No matter how old I get there will be certain things about human nature that will completely surprise me, no matter how many times they happen.

I’m sure the sort of thing I’m going to talk about happens in all professions, but I’m not in all professsions, I happen to be immersed in the publishing world. I am always surprised when agents or editors post blogs and hints on professional behavior. (But doesn’t this sort of go along with this blog post?)

Every day you can find blogs on how to submit manuscripts professionally. Like don’t include glitter in the envelope with your query letter. Don’t send brownies with your submission. Don’t tell an agent/editor how much your mother liked your story and how you’re the next Nora Roberts. And to all of that I want to say … “Well, dur.” But unfortunately editors put it out there because it’s actually happened.

How about acting professional at writer’s conferences … Like don’t slide manuscripts under the bathroom stall door and recite your well-rehearsed pitch while an agent is trying to pee. Or dissing the editor you pitched to in the bar while you’re having a couple of drinks with your friends. Don’t ambush your dream agent when she’s sitting down to dinner. Again … dur.

And remember not to post negative Facebook or Twitter updates because you’re upset about a rejection. Don’t disrespect other authors and for goodness sake don’t blog something about someone you wouldn’t say to their face. But puh-lease, isn’t this all obvious? Yeah, well, since I keep hearing it, probably not.

And here’s the one that has completely blown me out of the water and the reason I’m blogging about this today. I received an INTERNAL email from my publisher through our business loop. Someone then turned around and sent the email (either in its entirety or huge chunks) to a public blog. Of course the owner then turned around and published the information. WTH?? I felt guilty telling Mr. Nina about the proposed changes. What kind of balls, chutzpah, ,stupidity, unprofessional behavior could someone live with in order to do something like that? I just can’t even wrap my head around the lack of ethics. Fortunately Ellora’s Cave has had this happen before and they were not unprepared and have already commented publically.

But I am speechless. I don’t even know where to go from there. This ranks right up there with talking smack about an editor or complaining about your publisher in public. This industry is hard enough without doing any of those things.

So how is it in your corner of the professional world? Have you experienced anything like this?

29 Responses to Seriously?

  • Oh boy I have lost count the amount of times I have seen this happen. It is like people are bound to trash careers and publishers. They don’t get it that just because one person gets on your nerve and you have beef with them and then going out to trash them also will trash everone who is with that company or whoever. There is a time and place for everything. I know not to bad mouth people because it will kick you in the ass.

    • Savannah – This is the first time I’ve seen this and I’m totally flabbergasted. Personnally I’m with you on the bad karma. I wouldn’t want it floating out there.

  • Either done maliciously or by mistake, it is sad that people cannot double check what they are doing. This is so unethical. Unfortunately some people do not care who they hurt. Themselves included. One less idiot in the publishing business.
    I am sorry that you were hurt by this.

    • Christiane – Fortunately, it hasn’t been a direct impact on me at this time. We’ll see if there will be repercussions. But it was very obviously done purposefully. I just don’t understand the motivation.

  • Zrinka – I do think some people operate on bad news and negativity. That just serems like so much effort to me. But there is something to be said about the desire to see a train wreck. I’m not sure why, but it is human nature.

  • Unfortunately I see this over and over again in every one of my “lives” – writers who trash the house that published them; secretaries who trash their bosses, and my favorite – people who think they only need to be nice to “important” people. How you treat a receptionist, a waiter/waitress, a ring steward, goes a long way toward revealing your true nature.

    • Monica – It’s so true. I know it’s everywhere. But in this business where it’s so hard, why? Just why?

      And you’re right, there are people who just aren’t nice. 🙁

  • It never fails to surprise me, whenever I think I’ve heard all the unprofessional goings on people do, there’s one to top it.
    Picture me shaking my head in disgust.

  • Huh? So…am I getting this right? An EC author took a message from their internal loop and posted it on a public website? Is that right!?

    • Stacey – The author didn’t post it themselves, they sent it to the blog owner who then posted it. But yeah, same thing.

      • Oh my!! Um…wow! *shakes head* I cannot begin to understand how anyone could betray their publisher in that way or what they’d get from doing that? Where is the loyalty? Well…that’s a sure way to get your fellow authors and your publisher to no longer support you!

        • Stacey – I just keep asking why the author did this? What did they gain from it? In the end it may just hurt EC and it’s authors. But I suspect since there hasn’t been much response to the blog post that it’s just sort of a non-issue.

  • Something like this happened to me, an author and I had a private email conversation and then he posted it on a yahoo group to which we both belonged. I was so disgusted that I left the group, which I kind of regret but couldn’t stay there while that behaviour was condoned.

    • Erastes – WHAT?? That is so much worse. It was a private email. I know mistakes are made sometimes when we hit “reply” and the response goes to a group instead of an individual, but that doesn’t sound like the case. I suppose someone could think they elevate themselves by doing something like that, but you can only hope it comes back and bite them in the @$$ eventually.

  • Sorry to hear this happened. It’s unfortunate, but in the internet age, few private messages remain private unless everyone involved is very diligent.

  • Well said, Nina. I can’t quite believe someone would send something like this to an outsider. Just weird.

  • I still can’t believe this happened. I remember when the email came in. I didn’t read it until briefly the next, nodded ok and then left to get my kids. Two hours later I found out it was posted and public knowledge and I as an author hadn’t even digested it in my own brain.

    I don’t understand some people. *shakes head*

    • Amy – The speed was scary. Like you, I hadn’t even really digested it all and it was out and public. I don’t think there will be any blowback for authors, but that remains to be seen.

  • Wow, Nina. Aside from the hurtful aspect, can this person say “career suicide?” Some things should just be common sense.

    • Miriam – I don’t know if there will be any repercussions for the person that did this, but one can certainly hope. Ir just seems so unbelievable to me.

      • I think something like this would and should be grounds for dismissal. All personal feelings aside – and that’s not easy! – legal contracts were broken. Period.

        • Dalton – I whole heartedly agree. I assume the cyber trail can be followed, maybe not, but I hope so. When/if they discover who did this the person should definitely be “fired”. (No more books published and purged from the loop — obviously).

  • People are unbelievable 🙁 *sigh*

  • It shocked me too, Nina. I love EC as both a writer and a reader and this was really disturbing to me on a lot of levels.

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