Tim, while I understand your
need to respond, I hope that you will likewise
understand my inclination to answer publicly, lest there
be any confusion about the intent of my previous post,
or the response herein provided.
When you and Martin Love originally visited our Science
Fiction and Fantasy group in July of this year, during
the period in which we were still meeting at the Barnes
& Noble in New Hope Commons, you presented
ProseWorks Media as a startup publisher, and an editing
At that time I asked you, in clear terms, whether your
business structure meant that you would be paying
advances and/or royalties to your writers, or whether
the structure indicated that money would instead flow
from the writer toward your business. The answer you
gave was one that might charitably be termed "evasive."
While you did not explicitly state that writers
approaching ProseWorks Media would be charged fees, the
strong impression you managed to convey to our group was
that, at best, you intended to serve as a "publishing
service," rather than an actual publishing house.
It was your own evasiveness that led me to request an
evaluation from Victoria Strauss, via Writer Beware. And
to be clear, neither she nor I have accused you of
impropriety, save for the suspicion (again, reinforced
by your own representation) that as a whole, your
business practices are not sufficiently clear for any
writer to make an informed decision about your
reliability, nor the actual prospects you offer.
My simple closing statement from the prior missive
("Might this still be a good seminar? Hard to say; make
your own evaluation of how best to proceed. Should you
elect to do so however, I'd suggest an abundance of
caution.") was simply what it appeared: an admonition
for each writer considering the expense to weigh the
perceived pros and cons, relative to their own
perception of the aforementioned reliability and
prospects. Should anyone choose to attend, I'll
certainly not fault them for doing so... but I'll still
question the manner in which you have chosen to approach
You see, since our original encounter, the Science
Fiction and Fantasy group has shifted from Barnes &
Noble to the Straw Valley Cafe and Wine Bar. Recently,
Martin Love has begun attending our group, and has again
spoken favorably of ProseWorks Media. He has, however,
notably declined to participate in any other substantial
fashion, including the provision of feedback, which is a
general expectation of attendance. To be clear, you
would both be welcome to attend, should you be inclined
to become active participants; the notion that either of
you would view us as a captive audience for a market
spiel is, regrettably, offensive.
Please forgive my unavailability for coffee. Scheduling
any interruption during the already eventful holidays
is, as I am sure you comprehend, difficult.
M. David Blake
c. Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware
On 12/2/2012 2:05 PM, Tim Hubbard wrote:
I saw copies of Victoria Stauss' comments as well
as your response about ProseWorks Media.
As President of ProseWorks Media, I feel the need
Would you be able meet and give me the
opportunity to discuss your somewhat surprising (to
me) statement suggesting "an abundance of caution"
with regard to the Scriptwriters Seminar we have
organized. (We have several others in the works, as
well.) If it was a general caveat about all
seminars, I get it. But to single us out, I don't
quite understand. I would really like to know the
basis for your making that comment targeting us
alone. I truly don't know why you would say
something with such a negative connotation without
trying to find out a bit about the program. (We are
in Chapel Hill...not far and we get email.)
For all you know, this may well be the best
opportunity screenplay-interested writers have ever
had around here to plan and write a screenplay with
guidance from a very experienced industry veteran. I
just don't get it.
In any case, we are all here trying to promote good
writing, efficient publishing, helping writers get
their works out - if that's what they want, and
generally putting our experiences and talents to some
I look forward to hearing if you would be
available. I can come to Hillsborough, perhaps we can
have a quick coffee somewhere early this week.
consider the environment before
printing this email.