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I was forwarded this e-mail by Bitch Envy. It’s a letter from NCP’s publisher, Madris DePastures addressing all the terrible accusations that have been levelled at NCP.

It starts like this:

A letter from the publisher:
I’m going to address remarks circulating the web regarding this company. This is not for republication elsewhere, so those of you who decide to do so should know that, unless permission is given, and it is NOT, copying any part of this to another site is violation of
privacy and copyright laws.

Erm…ooops? Oh well, in for a pound, in for a penny I guess:

Ellen Ashe approached me for the reversion of rights to Sorcerer’s Mark when the contract expired. I told her there was no problem with that, however, the book went to print and the company reserved the right to dispose of the print books. It would continue to be offered for sale in print form until the copies in our warehouse were sold or disposed of and that she would, naturally, receive any royalties accruing from the sales.

I also pointed out that she could buy the remainders herself at fifty percent off and we wouldn’t have to leave the book up at all. She declined the offer. I directed the person currently working on the page to remove the ebook version of Sorcerer’s Mark from sale. She complied with this by
breaking the link, which left it on the page but not for sale.

Ms. Ashe returned later to check to see if it was down and wrote a screaming letter that it was still up for sale. I explained that the link was broken and the book could not be bought and that the entire staff was currently working on tax season materials and the quarterly reports and end of the year reports and royalties, that I would have someone work on the page when we could spare the time.

At this point, reminded that the book had been sent to distributors, I reminded the webpage person to contact them and request that it be removed from all listings. The author liaison also searched the web and notified all of the bookstores that the rights had reverted and that the book should be taken down.

I don’t know about you guys but I need a break already. Feel free to grab yourself a coffee or tea, or a some of those handy pills that help you stay awake. You may need them.

Ellen wrote repeatedly during this time, demanding to know why we couldn’t give her our undivided attention and explained that she didn’t understand why it took the entire staff to handle the tasks I mentioned.

I didn’t bother to explain that the end of quarter, end of year tasks are in ADDITION to regular tasks-updates, artwork, order fulfillment, editing, etc. and that we were really busy. After doing a quick scan-not a careful in depth look-but a quick glance at her other books, I told the webpage person to go ahead and take the other listings down since they would be expiring soon and it was clear to me she didn’t want to renew any contracts.

I explained to Ms. Ashe that all rights would be reverted to her whenever we had time to contact distributors about removing the other listings and had allowed them time to get around to taking care of it. We don’t update our distributor’s webpage or the bookstores that carry the books. And, like us, they are small companies with limited staff and it often takes them a while to get around to everything.

The short version is, Ms. Ashe’s assertion that we are ‘holding’ her rights and not offering her books for sale or paying her is a LIE-she was paid by Paypal, per her request. Her books, with the exception of the print version of Sorcerer’s Mark, are no longer for sale on the NCP site, because I had them removed PREPARATORY to remanding her rights back to her.

They are still for sale through our distributors and, once the books are removed from those sites, all rights will be reverted to her. I did explain this to her, so it’s not a misunderstanding on her part. It is an outright LIE and the only explanation that comes to mind is that she is OUTRAGED that I had the books removed and told her that I would return her rights before she had the opportunity to DEMAND them back.

Anybody fancy a game of monopoly?

Having said that, I will also add that we do not hold author rights hostage. This comment is ALSO a LIE. We DO expect authors to honor the contracts they have made with us. Ellen Ashe’s rights are in process of being remanded to her because she has reached the end of her contractual obligation to this company-within months-and also because none of her books
have performed well enough in sales to warrant any efforts to coax her into continuing with us.

The other authors who had demanded their rights back, but have not in any way honored their contractual obligations were refused on the grounds that we have contracted in good faith and expect to MAKE MONEY with the book before we release it. No one held a gun to their head to sign. They were offered the contract and they took it, and we now expect them to honor their obligations.

One wonders if she feels as strongly about authors getting paid?

Oh this is interesting:

Editing-the focus of editing in this company has shifted with the times. We spent years trying to help new authors perfect their writing skills by paying editors to tweak the books. Some authors actually appreciated this. The vast majority did not or they just didn’t have enough understanding to comply with suggestions. Beyond that, the salability of the books is so unpredictable, I felt uncomfortable requesting authors to put a lot of time into making changes that might not pay off in the end.

