I spent the month of April deciphering contracts, contract law, and intellectual property law, not because I was bored and wanted to snarl my brain. It was in April that authors received the news that Night Shade Books was being purchased by Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing. This led to one massive brain hemorrhage as we all tried to comprehend what this meant for our books and any future novels tied with those contracts.
Thanks to Kameron Hurley, a Google group was set up and information started to flow. Some of this information was good, some of it was bad, some, well, ugly in that it wasn't what we wanted to hear, but it was the truth.
One of the biggest benefits that I received from being an SFWA member is the ability to participate in the SFWA forum. If you are in utter and complete publisher meltdown, that is the place to go. I received clear-headed assessments of the situation from experienced members. Several kind people emailed me off the grid with details that tipped the balance of my decision.
On the surface, the issue with Night Shade Books appeared as if the SFWA was coddling the publisher. As April progressed, my anonymous email advocates armed me with facts that simply could not be made public for many reasons. Once I possessed all the facts, I realized that the SFWA did the right thing.
Kameron did an awesome job as moderator of the Google group and I thank her and Mary Robinette Kowal, who really spent hours and hours of her personal time going to bat for us. Mary couldn't have done her job without the weight of the SFWA behind her, and for that I am very grateful both to Mary and to the SFWA for taking a part in these negotiations.
For a long time, everyone was between a rock and a hard place, and some authors still are. I am hoping for the best for everyone.
I only the briefest of statements about The Bulletin and the SFWA:
I did finally receive my copy of the Bulletin and I want to say for the record that I found the article very offensive. I have neither the time nor inclination to write a ranty blog post about it; there are plenty of those out there if you want to read one.
The SFWA is taking strides to amend this situation, so I intend to give my membership more time. I want to see what the SFWA does, and I also want to be a part of the solution if I am able. A lot of changes are happening, some of which are too rapid to document. So I'm sticking around for a while longer.
I hope so anyway.
I'll be around and if you don't see me, I'll be writing.