Jane at Dear Author has published her open letter to the CEO and President of Penguin, and it’s sharp and eloquent (manishtana?). Well played, Jane!
My letter to the PR rep who published the Signet statement, read as follows:
While I appreciate your
statement on the subject of Cassie Edwards’ novels, your statement of Signet’s position is certainly not well received
and is quite disappointing.
For one thing, the use of the word “done nothing wrong,” allows for
ethical debate that doesn’t do Ms. Edwards any favors. Ethically, if our
comments on Smart Bitches and on Dear Author are any indication, Ms.
Edwards is in hot water with romance readers. She may not have broken
any laws, but she would have failed my English class.
But more importantly, your statement that “reasonable borrowing and
paraphrasing of another author’s words” is permitted under fair-use is
not applicable to the facts of this situation, because our evidence
seems to show that Ms. Edwards allegedly reproduced word-for-word paragraphs of written
data as dialogue for her characters. It wasn’t paraphrasing or borrowing,
in my opinion. It was reproduction without citation or acknowledgment.
Further, many, many authors of historical novels cite sources in their
acknowledgments or “Author’s Note” sections.
I agree with Jane and Nora Roberts that the best option for rage and ire is to write reasoned, precise letters to Penguin, Signet, et al, and explain your reaction to their statement, and why you’re so upset. It’s one thing to vent on a blog. It is a much bigger thing to contact the people who run the company and let them know how upset you are, and your reaction to their statement regarding Cassie Edwards’ novels. I do not think it likely such letters would be dismissed easily.
There are a few sources available online as to contact info though I make no guarantees as to whether the list is up to date. Plus, there are contact email addresses in the comments to Jane’s letter.
I’m working on my letter now. Need more caffeine.