Tag: Rare Bird Books

Author Dropped by Publisher Over Tweet Sues for $13 Million!

Remember Natasha Tynes, the author who shamed a a Metro Worker on Twitter and subsequently lost a book deal? Well, now she’s suing her ex-publisher for $13 million!


Natasha Tynes

Image Via NewsFeeds

For those who don’t remember, Natasha was riding the red line of the Washington, D.C. Metro when she saw an MTA employee eating her lunch on the train.



Yes, the rules state you shouldn’t do that, but people get hungry. Do you ride the train to work? The bus? Ever get hungry and eating something, like a cracker? Or do you, like me, take a sip of water?

Then you’re breaking the rules and, normally, nobody cares!

But Natasha Tynes did. She cared so much she snapped a picture of the woman’s face and posted about the incident on Twitter in a now deleted-Tweet.


The tweet in question

Image Via BBC

A separate account for the Metro service promptly responded:


Nnatasha Tynes' Metro Response

Image Via BET.com

Tynes couldn’t have foreseen the wrath with which her tweet would be met. People did not take kindly to what they perceived as a minority writer threaten the livelihood of another woman of color.

Deleted Tweet defending Tynes

Tynes was quick to delete her tweet, but the damage was done. According to the Huffington Post, “Los Angeles publisher Rare Bird Books canceled plans to distribute Tynes’ upcoming novel, They Called Me Wyatt, which was already being preordered” before going on to “[urge] its California Coldblood imprint ― a brand that operates under Rare Bird ― to do the same.”

California Coldblood announced this via Twitter:

Not the best look for Tynes.

Tynes is now suing Rare Bird Books for breach of contract citing, available here. The lawsuit accuses Rare Bird Books of having “sabotaged” her book in addition to defaming her.

The suit notes that Tynes not only reached out to the transit authority on Twitter to ask that the employee not be disciplined, but also contacted Rare Bird executive Robert Jason Peterson with the excuse that, since she was raised in Jordan, she didn’t think of the racial implications of humiliating a black woman on Twitter. According to this lawsuit, Peterson told Tynes, “You’ll get through this, we’ve got your back.”

Rare Birds Books

Image Via Deadline

You can read Rare Bird Books’ response to the enormous lawsuit here.

For context, the fact Tynes called Metro didn’t matter in the slightest. Two days before the incident Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik sent an email ordering transit officers to “cease and desist from issuing criminal citations in the District of Columbia for fare evasion; eating; drinking; spitting, and playing musical instruments without headphones until further advised.

So this whole thing is happening because Tynes thought someone was breaking the rules when, in fact, she wasn’t. Some advice, if you want to complain about someone, don’t do it on Twitter.



Featured Image Via BuzzFeed

Rare bird books logo

Publisher Responds to Dropped Author’s $13 Million Lawsuit

After igniting a scandal all her own, Natasha Tynes’ publisher, Rare Bird Books, decided to no longer distribute her latest book They Called Me Wyatt, which was set to release under one of the publisher’s imprints this year.

What was the scandal all about? Well, on her morning commute, Tynes snapped a picture of a mass transit employee having her breakfast on the train and proceeded to use that photo to call out that employee on social media:

When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train. I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds. When I asked the employee about this, her response was, ‘worry about yourself.’


Tynes has since deleted the tweet, but you can’t erase anything from the internet once it is out there. Screenshots of her tweet are still making the rounds, which isn’t surprising considering she was attacking an African American woman on the DC transit. This was the issue the publisher had its qualms with stating “Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them.”

Now after publicly shaming this employee, making herself and her publisher look bad, she is suing Rare Bird Books for $13 million. Rare Bird Books’ attorney, David S. Eisen, has responded on behalf of the company, pointing out that “the complaint filed by Natasha Tynes is baseless for a host of reasons.” The publisher is in no way responsible for her actions, nor did they take any part in defaming Tynes. But can you blame the publisher for not wanting to be associated with her?

The publisher notes that while Natasha Tynes is seeking to be paid for damages, her book only had fifty copies preordered, while about only 100 were set to printed and distributed. They add that the book was not well received through early reviews.

Featured Image Via Bookmate