Publisher cancels book contract because the writer is gay

So Cedar Fort really likes a book submitted to them and says that they think it will sell well. Cedar Fort gives a contract to these two authors. They write their author bios. One mentions his “partner” instead of his wife. Cedar Fort flips out and drops them.

A couple of thoughts.

1. Just from a business/marketing perpsective, what a stupid, stupid, stupid, bone headed maneuver that was by Cedar Fort. Bad publicity for them, and on a side note way to make my home state look bad, because Cedar Fort is from Utah.

Cedar Fort is a regional publisher and sells lots of books to the LDS market. So by extension, way to make Mormons look bad, you dumbasses. Because the vast majority of Mormons don’t care if an entertainer is gay when we watch their movies, read their books, or listen to their music, you dipshits just made us look like the knuckle dragging stereotypes that got flung around during the election. Yay.

But then again, I’ve got a few other author friends who have dealt with Cedar Fort, and Utah publishers have a terrible rep for contracts and business. This is just another example. Even if you were super worried about getting gay cooties or whatever the hell, just from a pure amoral capitalistic business perspective, there had to be a smarter way to break your relationship. As a retired finance manager, I would demand that whichever moron pulled this stunt should have to commit ritual seppuku in the board room in front of all your share holders.

You aren’t Chic-Fil-A. You didn’t stand up for your beliefs against pressure. I know whoever made this call tried to spin it that way to his investors, but actually you entered a business arrangement with someone, didn’t do your homework, flipped out, dropped them, and now you look like bullies. You don’t look brave. You certainly don’t look smart.

2. This may suck for the authors right now, but this is the kind of publicity that money can’t buy. Once this gets out, some agent/publisher is going to jump on this book. This is national marketing attention gold. (which is the reason I’m taking the time to write this blog post)

At this point, I’d wager that some big name is going to swoop in, pick this up, and use this incident to get national media attention. Publicists love media attention. It will release from a different house. Because of this media attention the authors will sell a thousand times more books than they would have with dinky Cedar Fort, and thus GET PAID. And smart authors always have GET PAID in their mission statements.

Good for them. I don’t work in YA, but I know that a bunch of my regular readers do. I’d be stunned if somebody didn’t pick these guys up.

If the authors read this, seriously guys. Trust me on this one. I’m a businessman first, author second. Usually authors have to murder somebody to get this kind of story that the media will latch onto. Tell your story and spread the word. In the long term this is going to get you a lot bigger audience than anything Cedar Fort would ever be able to get for you.  This is the kind of thing that gets you on the Today Show.

3. This pisses me off on a personal level too. I keep seeing authors get black listed for their political opinions, and since the publishing industry is mostly in Manhattan, it is usually writers who lean right (righters?) that get blackballed. Of course, when I talk about this on the internet, proper goodthinking people tell me that’s crazy talk. So this will happen with a gay author getting screwed over by some little dinky regional nobody publisher and that will become national news so the low information facebookers will tell me how the publishing industry is obviously biased the other way… Sigh.

But I’m posting about this anyway, because fuck Cedar Fort. Morons.

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107 thoughts on “Publisher cancels book contract because the writer is gay”

  1. I agree 100%. I am a hard core right wing conservative but I am also open minded and have never given a hoot about a persons sexuality or personal politics when it comes to a job related or even a personal situation, what the hell difference does it make if they are producing a product for personal consumption by people who can make a choice to buy or consume said product. Liberals are the most bias and judgmental ass wipes on the face of the earth. I hope these guys land a contract and go on to become big names. Hell I will buy the works they produce just out of spite now. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. “Liberals are the most bias and judgmental ass wipes on the face of the earth.” And by saying that, you come across as a judgmental and biased ass wipe. Seriously, why do people find it necessary to attack others with such venom? Not all liberals are the same, just as not all conservatives are the same. Your comment is a perfect example of what these two authors are fighting against…even though David is LDS and Michael is gay, they choose to see each other as people first, rather than defining one another by the social or political groups they belong to. The world will be a much better place when people follow David and Michael’s example and treat people as people regardless of their beliefs, rather than making angry, petty blanket statements about 30% of the population.

