I’m currently an unpublished author, or a formerly published author. I’ll be published again in May 2020, so maybe I’m “an author with credentials on hiatus?” That’s the one. Really, rolls off the tongue.

Once the second round of ChiZine tea began to spill, continuing the relationship was no longer an option. I can forgive financial incompetence (I’ve been there), but I won’t tolerate a bully. And as their characters were exposed, what I thought of as fiscal unfitness was malicious intent. ChiZine was a small press and also a scam. Grant checks were cashed, authors weren’t paid.

And worst of all, friends were exploited and abused.

But that’s their stories to tell. My size, distance, and gender protected me from any of that. Or so I thought. My royalty statements were the only sales numbers I’ve received on Picking Up the Ghost. Based on this information, my book was a bomb, even by small press standards. Less than a third of its 1000 unit print run. But ChiZine’s probably been underreporting sales. In that case, it’s possible that I’ve sold over 800 paperbacks and who knows how many in digital and audio. It’s not, Harry Potter money, but it’s better than I thought. Whether or not this was their intention, I’ve been gaslit into thinking I’m a failure.

I want publishers to be transparent to their authors; on sales, numbers of units sold, and by net and gross income. How hard can it be to provide authors with a web portal where they can check these numbers? The person cutting the check shouldn’t be the only person who can cast eyes on the ledger. How about it, publishing industry? Can you do that for us?

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