Publisher’s Weekly – FAIL

Publisher’s Weekly sent me this today via their subscribers email list.

I am appalled.

I’m not appalled because I don’t like the President. Frankly, I don’t care that some people in PW like him a lot or not, and I would be appalled if they were emailing me to solicit support for Romney, too.

I’m appalled because I subscribe to their emailing list in the hopes of getting professional information. They’re supposed to be a professional organization, and their email list is supposed to be used to disseminate the latest in what is going on in the publishing industry. And this has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on in the publishing industry.

Maybe it’s just my background in the Navy, but the idea of a professional organization that puts out information for publishers and people who deal with publishers – all of them, whether they have Ds next to their names or Rs – making this kind of endorsement….well, it really rubs me the wrong way. It just seems jacked up.

Maybe they’ll have an “Elect Romney” event in a few weeks. I doubt it, but maybe they will. But you know what? That would piss me off too. Because this is not what belongs in a publication/email list about the publishing industry. Or any industry, for that matter.

You want to endorse a candidate? Fine. Donate money. Volunteer at the candidate’s events. But do it yourself. But don’t co-opt a respected organization that is supposed to be speaking to an entire industry (which probably contains a bunch of people who don’t agree with that endorsement) to do so. It’s inappropriate, and unseemly.

But that’s just me. Maybe I’m off base here.


I just sent the following email to Mr. George Slowik, Jr, the President of Publisher’s Weekly, along with several of his subordinates.

Dear Mr. Slowik,

Earlier today (it’s still the 28th on the West Coast), I received this email over your subscribers’ email feed.  I am writing because I found it very inappropriate, and I wanted to bring it to your attention.
At the outset, let me be clear that I do not take umbrage with this email because of any ill will toward the President or any desire that he not be re-elected.  Had you sent a similar email about a campaign rally for Mitt Romney I would be equally offended.
I take offense to this email because I do not believe it is appropriate for the venue.  I subscribe to your news feed in order to keep abreast on the professional goings on in the Publishing industry.  In that light, I am happy to receive announcements on new books releases and other publishing-related things that you send out over the list.  However, this campaign announcement has nothing to do with publishing whatsoever.  It is a naked endorsement of a political candidate over a professional communication channel.  To me it is unconscionable for a professional organization such as yours to foist such a thing onto your entire readership, many of whom likely do not agree with or have any desire to endorse that political candidate.
I am a professional Naval Officer in addition to being a fiction writer.  Maybe that has shaped my view somewhat, because as you well know it would be beyond that pale for anyone in uniform, or even worse a uniformed service as a whole, to endorse one political candidate or another.  I believe that this email is a similar breach of etiquette, though obviously less extreme and certainly not illegal, as such an action by a military unit would be.
So we’re clear, I do not care that you appear to be endorsing the President’s re-election campaign.  All power to you, if that is the case.  Endorse away.  Donate all you wish.  Send your employees to volunteer at his campaign events.  Do so yourself.  Or oppose his opponent.  I don’t care.  But when you decide to include that endorsement into your news feed (i.e. – your email content), you have crossed the line.
Your readers look to you as a source for professional news, opinion, and insight.  In my opinion, this email tarnishes your reputation as strict professionals and lowers the standing of your institution as a whole.  I was extremely disappointed to receive it.
Thank you for your attention.
I’ll be curious to see his response (if any).

Go West, You Old Bastard

I’m writing this from the Residents Inn in Topeka, Kansas.

Last Friday (11 May 2012) evening, I departed my old (temporary) abode in Ballston Spa, NY in favor of my new home in San Diego.  Yeah, I know.  Poor me, right?  I have to give up all the awesome weather….erm…wait….no…all the amazing culture….erm….wait….no…all the unpretentious people….erm…no….can’t find them in NY…all the awesome scenery….ok, that’s true…the job satisfaction….yeah right, don’t make me laugh, I was working in Naval Nuclear Power….all the joy (chortle) of living in upstate New York, in favor of the hell of living in the consistently good weather, lovely scenery, friendly people, good food, fun atmosphere, and all around awesomeness that is San Diego.

Yeah, I cry myself to sleep every night.


Upstate NY (in fact all of NY) can kiss my pale white buttocks.  Good riddance.

God, I hate New York.  The city blows (too many people in too small a space, all of whom think they and their city are the center of the universe; well screw you, you’re not, and it’s not).  The upstate is slightly better, but overall, it’s only a slight step up from New Jersey, which is to say it’s just scummy, not the scum that scum scrapes off its shoes.

Not that I have an opinion on that.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I have no illusions about where I’m going.  I’ve often said the only problem with San Diego is it’s in California.  And I meant it.  NY is a fascist state.  California is just a hair’s breadth from out-and-out socialist (and no, the two are not on the opposite sides of the political spectrum as some deluded ignoramuses try to claim.  Do your homework.  Fascism is Socialism light.  They are in essence the same thing, and both inevitably lead to the same place unless checked somehow, namely bloody dictatorships and mass poverty except for a select few who rule over everyone else).  Which of course explains why California is going bankrupt.  But San Diego is nice.  And it’s just a temporary assignment.  So I’m looking forward to it.

But that’s not the point of this point.

Point is, on Thursday, before we left, I put up two new stories for sale: The Billionaire’s Daughter and Bag Man.  Both are mystery/crime stories, under my new mystery pen name, Alex Mariner.  Both are fun (IMHO).  And both are live on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords as we ‘speak’.  Kobo et al will have them in a few weeks, once the stories make their way through the Smashwords distribution channels.

So here’s the scoop on them:

The Billionaire’s Daughter

The strong-willed daughter of a wealthy man. The son of a notorious mob boss. And his grandmother’s engagement ring.

When the unlikely couple split up, she kept the ring.

It is Ronald Harper’s and Kathleen Davidson’s job to get the ring back, before the mob boss learns it is missing and takes care of the situation himself.

The Billionaire’s Daughter is a available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, and includes Bag Man as a bonus story.

Bag Man

A mysterious bag that everyone wants. An employer who is as dangerous as she is beautiful. A man on the run.

It was supposed to be a routine pickup, just another day on the job.

If only it had been that easy.

Bag Man is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, and includes The Billionaire’s Daughter as a bonus story.

As I’m sure you can tell, you can get both stories by buying either, so it’s a pretty good deal.  Have a look, if you’re interested.  Or even if you’re not.  😉

Right.  I’m hitting the sack now.  It’s been a long day of driving, and tomorrow promises another.  Until later, then.  Adios.