Speculative Fiction Reviews, Interviews, Art and Whatever Else!
Sadly, someone has leaked a copy of the Lyre Thief online. It could only have come from a beta reader, so I won't be offering that opportunity to anyone again. Ever.
I hope whoever leaked it got something out of it, because they won't be getting any more previews from me. As I don't know the identity of the culprit, I must assume the worst about all the beta readers. Sorry to those who are innocent, but unless someone 'fesses up, you are all tarred with the same brush.
I don't often get on my soapbox, it's just too high to climb up on, but I am getting on it now!
This made me so angry, I actually had to take a few days to simmer down before writing about it, so I didn't rant like a lunatic.
As a beta reader, this post horrified me. The trust given between beta reader and author should be held sacrosanct. The author is trusting you to not only to read and report on their work honestly, but to also keep your damn mouth shut about what you have read.
Not only did this beta reader violate that trust, they also mutilated any trust Fallon has for ALL beta readers.
Authors work for months on their manuscripts, and by leaking an unpublished manuscript not only do you a) potentially minimise the likelihood of gaining a contract, and therefore earnings for those hard months of work, you also b) potentially negate any future earnings the publication may accrue.
It's kind of like your boss saying: so, I've decided to take back the last 6 months of your pay, and I won't be paying you in the future. Thanks for all your hard work though.
Now, TOR (Fallon's publisher) is trying to seek out the beta reader in question to take legal action against them, which is great. I applaud them for standing up for their authors. But, what are the real chances of finding them? And when they do, will the action be successful? As they say, you can't draw blood from a stone, and if they find a stone, well it isn't going to proffer any blood is it.
Many authors now require beta readers to sign an NDA, which is I think a really smart action to take. But, the internet is the internet, if you get my drift, and I wonder if it is enough to shield authors from anonymous postings of their work. If you can't find the culprit, you can't take action against them.
Apart from all of the legal stuff, this is about trust. Betraying somebody, that gave you the opportunity to pre-read their work, and participate in building it up is such a low act. When I first saw the post I felt sickened, and a sense of such guilt that somebody that calls themselves a beta reader, as I do, could be so callous and unrepentant.
Most of all, I feel so incredibly sorry that Jennifer Fallon has to endure not only the ramifications of such a betrayal, but the heartache of being betrayed.
*gets off soapbox*