Monday, June 16, 2008

My Last Post

The wannabe is done, finished, gone. On Saturday Jeffrey Marsh, acquisitions editor, left Cedar Fort. On Monday morning, they fired Jeremy Beal, one of the graphics designers and then gave me the option of signing a two year non compete contract or they would fire me. I am here writing this from my kitchen. I was fired because I wouldn't sign a contract that would keep me from making money for my family if I ever quit or got fired from Cedar Fort.

Next they told me that this blog, the blog I started and got going, and found the authors, is no longer available to me. That this is Cedar Forts blog. Guess what, it has never been Cedar Forts blog. It has been a blog of Cedar Fort authors, non paid blog. No one gets paid from this blog. So, after I post this message, I will leave this blog. It is a sad day for me, Jeffrey and Jeremy, but it is most sad, because I am leaving the job that I LOVE. I love working with the authors on a daily basis. I loved setting up events, signings, reviews, television and radio spots, and a writers conference.

I will miss this job, more than I have ever missed a job, but I couldn't sign a no compete for a few reasons. The turnover is very high at Cedar Fort and my family would need to eat if I got fired or laid off. My attorney said if they were paying me $100,000 that he would have me sign half of what was written in the contract, but never to sign it as it was. Also, Utah is a right to work state. And lastly, if they believed in me like they said they did, they would not have someone that made $35,000 a year ever sign a no compete clause.

So, adios, goodbye and I will be reading this blog, but not participating. I also have a book coming out in September, and it is not with Cedar Fort.

Best of luck to each of you, and my God bless each of you, the bloggers and the readers of this site.

39 comments:

Marcia Mickelson said...

No, no, no! Doug's that's horrible news for everyone. I'm so sorry that has happened to you. It's not fair. You have done so much for Cedar Fort and its authors. I can't believe it. I can understand why you did what you had to, and I'm sorry you had to be in that position. We will all suffer because of it. You've been tremendous in your job and will greatly be missed by the all the authors, I'm sure. I know for sure, I will miss you. This blog will not be the same without you. Your presence here will be greatly missed. You put this whole thing together. You've done so much. Sad, sad day.

J Scott Savage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J Scott Savage said...

Doug,

Good luck with your future endeavors. I've heard very good things about you. E-mail me offline sometime.

scott at jscottsavage dot com

I was just mispelling endeavors last time to show you how important publishing staff members are. :)

RobisonWells said...

Hey Doug, good luck with everything. You've been great to work with, and I wish you all the best.

Marsha Ward said...

Amen to everything Marcia said. Keep in touch, Doug. You have my email.

Marsha Ward

Anne Bradshaw said...

So sorry to hear this, Doug! I've heard many great things about your work. Hope you find something else that's 10 times better.

Candace E. Salima said...

I am horrified that this has occurred. CFI seemed to be headed in the right direction with you, Kammi and Jeffrey Marsh. I'm stunned, absolutely stunned.

Nichole Giles said...

Doug, CFI has made a terrible, horrible mistake! Just as we were beginning to get excited about submitting to CFI, they blew the wind out of our sails.

Too bad for them, this will be their loss. I'm so sorry to hear you're no longer there. Good luck in your future. You are a great publicist and will go really far.

Tamra Norton said...

Doug,

I don't know what to say except that I think CFI has made a horrible mistake losing you. You are incredible and wonderful and I'm just feeling so dissapointed and discouraged right now.

Best of luck! You were such a pleasure to work with!

Connie Hall said...

Doug - I'm shocked. You did so much to make the conference a success. I'd think they'd do everything they could to keep you - such as raising your salary - not fire you. It will be their loss. Good luck to you. Connie

Jewel's Gems said...

I am really, really sorry to hear this, Doug. You have been great for CFI and I have enjoyed getting to know you. Hope I can work with you sometime in the future. Take care and good luck with everything. I know you will do well and I look forward to your coming projects.

Julie Wright said...

Doug, I hear nothing but fabulous things about you from all the other authors. I am truly sorry since everyone says you were the best things to happen to CFI in a long time. Good luck with your book. Keep everyone posted when your book releases.

Terri Ferran said...

Doug,

I am so sad that you are gone from CFI! It has been so fun to work with you. Kammi, Jeffrey Marsh, and now you!!! I'm really disappointed.

Good luck in the future. Please keep in touch.

Aubrey said...

Doug-

I'm sorry to see you go- it's been great working with you. Good luck in everything you do.

Annette Lyon said...

I don't know of anything I can add to what's already been said. You've been a great addition to the LDS market, and I hope you continue to be. You've made a big impact with lots of writers, so keep in touch--and best of luck with what comes next with your career!

Jaime Theler said...

Doug,
I'm so, so sorry. As authors we have enjoyed the enthusiasm you brought to CFI. Good luck with your next step and know that you have the respect of many of us in the business.

Carole Thayne said...

Doug, you don't know me--but I've heard really good things about you and the direction you were taking CFI. I was hoping to work with you someday if things don't work out with my current publisher. I think CFI will suffer because of this latest development and so will authors and LDS publishing.

Rebecca Talley said...

I am very sad and disappointed. You have been such a great help and so easy to work with. I wish you the very best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

Doug Johnston said...

Thanks to everyone. As Arnold says "I will be back" Don't know where, and don't know when, but I will be back...

Kerry Blair said...

Honestly, I feel sorrier today for Cedar Fort than I do for you, Doug. A person with your talent, drive, creativity, and greatness of heart can only move onward and upward.

PLEASE scoot on over to your own blog and keep us apprised of all the exciting things to come. You are neither gone nor forgotten. You are just in a different and very-soon-to-be-better place. I, for one, can't wait to see what's next for the most remarkable "wannabe" on the planet.

