Author Topic: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society  (Read 11554 times)  

Offline scaredofretribution

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Please, don't lock this thread. I need advice and I don't know where to go.

I'm sorry. I didn't believe. I've witnessed now. I'm in a boxed set. I'm so afraid of my career being damaged by people hating me or not trustinng me because now my name will be associated with her.

I'm having a panic attack and I don't know where else to go.

There's no way out. She'll rip me to shreds. I don't care about the money I've invested. I just want to get out. I'm so scared.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 04:28:56 pm by scaredofretribution »

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline Morgan Worth

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 132
      • View Profile
      • Professional Beta-Reading/Manuscript Critique Services
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #1 on: June 27, 2017, 02:41:08 pm »
    All I have to offer is a virtual hug.  :( I'm so sorry for you and anyone else in this position. I hope our experienced members can reach out to you with some help and advice.
    Professional Beta-Reading/Manuscript Critique Services: https://www.mybetareader.com/
    I'm an avid reader in many genres, including Cozy Mystery, Fantasy, Children's, and YA. Check out my rates and preferences at my website. :)

    Offline scaredofretribution

    • Status: Dr. Seuss
    • *
    • Posts: 7
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 02:46:21 pm »
    All I have to offer is a virtual hug.  :( I'm so sorry for you and anyone else in this position. I hope our experienced members can reach out to you with some help and advice.

    Thank you, I appreciate the support.

    Say your're pulling out for medical reasons, then write under a pen until things blow over. Unfortunately, you may have limited options.

    Not knowing more about your situation, I can't be more helpful.

    I'm afraid to say too much without people finding out who I am. But I've only just built myself up. If I change my name now, I'll lose all my fans and financial stability.

    Offline Becca Mills

    • Global Moderator
    • Status: Jeffry S. Hepple
    • *****
    • Posts: 9906
    • Gender: Female
    • California
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 03:10:56 pm »
    Folks, you probably know what I'm going to say: posts in this thread will need to focus tightly on giving the OP advice and support.

    Welcome! :)
    Read about using the Writers' Cafe here. Our larger "forum decorum" is here. The site's overall terms of use are here. Please be aware of this material.
    Troubleshooting: If you're having difficulties with advertising on KBoards, the contact email is [email protected] You can also use our PM system to contact the site's owners via the vsAdmin account. The Link-Maker and Author Signature Tool long longer function. There's a manual version of the former here and a workaround for the latter here.

    Offline scaredofretribution

    • Status: Dr. Seuss
    • *
    • Posts: 7
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #4 on: June 27, 2017, 03:19:30 pm »
    Folks, you probably know what I'm going to say: posts in this thread will need to focus tightly on giving the OP advice and support.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really appreciate you letting me have this thread.

    Offline ShayneRutherford

    • Status: A A Milne
    • ******
    • Posts: 4953
    • Toronto, Ontario
      • View Profile
      • My Website
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #5 on: June 27, 2017, 03:26:45 pm »
    Could you say you're suffering from writer's block and are unable to finish the story that you were going to use?
             

    Offline Rose Andrews

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 885
    • Gender: Female
    • U.S.A.
      • View Profile
      • Rose Historicals
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #6 on: June 27, 2017, 03:30:22 pm »
    I'm so sorry this is happening to you and others. I know this is going to sound crazy, but can you pull out anyway? Isn't your dignity more important? Since she's under fire, perhaps she'll be less inclined to abuse you. Maybe she won't. It's hard to say what I'd do in your position, which is a tough one, but can you give her a professional excuse to pull out? Say this arrangement isn't working for you and don't try to get your money back. If she backlashes, write what she says down/take screenshots/block her on social media, etc? Honestly...starting a new pen name isn't a bad idea either but I totally understand it would mean a loss of what you've built. I'm so, so sorry.

