The reviews for Part 1 are in!
- “This is possibly the best thing I’ve ever read.” — Jenn Loring, author at Red Adept Publishing
- “Oh, like you won’t use your fortune to plot revenge! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.” — Ann Hoade, wife at Chez Hoade
- “A great piece of fiction from a great fiction writer.” — Paul Mannering, author at, um … well, Permuted Press
My blog had a good day yesterday. It had commenting, sharing, emails from Nigerian princes desperate for help. There are a lot of people out there who offered sympathy and commiseration about my experiences, which was greatly appreciated. There were also corrections offered from best-selling Permuted Press authors, which I duly incorporated where relevant into Part 1 and which I’ll talk about in an upcoming post. (Paul’s comment above kinda speaks for itself.)
And this is what it’s saying.
First, however, I must tell you some theories/conclusions reached either by my correspondents or by my own addled brain:
Permuted Press needed the resources for Permuted Pictures, its new film production company.
Your first reaction to this may be to spit-take your coffee or energy drink mixed with vodka all over your computer, tablet, or tragically curved iPhone 6 Plus: “A film production company?!?” you yelp in outrage, “I thought Permuted was saying they didn’t have enough time/money to keep producing, y’know, books.”
Before Permuted Press said no to print books and let authors out of their contracts before lawsuits could be filed, I was psyched about Permuted Pictures. They said they would be making low-budget films from some of their authors’ works. Great! I thought, What could be more better than movies from my wonderful apocalypse-obsessed publisher? Of course, “Not fucking their authors” would be the answer to that question, but I had no idea that PP was scuttling the whole ship with enough lifeboats only for management and Permuted Platinum authors.
In this metaphor, the ship is its own iceberg. MIND: BLOWN.
No, at the time I was a happy little camper, because Permuted assured everyone that the film was being financed through Kickstarter. Awesomesauce! I thought, Crowdfunding is the future! But, Dear Reader, remember your question from the first paragraph of this section. You said, and I quote:
I thought Permuted was saying they didn’t have enough time/money to keep producing, y’know, books.
Good point, hypothetical reader. While Kickstarter is the funding source for One-Stop Apocalypse Shop, doesn’t putting together and managing a Kickstarter campaign—not to mention producing and distributing a fucking movie—take up a whole lot of wo/manpower? Like, maybe 41.65 percent of a publishing company’s human resource time, as in:
41.65% of our production team’s time [is spent] … making print on demand versions of our books, but those products account for only 7.41% of our income. This disproportionate figure revealed the need to make prompt changes to our previous policy.
Yes, that is a direct quote from Permuted’s “turn around, you’re going to feel a slight prick” email to its authors that I talked about yesterday.
“Dr. Compensation, your three o’clock is here.”
So putting together print versions of ebooks, which I and many other self-published authors have done multiple times (and we’re not even graphic artists!), is too time-consuming—but writing, producing, directing, releasing, distributing and publicizing a movie isn’t? What the actual fuck?
I don’t doubt that Permuted apologists and authors still signed with them will say things like:
- “The movies are made through a totally different process, much like Right Twix.”
- “The Kickstarter is paying for all staffing for this Permuted Picture. No one at the Press has anything to do with it. Not one dime or second of person-power has been taken from our book business in order to make this completely free-to-us motion picture.”
- “A great piece of fiction from a great fiction writer.”
The replies I would have to these authors and others, all of whom are entitled to their opinions and also to be as happy as they like with Permuted Press, would be something like this:
- I know movies are different from books. That’s why I don’t pay $10 to go sit in a bookstore for two hours staring at a wall. Also, Right Twix killed my parents.
- If it’s totally separate and not even the effort required to set up a Kickstarter project was expended by Permuted Press to create Permuted Pictures, if it has nothing to do with PP other than using its authors’ works as source material, then what’s the point? Is the book side going so well it doesn’t need the TLC provided for the new and shiny film arm? Why not do a Kickstarter to help get POD books designed, produced, and distributed?
- Stop it, Paul.
“What? I’ve got something in my eye! Yes, again!“
Anyway, moving on to the next theory, and oh, Lord, it is a doozy:
Permuted signed as many authors as possible, with full knowledge that it was too much too fast and that they would not be producing POD books for these dozens of recently signed writers. They did this so that they would have lots of almost-free material for Permuted Pictures to choose from.
I hope that this one is not true, because, in the words of Dawn of the Dead’s Ken Foree quoting his (apparently way spooky) grandfather, “When Hell is full, the dead will walk the Earth.” And I do not want to see anyone with Permuted Press wandering around one minute longer than absolutely necessary, and this theory being true would mean that they are Hell-bound for sure.
You may remember from my award-winning and close personal friend Part 1 that PP stipulated in its contracts—which were mainly to contract newbies like myself who wouldn’t notice it—that ALL rights were Permuted’s, including movie rights. This meant that PP could sell Deadtown Abbey to Paramount for $2 million … and I would get my usual 7 percent royalty. I’m no one to sneeze at $140,000, but I would be even less allergic to $1.7 million, which would be my take after a very fair 15 percent paid to my publisher.
However, this theory isn’t about Permuted selling rights to big studios. This is about Permuted being completely legally allowed to make movies out of the work of any of these brand-new authors through Permuted Pictures, its completely coincidentally timed new project. Since they don’t get paid for the rights by an outside studio, they don’t have any purchase price to pay the authors even that 7 percent. No, authors would get 7 percent on the net profit of money made on the movie by Permuted Pictures. Net profit.
Pictured: Net profits.
Permuted Press is deeply fucking evil.
This theory, I can tell you right off the bat, is not true.
Despite my “Hell-bound” comment above, I actually don’t think Permuted, its owners, it management, its workers, and certainly not its authors, are doing anything other than what they think is best. They are not evil, they are not demons, they’re not trying to ruin anyone’s life or even their livelihood.
They’re just a bunch of jerks.
Inconsiderate? Yes. Short-sighted? Certainly. Opportunistic? You bet your sweet ass.
But they’re not evil. There’s still a chance that they’ll see the heartache and disillusionment they’re causing and rethink their latest business strategies, and that chance existing means that they aren’t deadites moving people-puppets around to satisfy their blood lust.
They’re not evil. But that makes this whole situation all the more disheartening. We don’t even have the comfort of truly demonizing those who have done us wrong.
Okay, maybe a little.