Finally, you've begun a great thing here with these talented authors. I hope they will continue your legacy with your blessing. (And if they don't, I hope they'll all tell us where they're going. I don't want to miss a post!)

Heather B. Moore said...

Likewise, I've heard only great things about you. Sorry to hear your news and about all the changes you've had to undergo. Regardless, it seems you have a bright future ahead of you. Best of luck!

Darvell Hunt said...

Wow. Stunning. CFI had risen in my esteem to the highest slot for LDS publishers with the writing conference, but now I feel cheated. I was going to target CFI as #1 on my list of places to submit my work, ahead of DB and Covenant, because of how I perceived the company at the writers conference. I really believed that CFI was interested in growing its author base.

Now it seems that trust may have been misplaced. I hope not, but it seems so.

Condolences to CFI. And to Doug, too. We have reason to mourn for both now.

And to those still at CFI: we solicit your comments on this matter. Please tell us, your prospective authors, what is going on there to help us better understand the situation.

Lisa McKendrick said...

Doug,
I'm completely bummed. You were fantastic.
--Lisa

Tracy Winegar said...

Doug-
It's been a crazy ride- A very quick but crazy ride. What to say? You put me on the right path and I know I'm better for knowing you. It's a real loss. I just hope that you find the thing that's best for you and live the dream! Carry on!

Rachelle said...

Doug,
I am shell-shocked. I don't even know what to say and I don't even want to believe it. After what an amazing job you did with the conference, I just can't believe it! You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Lee Ann Setzer said...

To CFI:
I trust you've noted the fine irony that Doug is now leaving, without signing a non-compete, possibly to do for your competitors the fine job he's done for you.

Doug--

Congratulations on your book!

I suspect you'll land on you feet..how about as a million-dollar LDS author? Bet that puppy gets marketed like we've never seen marketing done before.

Good luck!

Christine Thackeray said...

Doug,

I remember contacting you on your first day and your second and probably your third... Thanks for your patience with a crazy lady. I am so sorry about this but my hope for you is that you move from a wannabe to a NY times bestseller and show them all what for! You've got to admit that this will give you great material for a story.

Best of luck, can't wait to see where you go from here.

ali said...

Doug, as an aspiring author, I was really looking forward to working with you one day. I loved how hard you worked for your authors, your progressive and creative ideas and the way you left no stone unturned in pursuit of the best representation for your authors.

I hope you'll keep us posted (I KNOW you will! You're gonna build a good contact list from this comment trail, aren't you?) on where you end up so I can work with you one day.

We could make a lot of money together, man!

I'm sorry for CFI that they couldn't see a good thing when they had it - in you and in Jeffrey and Jeremy.

Good luck to all of you!

Kim Thompson said...

Such sad news! You were the best thing to happen to CFI in a long time.

You are amazing and will move on to bigger and better things.

Weston Elliott said...

Well! The three people I was looking forward to working with are now gone from the company. That doesn't make me feel very secure about the future of my manuscript, or the company that has ahold of it.

Jennie said...

Doug, like so many others I felt CFI had turned the corner and was becoming a force to be reckoned with. I have the greatest admiration for you and Jeffrey and was thrilled that a small publisher in the LDS market had acquired two of the greatest talents to boost them to the top strata. Who will I bug for review copies now? Please stay in touch; I'm sure I'll see more of both of you in this field, but I can't get past my disappointment in CFI at this moment. A strong presence by CFI was looking good for our entire industry.

Simply Sallie said...

Doug, good for you for sticking by your principles and putting your family first. Unfortunately too many employers are engaging in this illegal practice of demanding unquestioning loyalty while guaranteeing none in return. It "hurts" now, but in the long run you are far better off. Best of luck to you!

Shirley Bahlmann said...

Doug, wait, I have a plan! See, I've got this really great recipe for cookies, well, they look kind of like dog food, or dog something, but they're healthy and they taste great! "Doug's Dog Food Cookies..." Now, see? That has a nice ring to it! It worked for Mrs. Fields...

Rick & Karen Mittan said...

It seem incredible that LDS people would treat someone like CFI has treated you-all. Are they in such severe financial straits that they can't afford good talent and knowledge like Jeffrey's? If so, would any of us be wise to sign a contract with them?
Are they so callous and unchristian that they will think nothing of putting their employees in a situation where they might not be able support their families? Again, that's a red flag if I ever saw one! If they treat you and Jeffrey that way, how will they treat their authors?
I'm afraid the answer is written on the wall.
I'm sorry Doug. I think all of us will be praying for you to find something that will support your family in a comfortable manner.
Please know I appreciated the efforts you made to get my manuscript submitted.
Thank you.
Karen M Mittan

Doug Johnston said...

Thanks to everyone. I wish Cedar Fort all the sucess in the world. I just wish that a stupid contract would not have ended this ride.

I am sad to go, but I am SO glad for all of your support. I will miss each and every one of you.

As a song from my musical Lives Change says, Lives change like the seasons, nothing ever stays the same!

Keith Fisher said...

Just want to add to what's already been said so well. Hiring you was the best decision made at CFI in quite a while. You were getting things on tract and the writers were turning toward CFI. Good luck in everything.

Brittany said...

Doug, I just checked this blog--I'm so sorry to hear what has happened! I loved the writer's conference and I loved everything you did for me and the other CFI authors. Best wishes!

Emily said...

Doug,

What a shocker! I am so sad you will no longer be at CFI. I felt like you did so much to help us grow as authors. You always answered questions promplty, you were great at helping us to promote our books, etc, etc...

You will be missed!

Best of luck with your book. Please keep us informed on its release date.

Amber Lynn Smith said...

Doug,
Darnit, I'm so sorry. I was really excited at the prospect of working with you.
Thanks for all you did to help me, and for picking on me at the conference. ;)