Not many people know that it’s dead, though, and certainly not the authors who are associated with the publisher. I guess this falls on my shoulders—a guy who was hired to be the fiction editor of 1614 but never edited a single page of fiction. This needs to be typed because too many people don’t know what exactly is going on with the worst publication in America.
Desperanto was established a few years ago so a character named Scott Faithfull could write toxic poetry about depression through the vehicle of bad imagery in the form lazy lines, and never bear rejection. Get that? The owner and editor was the only published author for a long time; so from the start this publication has always been about one person: a manic depressive leprechaun living in Pennsylvania who doesn’t share his real name with the critical and capricious and demanding drones on the Internet—the people who he called authors and clients, but never trusted.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a few months ago, that same person decided to just not publish anymore books, even though he had contractual obligations to authors. Scott doesn’t need to contact anyone because Desperanto/1614 is none of anyone else’s business. And I think, on some level, a lot of authors have been worried about this happening regarding indie publishing, especially regarding poetry, seeing as how it’s not the most profitable thing a person could do, even though when it sells, it sells steadily. The world of poetry isn’t run by poets, and bothers us. It’s run by publishers: the people who make business deals, and from them, one does expect a few unfortunate things, such as closed doors on occasion, but closure shouldn’t be so clandestine. The example would be the recent closure of Mud Luscious Press. A huge portion of social networking, as well as other websites, had a collective shoulder cry a couple of weeks before the press was shut down. The publisher ran specials on the books, told all the authors, and clearly cleanly severed any remaining ties. Now, I know that not many men are like JA Tyler, but that doesn’t mean you need to be like Scott Faithfull—a selfish coward, hiding behind anonymity while the people he is responsible for are totally confused.
So, when did you find out? That’s a valid question, and here’s a chopped transcript of the conversation I had with an author who is no longer even on the website. Funny, isn’t it? This writer threatened lawsuit so they were removed from the page, and still no one else was notified. They are known as Fiction Author because their book was to be 1614’s first fiction publication.
Just following up to our emails earlier this month. Did you ever find out anything more about Scott and/or your book? Still nothing from this end. Even if he is sick, as his Twitter feeds seem to indicate, surely he could respond to an email. April 16, 2013 is still being advertised on his website as the release date for my book, but I never got the final proof or information about pre-ordering. Not a good sign. Hope you're having better luck.
I talked to another poet who said that he sent Scott a couple emails, too. Nothing, no response. I sent him a few messages and asked if he needed help on the proofs, which is what I was hired to do, but he didn't respond. [Fiction Author], I really don't know what to do. No one should feel as helpless as you do, and I feel terrible for you. You know, my first book didn't get a proof either, now that I think about it. Which is why I hate that book, too. I don't know if this is how he does business (badly) or if he is making a decision to be useless, but I really think I am going to send him one last email with nothing but a title line that reads: Answer your damn emails. And it's pathetic that is really my only course of action. I really do think that all these emails are piling up in his inbox, though. If it's his Desperanto address, I bet they are simply going unread. Have you sent him Twitter or FB message?
I don't know what to expect at this point. I wouldn't be surprised to have a box of my books just appear on my porch but I seriously doubt this is going to happen. If I don't get some sort of satisfaction very soon I am definitely going to ask him to revert the rights to me. I hope you get a response to your email. I sent one with a message in all caps, saying please tell me if and when you are going to publish my book. Silence. I haven't sent him anything on Twitter or FB but I'll try that too. Also, he has an email from hi blog.
Well, that's pretty much what happened with me, to tell you the truth. You essentially have three weeks before your book comes out, but has any pre-order information been released or anything like that? A finalized cover?
No pre-ordering info but the cover was supposed to have been finalized.
Has anything changed or happened at all regarding your book?
No. And Scott hasn't been on Twitter since I messaged him there. I don't know if he's in hiding or in the hospital, but I'm pretty resigned at this point to starting over if I can get publishing rights back.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to do that with someone who doesn't respond to messages.
Thanks for your message, Tyler. I just emailed Scott, his webmaster Ben, and copied my lawyer, saying I wanted publishing rights reverted to me. This is a very shaky situation as I am not sure another publisher would want to take my book unless and until things are legally resolved with the 1614 contract. I have thought of doing what you are doing because it does take a while for publishers to get back to you. I'm going to try to move forward although I am seriously considering getting very drunk right now. Good luck to you.
Well, what do you know? Scott immediately answered my email, saying he would release publication rights to me. His excuse for silence was that "an email was supposed to be sent on my behalf" in February, informing authors that 1614 would be shutting down. Apparently he has been sick, something to do with his lungs. And he "only signed in today because the inbox was full." Coincidence? I think not. Maybe CCing my lawyer helped speed things along. Anyway, I'm asking him to put that in writing just to be safe. At least we know something, even if the news isn't good.
All this reads as an ad hominem attack on one person—and that’s because it certainly is. We are used to incompetence in modern life: cold food prepared by apathetic fast food workers to lazy peers who only detract from group projects, but publishing is the arts; it’s the antithesis of an inept modern world. Not with Desperanto/1614/Scott Faithfull-lead projects, though. It was nothing but stupidity and laziness from the start, and that’s how it ended, too.
I have questions, as well.
Since there are still books, how will royalties work? Why are there still books? Will the books he shipped? Do the other employees know (there were a few) that the publisher is KIA? What I can gather from Twitter, Scott is good friends with an atrocious artist/poet who was on the release schedule; so is she dropped too? Knowing what we know now, how much of the anthology sells went to charity? Since we never received hard numbers, were our royalty payments fair?
See, this is the kind of stuff you think about when you lay with snakes. And that’s what Scott is, for certain. What’s really perverse, though, is that he made dreams come true—but then he fucked with those dreams.
If you wish to contact Scott, here are some links:
Twitter, so you can read about what he's doing when he's ignoring authors
Instrgram, so you can see that he is alive and well but still ignoring his responsibilities
His persoanl site, just so he can ignore your email