Either way, the flightiness of authors also encouraged us to stop wasting time and money on trying to tweak the books to increase their marketability. We rarely do anything to the books beyond corrections of errors any longer. This considerably streamlines the edit-to-release time frame and allows us to adhere to the schedule more closely without having to continually reschedule books.

Hey she just called her authors illiterate fucktards. You gotta love that. Erm, was I the only person who read it that way? *g*

Communication with authors-I hired an author liaison to handle the constant requests for information because no one else on the staff has the time to stop and look these things up or to keep up with the emails from authors. I directed the author liaison to give authors several weeks notice about their releases by notifying them the month before release that the book was ‘tentatively’ scheduled for release or, if asked, he could give the author an approximate release date, meaning season or month-not the day and hour of release.

The reason this policy was changed from before when we posted the schedule is because authors didn’t seem to understand ‘tentative’. We had authors making demands to know why the book didn’t go up on schedule when they hadn’t even returned their edits.

I love her professionalism, I really do. Think she’s pissed?

On that note-NCP is primarily, almost exclusively, an internet company. This means the company is heavily reliant on the internet, service providers, and electronic equipment to do business. This means whenever servers go down, EMAIL DOES NOT GET ANSWERED. I should also add that, although being an internet company means that the website is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks out of the year, we do not WORK every hour of every day. The author liaison is not a machine. He has days off, works only 30 to 40 hours a
week, and is occasionally out sick.

The author liaison may not be a machine, but he’s most definitely an unprofessional idiot who couldn’t do his job if it came with instructions and diagrams.

Preferential treatment–the objective of this company is to sell as many copies of every book we contract on as possible. Like any other company, however, we have some authors whose books sell better than others, and we do whatever we can to highlight these authors to potential buyers. Part of this is because we want to make money. Part of this is because the ‘stars’ bring the customers to the site and increase the sales possibilities of the unknown authors. This is called marketing–every publisher uses it.

If we have a release week which does not include one of the ‘stars’, then the rush to buy is smaller and the sales lower across the board. If we have a ‘star’ releasing a book, all of their fans charge over to the site, flooding us with orders for their ‘favorite’ author and they generally look over the other offerings while they’re at the site and buy some of those, too.

Hey, wake up there, it’ll be over soon!

There have been a LOT of comments about Kaitlyn O’Connor, so I’m going to use her as an example although we have many other authors who are also popular and have a similar effect on sales. On a typical release week, which features all new authors or mostly new authors and one or two who are just beginning to build a fan base, shopping cart sales take up five to eight hundred pages per day. When we release a new Kaitlyn O’Connor book, the invoices generated are in the neighborhood of 1200 to 1500 pages per day.

The other authors whose books are released at the same time have that many more chances at sales and it usually, not always, results in higher sales for all of the authors who had a book released. In general, once we have a release featuring one of her books, ALL of the books that are still on the front page, generate more sales because they have more people looking at them. This is the objective in ‘favoring’ certain authors, using them to help us bring more customers to the site to increase the sales possibilities of ALL the authors.

Erm, whos’ Kaitlyn O’Connor again?

As for the ‘great secrecy’ behind Kaitlyn O’Connor–I don’t allow any of the staff to announce publicly who any of the authors are who write for us under pseudonyms. Confusion does, unfortunately, occur occasionally as to what name a new author plans to publish under- particularly when they change their mind several times or don’t tell us until they see their cover–
but we correct these errors as quickly as possible.

Since I don’t go out of my way to announce the legal names of ANY of our authors, I can’t fathom why not announcing Kaitlyn O’Connor’s identity constitutes a ‘deep, dark secret’ when not announcing everyone’s else’s legal identity is expected and accidentally giving this information out has authors screaming that they’ve been exposed.

Oh, I get it, she’s one of their authors who nobody knows anything about, yes?

I realize I could explain marketing until I’m blue in the face and a good number of the authors STILL will not understand. They will STILL be complaining that some people are treated better than others. The plain fact is that if these people actually understood marketing they would be the ones receiving preferential treatment and getting all the sales.

I’d love to see all of our authors doing this, but like so many of our established authors who’ve tried to help newbies, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a waste of my time and I don’t have a lot to
spare.

I wonder what else she has to do that’s more important than reassuring her authors that things are ok at NCP?

I do want assure those authors who appreciate the money they make with NCP and NEED the money they make with NCP that, regardless of all the vindictive hopes of the ‘slighted’ NCP is not on shaky ground. Sales are very strong.

