations against ChiZine Publications, a small Canadian publisher of horror fiction. What started with allegations of non-payment of royalties from a few authors exploded into dozens of stories of non-payment for editors, publicists, and other professionals, as well as allegations of sexual harassment, threats, gaslighting, and various other forms of emotional abuse.
Tonight, I’m hearing numerous horror stories from other members of the publishing industry about abuse and toxicity at Canadian horror publisher ChiZine. This is sad and awful news. My heart goes out to all the writers, editors, publicists, and others who have endured emotional abuse, harassment, or gaslighting from the publisher or anyone affiliated with it, or who have been denied payment for work they have done or royalties earned. This behaviour is disgraceful and unacceptable.
Someone or other once said “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Well, I keep making plans and life keeps happening. That article on Vikings and volcanoes I started in April is still on the backburner because I need to do a bit more research, but other things have been occupying my time. Like my book and paying work—in that order.
Let me start by saying that perfectionism is a curse that rots your brain and hacks away your self-confidence until you’re nothing but a quivering pile of dogshit. I am author, hear me whimper.
Okay, so I wrote this book, see? It’s my first complete full-length novel, and it’s super long (245,000 words!!) and told in non-chronological order, so I was concerned that publishers would see it as too much of a risk. Either that or they would try to shorten or reorganize it, and then I’d jump up on their shiny hardwood desks and shake them by their designer collars while screaming “GET YOUR BLOODY MURDERING HANDS OFF MY PRECIOUS WORDBABY!” in their faces.
That would not be a good thing. So the original plan was to self-publish.
Back in August, the DigiWriting Book Marketing Agency held #CanLitPit on Twitter so authors could tweet their books at them. On October 22-23, 2016, they will be hosting the Stratford Writers Festival in (where else) beautiful Stratford, Ontario.
This is definitely worth reading. Remember, it takes a lot of effort to review a book, so show your reviewers—indeed, show all of your readers—the respect they deserve. (Originally posted on happymeerkatreviews.)