Friday, February 20, 2009

Venus Resurrected?

When I first heard that the website for Venus Press went live again, I debated on saying something. As a publisher, I need to think about what I say online, and be concerned for how my words may be interpreted by others. Is it ethical for me to discourage writers from approaching a specific press? Granted, I had been published with Venus Press for a time and therefore have personal experience in the matter. When their vice-president and top selling author announced their departures, I got the sense something was amiss and asked to be released. Fortunately for me, I was able to regain my rights without any problems. Others who waited weren't as lucky. I know at least one author who had to get the NWU to help her get her print rights back.

As a publisher, I know I wouldn't want anybody hopping on a blog and telling people not to submit to me because of this, that, and the other. Anybody who would make blanket statements about how we operate, without really knowing what is going on backstage, I would question. With this post, however, I am not going to tell you to not submit to Venus Press, nor do I encourage or endorse bombarding them. I will tell you this is a development that merits serious scrutiny.

So why am I posting now? The main page for Venus Press, which became defunct more than a year ago, recently went live with the announcement of a grand re-opening. I was alerted today that an author page is now active on this site, listing a number of former VP authors. For some reason Leigh Ellwood is there. Now, when I pulled my titles from Venus, I saw to it that I was removed from their site. Indeed, in the days before they disappeared I was off the roster. Now, inexplicably, I'm back. I shouldn't be there at all. This concerns me because if this site relaunches with my pulled titles this becomes more than an inconvenience. It becomes a legal matter.

I will state here that I have no titles with Venus Press, pending or otherwise. Two of the works I did have there once are now with Phaze Books: they are Under Covers and The Healing. The third work, Standing Guard, was a flash fiction which I have since used as a free story. It is my intention, once an e-mail address is posted on-site, to ask them to remove my name from that page.

That is all.

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