We will be working on cleaning up the page and removing some of the backlist books over the coming year. I want to assure everyone that this is neither a punishment nor a reward–so those trying to get out of their obligations should not see this as ‘preferential’ treatment, and
those who were happy to leave the books for the sales–this isn’t intended to punish you for slights real or imagined. We just need to remove some of the deadweight and make room for newer books. A lot of these books have seen years of exposure and they are really outdated–either in content or the author is just much more experienced now and writes more professionally–or writes something else.

I’m in no rush to remove books that continue to sell well, but if the contract has expired and the author wants the book removed, notify the author liaison and we will add it to the list of books coming down.

I now have 20 minutes to get out of his hotel, I hope she’s going to wrap this up quickly.

Do NOT expect all of this to happen at once. You’ll be disappointed and probably outraged. The house keeping will be performed in an orderly manner, and I do want to emphasis, again, that remainders of print books will continue to be up for sale until the books are disposed of even if the ebook is no longer available and the author has moved on to greener pastures.

We will be absolutely delighted with any of our authors who decide to buy the remainder to sell themselves and, although we will charge shipping, the author of the book can buy her remainders at the author discount of fifty percent–even though the contract actually limits the
author to twenty five copies and we generally only offer fifty copies at the full discount.

For marketing purposes, I will be posting cumulative sales at some point on the author loop. The main objective of this is to try to demonstrate marketability–by looking at the books that have sold consistently well over a period of years, and STILL sell well, authors can study and learn the
elements that make a book highly marketable if so inclined. Another objective is to inform our authors of the potential for sales to help them make more informed decisions on what projects they should, and should not, take on.

Good god, this woman can talk, no?

This is a letter to our authors and is NOT for republication elsewhere, so those of you who decide to do so should know that, unless permission is given, and it isn’t, copying any part of this to another site is violation of privacy and copyright laws.

Madris

Erm… oops again?

Right, there you have it, in black and white. Any of you NCP authors feel better now? *g*

I realise that the quotes need neatening up, for easier reading, but I simply don’t have time right now. I shall edit properly once I get home tonight. I wont be leaving London till about 4pm tonight, so it wont be till much later.

Have a nice day now!

97 Comments »

  • Hey, someone else sent me that same email.

    At any rate, even if everything she says is true, I still find it amazing that she doesn’t seem to get how poorly that email reflected on her company. Blaming the authors and readers while admitting at the same time that they don’t edit their books apart from correcting “errors”? Does she also realize that she had just admitted that the company is indeed guilty of everything that it was accused of doing (terrible communication, preferential treatment, terrible editing)?

    She seems more intent on justifying the actions of the company. Which means she doesn’t understand at all why people are complaining.

    Shades of Triskelion and Mardi Gras, no, in blaming everyone else for everything that went wrong with their company?

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  • I’ve been lurking on this one (partly because I have friends who write for NCP and pretty much heard all of this about a month before it broke on the blogs.) But this letter has me totally gobsmacked. I have to ‘ditto’ everything Mrs. G said. It’s beyond comprehension that a publisher (and author liaison) would communicate these statements/ideals to their authors.

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  • Nora Roberts
    March 18
    11:40 am

    They don’t edit because it takes too much time, and authors don’t appreciate it anyway? They. Don’t. Edit.???
    (Besides, they apparently buy authors who can’t understand how to revise, according to the post, so why bother.)

    Authors are so demanding and always wanting information, and the staff just doesn’t have time to deal with that?

    They don’t have time to keep everything updated, etc, because they’re too busy?

    Authors they contract don’t understand the word ‘tentative’? And ‘these people’ don’t understand marketing?

    I take away from this the publisher wants to make money–understandable, all publishers do. But they’re too busy to edit, too busy to communicate, and they believe many of the author they contract are too stupid to get it anyway.

    I take away from this that the publisher who wrote the post has little to no respect for the writers contracted with her.

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  • Nora Roberts
    March 18
    12:03 pm

    ~Beyond that, the salability of the books is
    so
    unpredictable, I felt uncomfortable requesting authors to put a lot
    of time
    into making changes that might not pay off in the end.~

    See, this comes off that readers don’t actually care about well-edited books (or apparently any editing at all), so why bother. Authors are too dumb to understand revisions, and readers are too unpredictable to warrant ‘tweaking’ the book.

    Then she pulls out ‘the flightiness of authors’ (Jesus!) also determined their decision to just, well, cross that pesky editing chore off the to-do list.