  2. Reblogged this on Jason Cordova's Website and commented:
    As always, Larry knocks it out of the park. I’ll add a few comments here.

    1) I don’t care who you bang. Or what. Really. I do care about whether a book is good or bad. Call it my “I live in a glass house so I better not cast stones” approach to life.
    2) This is marketing GOLD, as Larry puts it. Publishers sacrifice goats to dark overlords for this sort of publicity. These writers will get picked up, just watch.
    3) Every time conservatives give me hope, one misbegotten, pathetic excuse for a conservative comes along and makes them all look bad. Society likes to lump people into groups, and then turn around and say we shouldn’t judge a group by one individual. Oops?
    4) You should buy Larry’s book, “Warbound”. It’s good.

    1. 1 Is better than Twighlight? Then it deserves to be published. (while twighlight should serve as fodder for the bottom of the bird cage)

      1. Mike: Anything by John Steinbeck is worse than Twilight. =) Twilight shuts my brain down and I can tolerate the mindless read, but Grapes of Wrath makes me want to claw my brain out through my eye sockets so I don’t have to keep reading it.

      2. Odd how folks will condemn a publishing house for “discriminating against gays”, yet go out of their way to smash anything “Twilight”. Stephanie Meyers is crapping on a solid gold toilet today not because she wrote a book that you don’t like, but because she frikking KNOWS her target audience. If you’re not a teenage girl into sparkly douchebags, then the series is not for you. Get over it. And for the record, I’m not in her target audience either, I’m all for “Team vanHelsing”, and will never read that book. Doesn’t mean I don’t respect her for making obscene amounts of money.

        As for the publishing house, they screwed up. Royally. I sincerely hope the authors get picked up and have to buy entire Caribbean islands to store their money on. If the synopsis if the book looks interesting, I might even buy it. If not….well…no biggie, I wish them well, and I have other books on my Amazon wishlist.

      3. Julaire – good point!

        Rabid – I must have missed where I slammed Meyers instead of her vapid book series; care to climb down off your soapbox and point it out to me?

  3. Stupid doesn’t take sides. Stupid knows no bounds or boundaries. There’s plenty of stupid on both the left and the right. The problem arises when one side or the other sees it as useful.

  4. I wouldn’t have dropped them if I’d already made the contract, but I can certainly understand not wanting to represent people who are proud of thier twisted morals. I don’t care if anyone likes that phrasing or not. If it repulses my God it ought to repulse me.

    1. Which god do you worship? I only have limited knowledge of mostly just the eoropean pantheons and judeo-christian theology and I can’t place your god off the top of my head. Is it one of the more obscure ones?

      1. I agree Wesley, that’s what I’m trying to get at. It’s like “would a Jewish Vampire be repelled by a crucifix?”(Or a Muslim or Buddhist one, for that matter)

    2. Sorry about your god, Mich. Mine (I’m a Quaker) loves all of us, including the ones He chose to make GBLT; and tells us that the truth, not lying to others, sets us free.

      1. Oh, mine does too. He loves us despite our sins, rather than encouraging us to embrace them. How do so called Christians pretend this is ok? No one is automatically born an abomination and yet it’s clearly written in the Bible that homosexuality is an abomination. There are 7-8 verses opposing that lifestyle choice. If you want to be a homosexuality cheerleader just don’t pretend to be a Christian while doing it. If, like Bob, you don’t believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God, then good luck being a Christian because Christ has been gone from the earth for a while. It’s going to be difficult to guess at what He said without it.

        1. Geeze, looks like you and I have been chosen to be excommunicated from Michiganagain’s church. Guess I can live with that. My sort of “Christian” doesn’t set well with Michiganagain obviously! (i.e. I can’t be a true believer because I don’t walk in lockstep with someones particular definition.)