    Offline Tilly

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1681
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #7 on: June 27, 2017, 03:34:24 pm »
    Speaking from experience... you have 2 options:

    1. Put your head down, do *exactly* what you are told, when you are told and ride it out until contracts expire.
    or
    2: Walk away (just say real life commitments mean you can't continue with the sets) and say goodbye to the money. You will still need to keep your head down and don't mention her name anywhere or her followers will attack you and your books. This is what I did. Be aware it will isolate you from friends (if any are still involved in the sets or with this person) and you will have to watch what you post anywhere for months in case you inadvertently offend the person and an attack is launched  :(

    Offline Monique

    • Status: Isaac Asimov
    • ********
    • Posts: 11307
    • Gender: Female
    • California
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 03:35:05 pm »
    Just say due to personal reasons you can't meet your obligations and have to pull out of all of the sets. If you're willing to forgo the money, just say that and then keep your head down and go about your business. (Keeping one eye open, of course, and take screenshots if nec). Don't get into a long explanation or back and forth. Just tell her, make it known that you are pulling out, and don't engage.

    Offline MonkeyScribe

    • Status: A A Milne
    • ******
    • Posts: 4017
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 03:36:10 pm »
    I'm sorry you're going through this. I just want to remind you that the majority of people in this community are both supportive and forgiving. You'll find a lot more people have your back than you thought.

    Offline ShayneRutherford

    • Status: A A Milne
    • ******
    • Posts: 4953
    • Toronto, Ontario
      • View Profile
      • My Website
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 03:36:37 pm »
    I'm so sorry this is happening to you and others. I know this is going to sound crazy, but can you pull out anyway? Isn't your dignity more important? Since she's under fire, perhaps she'll be less inclined to abuse you. Maybe she won't. It's hard to say what I'd do in your position, which is a tough one, but can you give her a professional excuse to pull out? Say this arrangement isn't working for you and don't try to get your money back. If she backlashes, write what she says down/take screenshots/block her on social media, etc? Honestly...starting a new pen name isn't a bad idea either but I totally understand it would mean a loss of what you've built. I'm so, so sorry.

    I was thinking along a similar line, actually. Just pull out and hope for the best. After everything that's gone on, this would probably not be the best time for her to retaliate. And even if she does, I suspect there will be a lot more people now who will give you the benefit of the doubt.
             

    Offline C. Gold

    • Status: Dostoevsky
    • ******
    • Posts: 3524
      • View Profile
      • Golden Elm Publishing
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #11 on: June 27, 2017, 03:38:50 pm »
    Virtual hugs.

    Not knowing any details, all I can say is that as a reader, I rarely know the personal interactions between authors. If I read my favorite author in a compilation and don't like the accompanying works (which has happened), I don't take it out on my favorite author. I can't imagine your loyal fans would turn on you.

    I know it sucks right now to be involved in this emotional tangle, but hang in there and have faith that your readers will stand by you. Your friends will stand by you. You are not alone. Eventually this will blow over and become a distant, bad memory.

    Offline Krista D. Ball

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 6898
    • Gender: Female
    • Edmonton, Alberta
    • Hybrid Level 2
      • View Profile
      • Follow the adventures of a fantasy author
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #12 on: June 27, 2017, 03:56:59 pm »
    Like the others said. If you can financially lose the money, walk away. Say you can't meet the commitment and walk away. Take screenshots of everything, but walk away. Don't give a million reasons - they won't matter. Just cut the cord.

    If you can't lose that money, ride it out. Know, however, that you will probably feel dirty about the entire process and probably will feel dirty and guilty about the money that you may or may not make. (making money is never guaranteed). But I also know that cutting ties isn't easy for a lot people, especially when we're talking a lot of money.  (And a lot is relative, folks - for some among us, $100 is the difference between housing and homelessness, so let's not add arbitrary levels here).

    If it helps, others have stood up. They have helped burn down the path for your escape.

    Krista D. Ball

    Offline David VanDyke

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2414
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #13 on: June 27, 2017, 04:02:40 pm »
    Do keep good records of all interactions, including screen shots and whatever other evidence. This will help you feel in more control of the situation and will provide you with documentation in case there are any inquiries, false allegations, etc. You might have to provide vendors with a good reason to remove hatchet job reviews, for example.

