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Why I Told CBS Corporation To Sue Me Without Wearing A Shirt

If you haven't been following the saga, I wrote an Open Letter to Simon and Schuster CEO Carolyn Ready saying that they fundamentally mistreat their authors and editors, and their industry sucks.

They first tell me to delete this immediately, then ignore it, and then I get a very politely worded threat delivered via my agent, Jim Levine.

So I made the video, "The End of the Publishing Cartel - Jim Levine, Are You With The Artists Or The Cartel?"

I made a lot of important points, but I wasn't wearing a shirt.

Now, why do that? Am I just crazy?

Why I'm Taking a Principled Stand Against Badness In Publishing

I'm Sebastian, and I've been called a lot of things recently - ranging from 'a literary hero' to crazy. Why? Because I gave up 2/3rds of a $65,000 advance on a nonfiction book from Simon and Schuster by writing an Open Letter to the CEO saying that they don't treat people well enough.

Most people don't understand the decision. Why do that? Why screw up my author's career? Isn't that a lot of money? Isn't it a huge risk?

And the answers are - principles, integrity is more important than money, maybe not, and no.

I'm taking a bit of stand. I'm just one guy, but I think the publishing houses mistreat a lot of people, and it's even hurting their own business. Go talk to editors in the publishing world. They're all buried under paperwork and bureaucracy. The work conditions range from okay to unpleasant. I think people in publishing don't even realize how bad things are, because they've never seen a very healthy hyper-engaged industry.

I'd like things to get better, so I'm taking a stand. Okay, I'm losing out on about $50,000 after I already had a book that was basically done. But what's the point of money? I think it's some mix of doing what's important to you in the world, and being happy and engaged.

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