        2. Mich, you seem to have totally missed the part where our promised Messiah came, and freed us from the nonsense about mixing linen with cotton, and isolating women during menstruation, and executing gays, and all the letters. He brought us the Living Water, and freed us all by His sacrifice on Golgotha. Unless you’re a Messianic Jew, you seem to have mixed up the New Testament with the Old, keeping the worst of the Old while claiming to heed the New.

          For God hath taught me to call no man “common” or “unclean”.

      2. Yeah, if that “particular definition” is the one laid out by God, then you probably aren’t part of my church and won’t be at my wedding.

        1. That sort self righteous commentary is exactly why I stay as far away as possible from “organized religion”. And no, I am not concerned that I’m going to burn in some level of Hell because I don’t agree with your particular brand of worship. Hypocrisy is the word that comes to mind.

          1. Hypocrisy for treating people the way they believe? I don’think you know what that word means. Also, the Bible is clear on its morality. Those who bring up the “linen mixing” stupid argument don’t know beans about Christian New Testament theology.

            My own opinion is that these “partners” knew exactly what they were doing. They either will embarrass the clearly Mormon book publisher by expressing what they are against Church doctrine and practice, or by this happening and getting the press. Works like a charm. Its how their kind do things like clockwork.

    3. Hey guys everyone who doesn’t believe exactly what i believe is repulsive and morally bankrupt, just thought i’d share.

  5. Larry, I enjoy your books and agree with your politics. I was going to share / repost this, but then you drop the F-bombon the last line, so I won’t, because one of my six kids will think that because I like the post (which I do) that I also believe you should swear a lot. Same reason none of my kids have read your excellent books. Obviously, do what you want, but you might ask yourself if a blog post is more like chatting with close friends, or standing up and slaying something during a town meeting.

    1. Yeah, the F-bomb didn’t need to be there, Larry. I’m sure it was heart-felt, but it detracted from the tone of the message.


      Destroy your computer and stay away from the internet. Please.

      1. This is always an interesting one to me, but I’m somebody who makes my living by using words to convey ideas, emotions, and stories. It is my job to use words to their maximum impact. Words are just tools in the tool box. Sometimes the best tool for the task at hand is a good old fashioned F bomb. 🙂

        1. Larry, I agree. Of course anyone who ever spent any time in the military, or close proximity to military members, would not only know how to drop it, but to conjugate all of its verb forms.

    3. This is EXACTLY what would happen if Cedar Fort published these two. Mormons would think that because a Mormon publishing house had no problem with “partners” that the LDS Church itself agrees with the relationship. I believe these authors did this on purpose.

  6. Honestly I don’t even care what the author’s name is unless the story is so good I want more…

    I’ve never had any particular problem with gay/lesbian folks in person, but I certainly get a lot of flack for my political beliefs by people who aren’t familiar with them…

    I guess it just reenforces the old John Wayne (mis?)quote

    Life is hard, it’s harder when you’re stupid…

  7. Agree with this post. Dumb move by the publisher. Marketing gold it is. Since they already have an edited manuscript, why not self-publish it and get sales going in a week as opposed to months (or years) down the road. Strike while the iron is hot.

  8. Law #2 for Business: If your actions cause your company’s PR Department to either work overtime or miss their naps, you are going to have a Very Bad Day at the office for a while.

    And I do hope the authors milk this publicity for all its worth. Heck, I’m even curious about the book itself now.

  9. I am definitely purchasing this book when it comes out. I do read YA (because Larry and John Ringo don’t write fast enough), and I keep the books that I want my daughter to read when she is older.