    Offline scaredofretribution

    • Status: Dr. Seuss
    • *
    • Posts: 7
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #14 on: June 27, 2017, 04:13:54 pm »
    Could you say you're suffering from writer's block and are unable to finish the story that you were going to use?
    She's already said that if we can't write it, she'll find a cowriter to bring in. :/

    I'm so sorry this is happening to you and others. I know this is going to sound crazy, but can you pull out anyway? Isn't your dignity more important? Since she's under fire, perhaps she'll be less inclined to abuse you. Maybe she won't. It's hard to say what I'd do in your position, which is a tough one, but can you give her a professional excuse to pull out? Say this arrangement isn't working for you and don't try to get your money back. If she backlashes, write what she says down/take screenshots/block her on social media, etc? Honestly...starting a new pen name isn't a bad idea either but I totally understand it would mean a loss of what you've built. I'm so, so sorry.
    I'm full time, and the only income in my house...so no, I can't just set myself on fire right now. I'm trying to find an excuse that's least likely to result in backlash.
    Speaking from experience... you have 2 options:

    1. Put your head down, do *exactly* what you are told, when you are told and ride it out until contracts expire.
    or
    2: Walk away (just say real life commitments mean you can't continue with the sets) and say goodbye to the money. You will still need to keep your head down and don't mention her name anywhere or her followers will attack you and your books. This is what I did. Be aware it will isolate you from friends (if any are still involved in the sets or with this person) and you will have to watch what you post anywhere for months in case you inadvertently offend the person and an attack is launched  :(
    Number 2 is what I'm going to try to do, I think. It's just so scary. She allegedly has access to a lot of readers. What if she blasts me to them?
    Just say due to personal reasons you can't meet your obligations and have to pull out of all of the sets. If you're willing to forgo the money, just say that and then keep your head down and go about your business. (Keeping one eye open, of course, and take screenshots if nec). Don't get into a long explanation or back and forth. Just tell her, make it known that you are pulling out, and don't engage.
    Do you think forgoing the money will make her more likely to let me go?
    I'm sorry you're going through this. I just want to remind you that the majority of people in this community are both supportive and forgiving. You'll find a lot more people have your back than you thought.
    Thank you <3 I wish I could let my name be known, so that people would know I don't want this...but I'm just too scared.
    Virtual hugs.

    Not knowing any details, all I can say is that as a reader, I rarely know the personal interactions between authors. If I read my favorite author in a compilation and don't like the accompanying works (which has happened), I don't take it out on my favorite author. I can't imagine your loyal fans would turn on you.

    I know it sucks right now to be involved in this emotional tangle, but hang in there and have faith that your readers will stand by you. Your friends will stand by you. You are not alone. Eventually this will blow over and become a distant, bad memory.
    Thanks for the hugs. That does help a lot to know, actually. Hopefully my readers will stick with me through all this.
    Like the others said. If you can financially lose the money, walk away. Say you can't meet the commitment and walk away. Take screenshots of everything, but walk away. Don't give a million reasons - they won't matter. Just cut the cord.

    If you can't lose that money, ride it out. Know, however, that you will probably feel dirty about the entire process and probably will feel dirty and guilty about the money that you may or may not make. (making money is never guaranteed). But I also know that cutting ties isn't easy for a lot people, especially when we're talking a lot of money.  (And a lot is relative, folks - for some among us, $100 is the difference between housing and homelessness, so let's not add arbitrary levels here).

    If it helps, others have stood up. They have helped burn down the path for your escape.
    I can lose the money. I already wrote it off mentally after hearing from other authors that made like $20 from the sets. I just need to figure out what to tell her and when and how to mitigate the fall out.
    Do keep good records of all interactions, including screen shots and whatever other evidence. This will help you feel in more control of the situation and will provide you with documentation in case there are any inquiries, false allegations, etc. You might have to provide vendors with a good reason to remove hatchet job reviews, for example.

    Oh god, I didn't even think about the reviews. I'm so screwed.

    Offline Tilly

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1681
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #15 on: June 27, 2017, 04:27:28 pm »
    Number 2 is what I'm going to try to do, I think. It's just so scary. She allegedly has access to a lot of readers. What if she blasts me to them?

    That is a distinct possibility and only you know if you can weather it.

    In hindsight - I have days where I wish I had shut up and ridden out the contract.

    In your favour and as others have said, the situation may be different now as she has other things on her mind. I have heard of others saying they can't make their commitments and being let out of sets and I've even heard of one who got a refund.



    Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca
    « Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 04:43:33 pm by Becca Mills »

    Offline jcalloway

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 93
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #16 on: June 27, 2017, 04:32:04 pm »
    Do keep good records of all interactions, including screen shots and whatever other evidence. This will help you feel in more control of the situation and will provide you with documentation in case there are any inquiries, false allegations, etc. You might have to provide vendors with a good reason to remove hatchet job reviews, for example.


    Yes, yes, yes to the screenshots. Do it now. Right this second before she gets wind of this post and starts editing/deleting. Whatever incident has made you feel this way needs to be recorded, stat. If something does go down, you will have the receipts to show why you felt the need to back away.

    Offline JumpingShip

    • Status: A A Milne
    • ******
    • Posts: 4411
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #17 on: June 27, 2017, 04:33:28 pm »
    I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have no advice as I've never been in such a situation but it makes me sick to my stomach to think another author would stoop to such tactics, and even worse, that they somehow have convinced their followers to attack anyone who dares to stand up to them. I just want you to know that you have so many authors here who would be supportive in whatever way we can.

    Offline Patty Jansen

    • Status: Harvey Chute
    • *********
    • Posts: 13060
    • Gender: Female
    • Sydney, Australia
    • Destroyer of Science Fiction
      • View Profile
      • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #18 on: June 27, 2017, 04:36:16 pm »
    A few things:

    1. Readers DGAF about reviews. OK, some do, but the vast majority don't.
    2. People boast about their influence all the time, but that's just it: they boast. Readers DGAF about what some author thinks. Or how they behave on Facebook. Especially when their thoughts are about another author.
    2a. If an author spouts off on various people in groups or lists all the time, people will just think "what a drama queen" and put it on ignore. This sort of drama-stirring wears off the third or fourth time it happens.
    2b. If you ever want to stir drama yourself, save it for the one time every three or four years or so that drama is really justified.
    3. Give readers some credit. If they read a review or post about some book or author, they can detect BS a mile off.
    4. Intimidation is the master of influence. The fear of what might happen is greater than the thing itself. Bullies rule through intimidation. Don't let yourself be intimidated and find that the bullies don't have a single foot to stand on. Not one.
    5. The collective memory of the internet is 24 hours. If behaviour online bothers you, unplug the modem for two days. Then go back and block a few people if necessary.
    6. If you speak up, some people will disagree. But if you speak up from a position that is ethically and morally justified, many more people will support you.

    Offline Becca Mills

    • Global Moderator
    • Status: Jeffry S. Hepple
    • *****
    • Posts: 9906
    • Gender: Female
    • California
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #19 on: June 27, 2017, 04:40:15 pm »
    Folks, if you would like to share your RH experiences with scared, please do so via PM. Alternatively, you can provide a link to material you posted in the boxed set thread, which is here: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,250491.0.html. We won't be going back over those experiences in this thread.

    Welcome! :)
    Read about using the Writers' Cafe here. Our larger "forum decorum" is here. The site's overall terms of use are here. Please be aware of this material.
    Troubleshooting: If you're having difficulties with advertising on KBoards, the contact email is [email protected] You can also use our PM system to contact the site's owners via the vsAdmin account. The Link-Maker and Author Signature Tool long longer function. There's a manual version of the former here and a workaround for the latter here.

    Offline unkownwriter

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 7305
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #20 on: June 27, 2017, 04:41:33 pm »
    I'd put my head down, do everything I was supposed to do, and ride it out. Not everyone involved in this mess knew what they were getting into, so you aren't alone. Most people will understand what's happened, and you can get through this and move on with your career.

    Take a deep breath, and write that book. Here's some more hugs for you...

    Offline Kate.

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1178
    • Gender: Female
    • Australia
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #21 on: June 27, 2017, 04:46:42 pm »
    She's already said that if we can't write it, she'll find a cowriter to bring in. :/
    Does that mean your name would be on the books even if you had no hand in writing them? If that's the case (and if you definitely don't want to be associated with her) you might need to be more upfront about terminating the contract. Keep it professional and brief.

