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.
I know everyone is getting bored of Cathay, and I'm trying to get back on interesting strategic content, philosophy, etc. But hey, I want to give credit where it's due - they've started to de-escalate and get reasonable.
Some facts here are wrong, and there's some omissions. But anyways, I appreciate this Joseph.
I filmed a video reply (that's friendly!) and I'll post it later. Really, it's entertaining.
Anyways, they're originally saying I caused a gigantic disturbance and was a huge problem, then I said I was going to bring tons of legal action against them (which, y'know, usually means they'd want to preserve their leverage by holding everything over my head that they can), and yet now they just filed no complaints, no charges, and cleared me to fly. That's interesting, isn't it?
Subject: Re: MR SEBASTIAN MARSHALL - 26 December 2011 / KA 482 / Hong Kong to Taipei (KMM10053232I15977L0KM)
Date: January 4, 2012 11:02:28 AM GMT+08:00