  10. Do these idiots realize its the 21st Century, and we are supposed to have pulled our heads out enough to know that prejudice is both ignorant and illegal. I hope this writer gets oodles of free publicity over this. As a librarian (and I suppose a closet libertarian too) I find it appalling that any publisher would do this to a writer. YA is a tough area to write, and I would think a publisher would have had the sense, if they indeed don’t want to publish material by gay authors, to have done their homework before writing a contract. I also question the legality of cancelling the contract on the basis of sexual orientation, so I hope the author decides to sue on that basis also. Oh,not that it probably matters, but I’m a heterosexual, retired military, Eastern Washington conservative semi-redneck, and I have no problem at all with any authors sexual orientation as long as they can write a good story. As a publishing house, that should be Cedar Fort’s point of view also, or maybe their primary readership are violently homophobic, but I suspect not.

    1. Perhaps their readership are more in line with the majority of the country than you are. After all, gay marriage has been voted down in every state where it was put to a vote, including California. With less than 3% of the population identifying as gay, they and their supporters certainly haven’t taken over the world yet.

      1. You know Jay, if bigotry is main line thinking, then you are probably correct. You seem to suffer from some sort of delusion that I’m a liberal activist of some sort. Believe me, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a card carrying NRA member, retired military, libertarian leaning gray haired old fart, and proud of it, but bigotry of any sort just goes against the grain. If you can’t deal with it, sure no skin off of my nose.

        1. Jay, that is perhaps the most ignorant statement I have ever read, and is beneath reply. Murder and Pedophilia are criminal acts, being Gay, Black, White, Asian, etc. ad nausaeum, are not, they are conditions of life. As for Murderers and Pedophiles, lock. load, aim, fire!

      2. They’re criminal acts this week, Bob. Just like sodomy was just a short while back. Next thing you know 20 years from now you’re telling people pedophilia is sick and people are calling you a bigot and telling you how people can’t change the way they’re born. What we have now in this country is called normalization of the absurd.

        It’s a slope. If men can marry men and women can marry women, how about two men and a woman? Can they all get married? If not, why not? Before long marriage won’t have a meaning.

      3. Jay, if you lump gays in with pedophiles and murderers, then you are most certainly a bigot; and an intellectually dishonest one at that. Not that many centuries ago, being a Quaker was a criminal offense, and one that could and did get you hanged, in places which are now part of this country. Bigoted majorities pass laws against disliked minorities all the time; but that’s got nothing to do with right and wrong behavior.

  11. the vast majority of Mormons don’t care if an entertainer is gay when we watch their movies, read their books, or listen to their music

    You shouldn’t care about the author being a moral degenerate. You should care that the book / movie / music promotes a morally degenerate message, so you can avoid it. Chances of a moral degenerate creating a morally uplifting book / movie / piece of music? These days, not so good.

    1. Who of you is without sin, let them cast the first stone. It is up to the individual reader/viewer to determine the morality/degeneracy of any given work. A narrow view of morality is just the sort of things that leads to fanatics and witch burnings, both of which are far more dangerous to society than whether or not a given message is “degenerate”! Is some of the material I check out to folks here at the library reprehensible in my eyes, damned straight it is. Do I have the right to impose my views on them, no way in hell, and I’d hate myself if I tried.

      1. Maybe you ought to read what that Bible you’re quoting has to say about calling sin sin and sharing your faith (imposing your views).

        1. I have read that book, have numerous copies of it on the shelves at home in various translations and also on my iPhone, for that matter. I will not support any form of bigotry, church supported or not, nor do I believe would Jesus, considering he hung out with whores and tax collectors. I will share my faith with those who ask, I personally believe that organized religion has done more to destroy true faith than anything I can think of. Oh, and I also firmly believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and that evolution is a fact, so deal with it. I merely, as everyone else, state my humble and very personal opinion, as is my right as an American.

          1. Whoa there. This isn’t “church supported”. Cedar Fort doesn’t speak for all Mormons anymore than I do.

      2. Bigotry has, like racism, become anything people don’t agree with. If you’ll recall Jesus turned people away from those lifestyles, because they were sinful. Being a tax collector wasn’t sinful, being a thieving tax collector was, but Jesus changed Zacchaeus. Christ told the woman caught in adultery that he didn’t hold it against her, but to knock it off. I won’t judge someone struggling against homosexuality because it is a sin like any other, but I will not support it or approve of it all in the name of some misplaced “don’t judge people” philosophy. You’ll see nowhere in the Bible that Christ said “you steal? that’s cool”, “cheating on your wife? no biggie”, so I can’t imagine that he would ever say “homosexuality is a-ok in my book”. Sin is still sin.

