Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What did Mikki Kendall do with the Verb Noire money?

During Racefail 09, Mikki Kendall (aka Karynthia) and Jamie Nesbitt Golden (aka Thewayoftheid) announced they were starting Verb Noire, a small press dedicated to publishing stories by people of color that mainstream publishers had been suppressing. Though their hyperbole was ludicrous, their goal was not. Small publishers have successfully targeted niche markets for centuries. 
According to the verb-noire LJ, they got over $8200 in donations when they launched. In August, they announced that they needed more money to go to WorldCon and raised an additional $1500. They sold Verb Noire merchandise, but they apparently never shared how much it made.
They produced one ebook with an amateurish cover.
Then, in October of 2009, Kendall announced that Golden was leaving the company after goofing up some contracts.
And since then? 
Whatever their problem was, it wasn’t money. On their web site, they mention these expenses: 
Everything we need to get Verb Noire off the ground, ranging from new equipment to safely store the submitted work, to lawyer fees to make sure our contracts are fair, to covering advertising and software costs. We’re also registering copyrights for our authors. 
Getting a lawyer to donate time should’ve been easy. What equipment does an epublisher need? Clearly, they had computers. As for safely storing submitted work, that’s $50 to buy either a dedicated hard drive or a file cabinet... 
...Kendall and Golden had hundreds of people who wanted them to succeed—even the people they had attacked as racists wanted them to succeed. Book people are like that.
Note: and I'm sure they attacked a LOT of people as racists, because all it takes for Mikki Kendall to attack you as a racist is to disagree with Mikki Kendall, as I found out. The blogger continues...
After I blogged about Verb Noire’s finances, Golden (thewayoftheid) tweeted: 
So a girl decides to do a little vanity googling to discover that Will Fucking Shetterly has her name in his mouth. What to do, what to do.
I tweeted back: 
You might start by making a public post about where the Verb Noire money went. 
She never answered...

In December, 2012, defending the practices of social justice warriors at Metafilter’s “privilege-checking and call-out culture”, Martin Wisse cited Verb Noire as a success of Racefail. I laughed in the sudden realization that warriors live in their own reality.