– Mark E. Smith

John Lorinc, “The Remarkable Rise of Dundurn,” Quill & Quire, June 2010, p. 18 (emphasis added):

Children’s author Marsha Skrypuch published her first three… novels with Dundurn, but left in 2002 when the firm asked for what she felt was an overly broad range of rights, including moral rights to characters…. “[A]nyone can see that people don’t stay there.”

Indeed, some agents stopped pitching Dundurn years ago because of low advances, overly restrictive contracts, and a lack of attention to detail about issues such as rights reversion when titles go out of print. “It’s the lack of understanding that drives me crazy,” says one agent. “I don’t sell to Dundurn,” says another, speaking off the record. “I’m not alone. We stopped trying years ago.”

So who’s worse here – a publisher that tramples all over its writers or a journalist who refuses to keep an off-the-record quote off the record? (Lorinc, my appraisal of whom has only lessened over the years, is not some greenhorn who thinks “off the record” is just a really racy way of quoting somebody anonymously.)

Fun fact: After submitting a solicited proposal after a personal recommendation from an established Dundurn author, I had to poke and prod editor Michael Carroll to actually write a rejection letter. Like all passive-aggressive publishers, Carroll attempted to let an indefinite absence of yes act as a firm no.

I should note that Ashleigh Gardner apologized for the event when I told her about it even though it was all news to her. Of course she later left the company.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.06.09 15:35. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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