    You have to wonder–or I do–what the editors do, when it’s not tax season and they’re all busy with tax stuff and quarterly reports. (‘Cause I dunno, call me crazy, but I think an editor should edit.

    If the liaison did indeed *retire*, she should hire him back, asap. He only insulted writers about half as much as she has, and didn’t make it quite so clear that making money wasn’t just the bottom line, but pretty much the only line.

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  • No time to read that post, but boy…Karen, the FBI has nothing on you, lady. You always get really good dirt.

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  • Another anonymous
    March 18
    12:07 pm

    “We rarely do anything to the books beyond corrections of errors any longer. This considerably streamlines the edit-to-release time frame…”

    Yes, doing absolutely nothing to a book besides producing a cover will certainly “streamline” the time frame. It also makes you wonder exactly what the “editors” are there for. Writing books, perhaps.

    “Either way,the flightiness of authors also encouraged us to stop wasting time and
    money on trying to tweak the books to increase their marketability.”

    This is so insulting I hardly know what to say about it. If nothing else about this mess has discouraged new authors from submitting to NCP, I hope the total lack of respect for authors evident in this line will. An author should never have to work with an editor who holds her authors in such blatant contempt.

    “This is the objective in ‘favoring’ certain authors,using them to help us bring more customers to the site to increase the
    sales possibilities of ALL the authors.”

    So favoring Madris’ books is good for all of NCP’s writers! That makes perfect sense!!! I’m guessing that the purpose of featuring her books on two of RT’s covers was also completely selfless, and meant only to increase sales for NCP’s other authors as well. No, there’s no hint of self-interest here!

    “The plain fact is that if these people actually understood marketing they would
    be the ones receiving preferential treatment and getting all the sales.”

    This line kills me. Really. As I have said before, several times, I recall that Kaitlyn O’Connor appeared at the top of NCP’s internal bestseller list (which was promptly taken down, the same day I pointed this out) with her very first book. So did several of the other apparent pseudonyms of the authors. None of them did any particular “marketing” that I can recall, with the exception of Jaide Fox, who did at least have a webpage and some degree of presence on the NCP loop for a while. (Later they were featured in big splashy RT ads, but that happened after their first books, as I recall.)

    If NCP’s owners can all rocket to the top of the NCP bestseller list without ANY marketing whatsoever, why are NCP’s other authors being dissed for their failure to understand marketing? Many of NCP’s authors buy ads, have nice websites, and promote themselves on Yahoogroups and the like– and yet they’re ostensibly being outsold by “popular” authors who never did a thing to promote themselves in the beginning, and yet who became NCP’s stars.

    I’ve said it before– NCP is the only publishing house I’ve heard of where an author can become a bestseller without a decent website or any effort to promote. This approach to “marketing” somehow works well for the owners. The rest of NCP’s authors work hard to create websites and Yahoogroups and MySpace pages and so forth– and then they’re criticized by NCP’s management for not understanding marketing!

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  • Ellen Ashe
    March 18
    12:34 pm

    And of course we LIE. Don’t forget about the LIES!! Especially me- my nose is ten feet long right now…well, those of you who know the mouth on this woman (and actually she was quite restrained in this letter- must have popped a blood vessel)and those of you who have treated the same as I have by this woman, will understand if I don’t try to defend myself- I really don’t need to. Give them a bit more rope…NCP words speak for themselves.

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  • I don’t see how any author or reader who buys their books CAN’T feel insulted by that letter. No time to edit because the authors don’t appreciate it, nor understand it?? OMG… I’d like to find even one author in any house who doesn’t understand the PURPOSE of editing, and how they (NCP) can simply blow that off.

    Marketing is a learned and acquired skill but to say that the authors are too dimwitted to master it?

    I’m so sorry Ellen. This saddens me to no end.

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  • Okay, I admit I didn’t read the whole thing. I stopped right about here: “the
    flightiness of authors”
    What the fuck?

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  • Ellen Ashe
    March 18
    1:43 pm

    There are “flighty authors” there are the “bad apples”, there is a “shit-list”, and then there’s me- the SCREAMING LIAR. whoo-oo! Gotta get the t-shirt now.

    Gee…I must have missed her cummunication(s) as to why my contracted books were dropped- why a reader had to inform me there was no link to buy. I missed too the reasons as to why the one epxired contract is STILL being sold all over the internet. But… uh-huh… dah…wha do I know…. Besides, we all know NCP is a company that communicates well with their authors and always treats them with upmost respect and integrity… so I must have made all of this up in that worthless imagination of mine. Somebody spank me! I am a screaming liar… bad girl… BAD BAD

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  • Wow.