        1. Nor was I trying to put words in the mouth of Jesus (though heaven knows there are plenty of folks out there willing to try to.) I was merely attempting to point out that we honestly have no idea of what he really said. We have the synoptic gospels and the epistles and no idea (other than faith) who or what really happened. If you feel that something is a sin, and interpret the Bible to say that, go for the gusto, I’m not gonna change my mind either. That’s o.k., this is a reasonable exchange of ideas, and I find it refreshing that none of us is going for the knives.

      3. It is up to the individual reader/viewer to determine the morality/degeneracy of any given work.

        Indeed. And the degeneracy of the author would be a factor in that determination. Nor should this prohibit any publisher from declining to publish a degenerate work.

        A narrow view of morality is just the sort of things that leads to fanatics and witch burnings, both of which are far more dangerous to society than whether or not a given message is “degenerate”!

        Right now our society is experimenting with that hypothesis – i.e., that a society based on unrestrained degeneracy, and mandatory “tolerance” thereof, can survive and is superior to a society that restricts degeneracy. Not sure things are looking good for the unrestrictionist view.

        Is some of the material I check out to folks here at the library reprehensible in my eyes, damned straight it is. Do I have the right to impose my views on them, no way in hell, and I’d hate myself if I tried.

        Good for you, but nothing in my post suggested you should do that. It also has nothing to do with a publisher refusing to publish something they find degenerate.

        I will not support any form of bigotry, church supported or not, nor do I believe would Jesus

        As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. (Hint: sodomy is a sin.)

    2. I’m in a writing group with one of the co-authors (not the one who’s gay) and I can promise you this book is completely clean and uplifting in both content and message. It’s the kind of YA book you could freely hand out to your grandmother and your 10yo daughter and your Sunday School teacher.

      1. If it is fine for children, why publish it with an endorsement of one of the authors openly and proudly sinning? Would you include the author’s drunkenness and other private abuses in the bio?

    3. As a mormon, living a mere few miles for the headquarters of Cedar Fort publishing, I actually completely agree with you.
      The message is the most important part – does it glorify or set up as desirable to act in immoral or dishonest ways – if not, then OK, if so, then make your choice about voting with your dollars.
      It is too bad that this type of stupid, particularly in breaking a signed contract may end up closing this publishing house.

      1. No they aren’t. They paid the contract back. From all appearances, there has been a cancellation of the contract that is amicable to both parties, and no breach.

        So…there’s not that.

  12. Not only that Larry but that little thing called sexual discrimination in the work place might come in to play and they might just get sued big time over it and LOSE in the process. That would also bring major attention to their shady business dealings. Sorry this company seriously screwed up. I don’t normally buy YA books but if another publisher DOES pick up the book please make sure to get the info out there I will go buy it just to thumb my nose at Cedar Fort.

    1. I think the beauty of justice is, Cedar Fort has the right to choose what they publish. The consumers have the right to choose to purchase books by Cedar Fort or go to the next book publisher. As tacky as I find their decision, I am grateful that Cedar Fort can exercise their freedom, and we can do the same by going elsewhere. Even if I disagree with the choice, I am thankful we HAVE the choice!

  13. A hope they get sued out of business. And as much as I despise Eric Holder I could see the Justice dept fall on these clowns like a ton of bricks.

    1. Sued for what? The authors aren’t out anything: they can shop it elsewhere, and a termination like this is fairly easy to settle financially. Cedar Fort was dumb for hiring an author who they knew to have a lifestyle that they did not want promoted to kids, and for assuming that he’d be okay with their edits to the bio. But just because a contract is ended doesn’t mean there’s any need for a lawsuit.

