Wednesday, 13 July 2016

ESCAPE ARTISTS: Karen Kennedy Lost at the Festival of the Pot and now in an Online Publishing Maze- will she escape?

By Ruth Skilbeck


Today’s featured artist in the ‘Escape Artists’ PostMistress Press Anthology is author, critical theorist, and photographer Karen Kennedy, whose essay "Travelling on a Long Rope" tells the story of how she and her partner got lost at the Hindu Festival of the Pot in India, the Kumbh Mela at Haridwar, Northern India, at Allahabad, the largest spiritual festival on earth which attracted more than 120 million on a pilgrimage to bathe in the waters of a sacred place where holy rivers converge:

the Kumbh Mela, which means the pot or cup and the Mela; which means festival or more traditionally fair, that is held to celebrate a potent liquid that fell to earth as it was being carried away by a powerful god. Mythology has recorded four auspicious sites that received these droplets of Amrita - the nectar of immortal life and Hindu theology teaches that bathing at the assigned area, the Sangam during a Kumbh Mela can cleanse a human of their sins and assist their ascent into Moksha - liberation. Mysteriously the Naga Babas – Naked Sadhus enhance and protect the powers of the ritual bathing. This is an ancient celebration that has enjoyed a modern and postmodern resurgence that can be linked to the resurgence of Hindu Nationalism and to a global cultural identity that defies the imposition of Nation State. (Karen Kennedy, "Travelling on a Long Rope", 2016).

But the story I will tell here is to do with the troubles that Karen Kennedy is having right now, lost in the labyrinth of online publishing, and trying to find the way to have her book Deeply Felt, Reflections on Religion & Violence in the Anarchist Turn, attributed to her on Amazon. 

Karen’s book, Deeply Felt, was published by a small Scandanavian publisher, Irene Publishing, on January 27, 2016.  But the joy of having one’s first book published has been diminished by a series of problems, errors, and lack of help and information, which has resulted in her book being advertised for sale on Amazon for the past few months, attributed to another author. The book is not attributed to its publisher, Irene Publishing, and instead the publisher is listed as the self-publishing platform Lulu- which gives the false idea that the book was self-published on Lulu.
This followed the book having to be republished several times, as the publisher made errors on the cover, and Karen had to request changes and corrections several times, but what happened next is worse. 

Karen's book is listed and attributed to another author who lives in Canada. Karen Kennedy, author of Deeply Felt, which is based on the Master of Arts she took at the University of Sydney, and who is based on a rural property in New South Wales, has not been able to have these inaccuracies corrected. As an author she has joined Author Central for authors whose books are listed on Amazon- to try to change the inaccurate attributions. But she was not able to do this, she told us. She has written to Irene Publishing, and to Amazon, and she told us they have both said they can do nothing to amend the errors, they cannot make changes to have her book correctly attributed to her as its author, nor to list the book's publisher, Irene Publishing, on Amazon. Instead it appears to be a self-published book, written by another author.

Karen Kennedy says she is now going to pursue legal action to have the corrections made.

Author Beware: Scams and lack of care are rife in online publishing

This is another story of how important it is to be sure the publishers you choose to publish your book know what they are doing, have your interests at heart, and above all they know how to publish in this new digital environment. Publishers need to be trustworthy. And authors need to know that they can trust them. As this story shows, that can be very hard to know in advance. Unless you have sound knowledge from personal acquaintance, or recommendations.

We are going to send a message to Amazon, on the “Report incorrect product information” box on the page of Karen Kennedy’s book, to report the errors, and see what happens.

The results will be reported and followed here on this blog.

Meanwhile, here is a photo from Karen Kennedy’s essay, which includes several images from her journeys at the Festival of the Pot. You will be able see all of these and read, in the forthcoming anthology, about how Karen and her partner got lost, and how perhaps they only just managed to escape the labyrinth into which some, each year, have gone missing, disappeared, never to return....

Image copyright  Karen Kennedy.

Help us make it on our anthology adventure, to support authors in this online maze.

Help us to help Karen Kennedy and the rest of the artists in the Anthology to escape the maze of online publishing hoaxes, scams, unreliability and difficulties, as we are travelling on a life boat across a dark sea of uncertainty under attack by metaphorical shadowy forces, UFOS and unknown foes.  We are tying to make it to an island where we can publish our anthology as a collective, where we can publish our work, safely.

Karen's book, with the wrong author information is here:
Help us make it here.

Ruth Skilbeck, editor, Escape Artists PostMistress Press Anthology 1

This anthology project, and founder Ruth Skilbeck's author publishing projects of her books, that she has sold mainly via communication with people on facebook, have attracted and drawn together a strong, supportive, creative movement of artists and writers whose works are in the anthology.

Ruth Skilbeck, PhD, is a widely-published author, art writer, and photographer, and has lectured in several Australian universities.

The Anthology is being published on the Fuguescapes imprint.


There is now a way you can support the publication of this new anthology here.  

PostMistress Press

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