    That was…

    Interesting.

    This snippet intrigues me:

    When we release a new Kaitlyn O’Connor
    book, the invoices generated are in the neighborhood of 1200 to 1500 pages per day.

    Being a “flighty author type” I may be reading this totally wrong but does she mean that Kaitlyn O’Connor (whom I have never heard of)generates 1200 to 1500 sales per day for each of her new releases?

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  • Another anonymous
    March 18
    2:14 pm

    “Being a “flighty author type” I may be reading this totally wrong but does she mean that Kaitlyn O’Connor (whom I have never heard of)generates 1200 to 1500 sales per day for each of her new releases?”

    You’ve never heard of Kaitlyn O’Connor? But she’s been featured on two separate covers of RT! Which I’m sure has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that she’s the owner of the company.

    However, Kaitlyn O’Connor was a big seller for NCP right from the beginning. I recall seeing her first books “The Lion’s Woman” and “The Calling” on the Sizzling Sellers list, even though the only promo she seems to have done was this lovely and amazingly professional site:

    http://www.geocities.com/kaitlynoconnor2000/

    O’Connor has no interviews anywhere to be found on the ‘net, and a cheap (and now terribly outdated) site. Wow, the woman is a marketing genius! Makes all the NCP authors who do interviews, chats, nice websites, Yahoogroups, MySpace pages, and so forth look like lazy slobs, doesn’t she?

    Quoting Madris again:

    “The plain fact is that if these people actually understood marketing they would
    be the ones receiving preferential treatment and getting all the sales.”

    So it would appear the sure way to be an NCP bestseller is to get a cheap Geocities website and never update it, and never do interviews or any other promo. Good to know, for those authors who’ve been struggling so hard to market themselves in so many other ways.

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  • kerry
    March 18
    2:44 pm

    As a reader (and a writer, but only of technical boring documents), I’m completely offended by the assertion that editing isn’t important! Ack!

    I’ve never bought a New Concepts book, and now I never will. Cross one potential customer off your list, lady. And there are probably more lurkers with cash to spend on ebooks who will now spend it elsewhere.

    These people make my brain hurt!

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  • Shall I get out my fiddle and do my Nero imitation now?

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  • I hear vanity presses don’t do any editing either unless you pay extra for it. But since NCP authors aren’t asked to cough up any costs of production (or they would hopefully be telling us about that, too *heh*), I think the industry term for this type of publisher is an “author mill”. It’s too bad one of the old guard epublisher warhorses no longer respects its authors and customers enough to produce a quality product or decent customer service.

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  • Flighty Anon Person
    March 18
    3:00 pm

    Wow, no contractual obligation to sell the author’s book, no edits, no publisher marketing. They provide a book cover and a website. No kidding RWA has trouble distinguishing small publishers from self published.

    On the other hand, NCP has just given every new author lovely list of what to look for in a contract.

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  • Ellen Ashe
    March 18
    3:05 pm

    Have they inserted the word EXCLUSIVE in regards to rights? Or has that team of New York lawyers no time to fine-tooth the wording?
    Seems to me the only exclusive right they cling to is the one about screwing authors over.

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  • Jackie L.
    March 18
    3:10 pm

    I’ll play Monopoly with you, but only if I get to be the shoe.

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  • Dark Eden Press
    March 18
    3:23 pm

    Ok so let me see if I have this right.

    As the owner of a publishing company, I can first quit paying my editors to edit, and quit paying my editor in chief to look over each of those edits to make them as perfect as they can be because my authors arent worth it and the readers dont give a crap? Man this is going to save me a ton of money.

    Second, I can publish myself, or my friends, or my family members under a pen name and make it so that I, or one of them, is always a top seller? Man this is going to MAKE me a ton of money.

    Finally, I can quit doing the marketing DEP does, and I can quit encouraging and showing the authors I have what they need to be doing to get their name out there and boost their sales? Man that is going to save me a ton of time, time I might actually have to do something else besides run a company.

    What I think is Madris is full of shit. She writes and promotes herself above everyone else in her company, doesnt want to spend the time or money to do the edits the books need, and I have read several of their book and honey, they need the editing, she thinks her authors are dip shits, and the readers aint much smarter. Then she wants to make excuses on why she does this and blame it on everyone else but herself.

