TLDR: The advice here is to write a snail mail letter in protest.
Hi. I’m someone who’s worked in publishing her entire career, and I’m here to explain the Milo Yiannopoulos issue (notorious troll just got a hefty book deal from Simon & Schuster; internet is freaking out) and how to handle it:
BACKGROUND: Let’s get the “free speech” arguments out of the way: Yiannopoulos is an actively dangerous man who leads bullying mobs against selected targets, and spreads hate speech as a life ethos. Even a person as vile as Yiannopoulos has the right to speak his mind, but decent people owe it to the world not to give him additional platforms and the air of legitimacy. That’s doubly the case in this political climate, which insists that all opinions should be valued equally, regardless of whether they’re true or false, and whether they make the world a better or worse place to live in. This is rather like deciding to publish “Mein Kampf” - is that really what you want your legacy to be as an organization?
WHAT NOT TO DO: No “I’m going to boycott Simon & Schuster” talk unless you are a published author and you’re talking about not contracting with them. This is not like buying toilet paper or leather jackets - they sell the work of real, living, struggling authors who really really want you to read what they’ve labored over for years, and it’s unfair to penalize them because their publishing company is being dumb. Print media is a fragile industry these days, and that’s why we’re seeing these big stupid controversial book deals - it’s because we no longer have a world where people walk into their local independent neighborhood bookstore and let the kindly old cashier recommend you a book of poetry with a 500-copy print run that speaks perfectly to your reading sensibilities. You gotta have your crossover blockbusters or the whole enterprise crosses the December finish line in the red. Insisting on a boycott just makes people who haven’t bought a book since college want to run out and pre-order this to spite you. Simon & Schuster knows you “I love books, here’s a shared image macro about how I would literally make gentle love to a piece of printed paper if it were socially acceptable” folks get all your books used from Amazon for $3.99 + shipping, anyway, so they don’t care whether you’re their friend. This is for the business traveler with gross views who needs something entertaining for the plane flight to the Atlanta conference. You gotta convince them not to sell to THAT guy.
WHAT TO DO: Write them letters, hard-copy ones that need a stamp and an envelope. At any major publishing house, the people at the bottom are mostly clever, thoughtful, progressive gals who don’t like this sort of thing any more than you do. They want to be able to go to their bosses’ bosses’ bosses with a massive stack of post and say, “Hey, this is the only reader correspondence we’re getting now,” because that wastes time, and the easiest way to piss off a publishing house is to waste their employees’ time. Wasting time = less time for making books. Remember also that everybody who gets into publishing does it because fundamentally they love to READ, they READ anything that is put in front of them, even the guys at the top who spend more time on the phone and at cocktail parties than working with text believe in words as a magical conduit of ideas, and if you write them a long heartfelt letter, they may scoff at it but they will read it, and if they have 1000 heartfelt letters a day, then sooner or later all those words will sink in.
This is not a plastics manufacturer, this is not a bank. This is a book company. Write to the people who are in the business of reading.
SIMON & SCHUSTER, INC.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
And individual contacts here, best to address it to someone in particular: http://about.simonandschuster.biz/leadership/
Normally, the best tactic is to write directly to a specific editor or the imprint, but Threshold is conservative, so they may not care. Still, perhaps try:
General Phone: 212-698-7006
General Fax: 212-698-2858
Vice President, Director of Publicity
And make the point that the views of this author are not conservative views, they are fundamentally hateful and aggressive views which seek to undermine the rights of other citizens. He did, after all, help lead the hate mob against Leslie Jones that got her hacked - they should ask themselves whether that’s something with which they want their otherwise respectable work to be associated, especially since the published book may end up becoming associated with additional hate crimes should readers take it too literally. Surely they don’t want their book to start making news for being repeatedly found in the homes of every homegrown militant for the next 10 years.
I’ll also add that Louise Burke is president and publisher of the Gallery imprint, which Threshold falls under, so you could send to her as well.