I read an author post yesterday concerning some issues with Dorchester (specifically, the complaints focused on receiving payments, author rights, etc). I won't pretend to know what's truly occurring between the publisher and the authors, nor will I claim that I've read every post, both good and bad, which discusses the publisher in question. That means don't turn around and bite my head off because I'm not 100% on top of this situation.
However, I would like to raise an important point since what I heard alarmed me. There was some encouragement on this author's blog to boycott Dorchester books. Now, I'm all for boycotting things to make a point, if it will make a point, but I think there's an important distinction that needs to be made here. Not all authors are unhappy with Dorchester. There are plenty who are willingly sticking with the publisher, and who wish to continue to advance their writing careers with the people there.
With that said, I think it is selfish for whoever agreed to participate in this boycott to refuse to buy all books associated with Dorchester. Who are you truly harming when you do this? I'll tell you who: it's the authors. Wonderful people like Leanna Renee Hieber--a woman I will shamelessly promote on this blog because she deserves the praise--suffer because you refuse to buy Dorchester books. If you've read anything by Leanna, then you've seen how the woman can beautifully weave a sentence together with such sophistication and grace, it could bring a tear to one's eye. If you've ever read her blog or twitter, then you know that she's incredibly kindhearted and supportive of all those around her. And if you've ever been blessed to meet her in person... Well, you'll just have to see for yourself how sweet she really is. Do you really want someone, with so much skill, kindness, positivity, and potential, to suffer from any boycott?
Think about it in a different way. If you were an author, and you heard other authors complaining about your publisher, would you want potential fans to refuse to buy your books because you were associated with that publishing house? I think most of us would say "hell no!" so why should these authors be forced to deal with the added stresses? Why should certain authors, who already spend so much of their precious time writing, revising, imagining new and inventive ways to execute ideas to impress us readers, sweating, crying, and self-promoting suffer?
This post is going to sound self-righteous to some, but I do not think other authors on twitter should be supporting any boycotts of books (unless, of course, the support is for abstaining from buying anything Dorchester sells written by the authors who complain). Of course the authors in question may want to support those who were wronged... but they're also potentially harming those who weren't wronged. Sometimes it's better to simply keep quiet and let things play out the way they should, instead of adding more negativity and drama to the situation.
Just remember that there's always consequences. Think about who you're truly hurting when you boycott a publisher's books.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Boycotting Books: Who does it REALLY hurt?
About the Author
Tori is a 23 year old college graduate with a bachelor's in English Literature. She's currently pursuing a master's degree in Nutrition, and hopes to eventually become a registered dietitian. She enjoys reading, writing, baking, cooking, and has a strange addiction to chocolate, shoes, and coffee.
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