Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Relative Non-Importance of Self-Important People

We all know at least one egotistical, self-absorbed person, am I right? Put them on the Internet, and look out. You can tell who they are by their constant bids for attention, their frequent stunts, the never-ending cries of "Look at me! Look at me!"

If an exhibitionist of one gender baits and hooks one of the other gender (often by the 'nads) and they team up to wreak some havoc -- hoochie-mama! Get back. Nothing but trouble is coming.

What drives such people? I'm no shrink (though I'm sure Dr. Wim would know) but I'd say it's a base of narcissism, with a pinch of psychopathy and a spoonful of sociopathy. Throw in a smidgen of borderline personality disorder and blend in a couple of manias (not the least of which might be erotomania) and you have a highly volatile recipe for trouble. "Look at me! And if you don't, I'll harass, stalk, and torment you!"

A few people who fall into one or more of these categories have served as some of PublishAmerica's most effective spokespeople. Sheesh.

And now we turn our attention to our PublishAmerica word of the day. "C" is for Cheat. And PA cheats like bandits operating like robber barons. They sell unedited first drafts, many of which would make the circular file at any respectable publishing house. They sell books at highly inflated prices, chiefly to their own authors. They cheat their authors out of royalties as a matter of course. This is due in part to haphazard accounting practices and inadequate records. There is, however, a deliberate aspect to it as well. Make no mistake about that.

PublishAmerica continues to sell books that are no longer under contract and for which they never pay a dime in royalties. This practice is very well documented. And I know for a fact that my book can still be bought from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I have no expectations whatsoever of being paid any royalties for any such purchases. If there's ever a class action suit on that issue, I'm going to want in. It's not the money. God knows, it wouldn't even qualify as a pittance. It's the principle of it.

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