  14. Treating ppl by any standard which is irrelevant to work they were hired to do is not only wrong but un-American.That is how ppl are treated in 3rd world countries and is in long term very contra productive.Culture I was from
    attempted to deal with basic injustice by having civil war every 30 years or so.
    Thankfully here legal system and public opinion actually have pull and value.Larry if you were not my favorite author I would urge you to go in to politics.

  15. This is ridiculous. (The comments on this post make me extra sad.)

    Hopefully you will be able to find a real publisher for the work. I’m sharing your post with my author friends, and will certainly let them know Cedar Fort is a publisher to avoid.

    1. Depends on how the contract was written. I would not be at all surprised if the publisher had included a clause allowing them to cancel at any time, for any reason.

  16. Perhaps in a future story you can put an organization named “Cedar Court (something other than a publisher so you can’t be sued)” as incompetent villain wanna-bes.

    MUCH better than an f-bomb.

  17. don’t suppose you’d share the name…love to by the book(s) and send Cedar Fort a letter telling them how much I enjoyed them….ah well

  18. Tell it brother! This is ridiculous, a good book is a good book it doesn’t matter who the writer snuggles up to at night. I may buy the book on principle when it comesout.

  19. Nice to see a political post from a Baen author (other than Eric) with which I can thoroughly agree. I prefer my 1964 main man, Goldwater, who had no truck with homophobia or with fundamentalists taking over his party to enforce their Torquemada politics.

  20. I rarely, if ever, read the author notes in books. Why, because I didn’t get the damn book to read about the author, I got it to read the frickin story.

    Personally, I don’t really care how people get their freak on. whatever. personally, I think too many people, straight and otherwise, make their personal information much too public anyway. Like we really give a damn.

    If anything, it annoys me to no end to hear the whiny, tear jerking crapola of how someone was treated poorly and never got a break because of how they like to get laid. Who gives a rats ass? Your choice of how to get your freak on has nothing to do with one’s talent (or lack thereof) in writing, acting, cooking, talking, etc…

    Just get on with the story or movie o whatever already and keep your personal business personal.

    Nobody gives a tin shit.

  21. My reply to Ceder Fort and any in the “LDS market” who wouldn’t read something written by a gay author:

    Here’s a list of gay writers, many quite famous:

    It includes Francis Bacon, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, John Milton, Plato, Virgil, and Oscar Wilde. Better not read any of their stuff either. Would make it tough to study literature, though.

  22. Maybe I’m the only one who is reading between these lines, but did I read that Mr. Correia wants to start his own publishing business? That is GREAT news. When will your company be up and running? I’m sure you’d have lots of people who would like to help.

    One more thing, Mr. Correia, you need to tell some of these people that YA stands for Young Adult and means “Literature for young adults.” I’m not sure what they thought it meant, but it wasn’t that.

  23. I disapprove of discrimination in any form. Cedar Fort is know for their horrible contracts. If this publisher really represented the LDS faith, they’d treat their authors with more respect and charity. There’s no excuse for being a total douche.

  24. “So Cedar Fort really likes a book submitted to them and says that they think it will sell well. Cedar Fort gives a contract to these two authors. They write their author bios. One mentions his “partner” instead of his wife. Cedar Fort flips out and drops them.”

    That’s not entirely true.

    They want to publish, but they want to excise the bio because it referenced the homosexual relationship. The author wants it kept in. Back and forth.

    You can debate the ethics of that, if you like. But this wasn’t because they were blind-sided by the sexual inclination of the author. It’s a dispute about including a ‘single word’ on the bio.

    1. Except “partner” is completely gender-neutral and could refer just as easily to a woman he’s not married to. The bio was right there from the beginning, the way I’m reading things, and it was only at the 11th hour that Cedar Fort decided to throw a fit about it.

      Not cool.

  25. Mr Correia, I commend you for your stance on this particular issue, and look forward to your review of the novel in question once it’s published!

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