    I've never been deeply involved with the promoter so you'll have a better measure of the situation than I do. But in one of her Facebook posts she mentioned losing hundreds of authors over the recent situation. So far I haven't seen or heard evidence of retribution against them. (That doesn't mean it's not happening or won't happen in the future - but she's not automatically attacking everyone who leaves). If you're polite and professional, you might become just one of the crowd. You're likely to get away more easily if you give up the money.

    No matter what happens... *hugs* It's a horrible situation and one you don't deserve.

    Offline Elizabeth Ann West

    • Status: Dostoevsky
    • ******
    • Posts: 3303
    • Gender: Female
    • San Antonio, TX
    • Our doubts are traitors...
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #22 on: June 27, 2017, 04:58:06 pm »
    I am going to be really honest here. If you haven't tested this pen name without the influence of the peer group you've been in, you don't really know how valuable it really is. I'm sorry, but that's the truth. The ways status and money was brought in was all very short-term goal oriented.

    The GREAT NEWS is even if you do have to rebuild, it's really never TOO late to do so. And, it will be 10x easier because you do have some experience now. Many people run multiple pen names.

    I guarantee this thread is already on people's radars, so if you can't stand up and say NO, you don't want a cowriter, you are pulling out ( I would not even say keep the money, I would just pull out. Because all of this situation is still very early and none of us have any idea what's going to happen down the road. If for some reason an opportunity comes for you to get your monies back I would hate for you to not be able to because you put in writing you forfeit it), then just ghost.

    Yep. If you truly never say anything, never respond, never do anything, nothing can be held against you. Worst that can be said is you didn't respond to anything. It's a mental game, it's about pushing aside the anxiety and fear and realizing at the end of the day, like you have to say to the Goblin King in Lanyrinth "You hold no power over me."

    Meanwhile, you're ghosting. Start a new name now. That way, you've bought yourself a few months of good money still coming in, you can have that other name online and up and running.

    If you will have to face consequences for things you said or did to others in support of someone else, just take responsibility where and when it comes up. Apologize. Not if it offended or hurt, just straight up you made a mistake, you believed the wrong person. Some people will forgive and not forget, and that's okay, it's still better than nothing. Others will accept as you make steps to atone/be a good member in the author community.

    Repeat after me, "It's just the Internet, it's just the Internet...." :) :) That doesn't make it EASY, oh no, it still hurts like he llo, but it's the mantra that gets you through the tough situations. And you can always take that hurt and say it's a penance which helps you move right on past the feelings of guilt, too. More than one person has already had to eat humble crow. I would say NOW rather than LATER is the better time to break off, people will be less forgiving for those who waited until there was nothing left in it for them to do the right thing.

    Just my opinion. You got this.


    Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none!
    Elizabeth Ann West | Read chapters for free! | WhatAuthorsNeedtoKnow.com

    Offline ShayneRutherford

    • Status: A A Milne
    • ******
    • Posts: 4953
    • Toronto, Ontario
      • View Profile
      • My Website
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #23 on: June 27, 2017, 05:09:16 pm »
    Another thought... Do you have a mailing list? Is it big enough to drive sales? If it is, maybe you could change your pen name, but come out to your readers that it's you writing as so-and-so.
             

    Offline Douglas Milewski

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1355
      • View Profile
    Re: How to safely disentangle from absuive member of author society
    « Reply #24 on: June 27, 2017, 05:16:27 pm »
    As a professional, you can and do wind up in places that you don't want to be. First, choose to be a professional, no matter what else happens. If you want a reputation as someone who sees something through, even if it isn't fun, then this will do it. Fulfill your contract. That's what professionals do.

    If she says anything that isn't true about you, that's grounds for a lawsuit. Keep copies. Take notes. Document. Hopefully she's listening and will think twice before smearing your name. Better for everyone to stay reasonable.

    If your readers like your writing, then they won't care what that author says. In fact, they'll think it weird if she says, "And so and so is horrible, so don't buy her books." Have you ever seen anyone's newsletters or blog posts openly attacking another author? I don't know of anyone short sighted enough to do that.


    If worst comes to worst, hire a ghostwriter.

    Disclaimer: I sell horribly. Set your filters accordingly.

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***