    At least Madris, be honest when you are going to fuck your authors and readers over please. Your yet another publisher in what seems to be a long list lately, that gives the rest of us a bad name.

    Debra
    Dark Eden Press

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  • This just stuns me, all of it. I’ve worked with this company on one occasional only as an author and while it wasn’t the worst experience I’ve ever had, they’re second only to one other batch of self-serving idiots I’ve known. The whole ranting tone is enough to scare any sensible person off, buying or submitting. Calling Ellen Ashe a liar really makes them look rational and professinal, too, doesn’t it? I think I need something for my headache now…

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  • We spent years trying to help new authors perfect their writing skills by paying editors to tweak the books. Some authors actually appreciated this. The vast majority did not or they just didn’t have enough
    understanding to comply with suggestions.

    The publisher is saying the authors were too shtoopid to work with an editor??

    Beyond that, the salability of the books is so unpredictable, I felt uncomfortable requesting authors to put a lot of time into making changes that might not pay off in the end. Either way, the flightiness of authors also encouraged us to stop wasting time and money on trying to tweak the books to increase their marketability.

    The publisher is calling authors “flighty”??

    We rarely do anything to the books beyond corrections of errors any longer.

    Not only would I run for the hills as an author, but as a reader I’d wonder what I’m paying for. And this is being justified?

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  • Anonymous 3.0
    March 18
    4:12 pm

    An obscenity-laden post trashing a rival publisher in an attempt to look like the bomb-diggity isn’t really all that professional, either. FYI.

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  • Anon 3.0, thank you.
    My reaction also.

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  • An obscenity-laden post trashing a rival publisher in an attempt to look like the bomb-diggity isn’t really all that professional, either. FYI.

    Can I have those words back because you took them right out of my mouth?

    I’d said this time and time again, sometimes silence is the best answer. There are going to be times where pubs and authors get into it. I know one pub (who shall remain nameless) who boots authors over personal issues and why this may be unprofessional at least that pub keeps their mouth shut and doesn’t write epic emails like this one that only make the situation(s) worse. What I’m really hoping is that the publisher did NOT write this email and that an imposter (hopped up on stupid pills) did.

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  • …the salability of the books is so unpredictable, I felt uncomfortable requesting authors to put a lot of time into making changes that might not pay off in the end.

    Anyone else notice that she seems to be admitting to contracting books without having any idea whether they’ll sell or not? Um, yeah, THAT’S a good business model. Sure explains why they’ve given up on the “expense” of editing.

    Unbelievable. Really, just unbelievable…

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  • Flighty Anon Person
    March 18
    5:01 pm

    Wow! Just wow. Is there going to be a mud wrestling match too?

    Sooo hope that was an imposter showing the posterior, coz someone just got mooned.

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  • I’ve stated before I don’t like the lifting of posts from loops; however, a publisher who rants about authors being liars, flighty, unappreciative, ect. is going to have to expect that somewhere down the line someone is going to broach etiquette. I didn’t “spill the beans”, but I understand how seeing such harsh words directed at discontented authors can be viewed as justifying on NCP’s part.

    As to the editing thing: my experience was that I was sent edits from an editor. Taking this person’s suggestions along with what errors I caught with my own eyes, I returned the manuscript pointing out these things that needed revising. I was not contacted again until the book was released. Having had to request a copy, I read the e-book and noticed that several of my revision suggestions along with those of the editor appeared ignored.

    Writers need good editors. Readers expect good editing. Publisher reputation can be built or dismantled on editing quality. The nonchalant note coming out from NCP in regard to editing practices impresses me as not good business.

    The thing about flighty authors I can only interpret as a charge on NCP’s part that the only words of discontent are being leveled by authors who make it a habit to bounce from one e-book pub to another. If I am correct in this interpretation, then NCP is disregarding the fact that some of us are contracted with other publishers who have held on to our loyalty because of their professional merit.

    About the author who allegedly gleans around 1200 to 1500 pages per day? As I’ve not seen her name outside of the NCP dominion, it is difficult for me to make a sound guess if she really is a bestseller or not.

    On the James Lightsey matter; I don’t need to hear scolding excuses on how a liaison is not a machine. The man proved his capacity for rudeness to me and that’s all I personally need to know in order to make my own judgment on the matter. I would suggest that a publisher who cannot rein in a loose-cannon-type liaison owes their authors a sincere apology.

    And as to Ellen: Girl, I’d love to hear that “screaming letter”… did you manage this with magic, hypnosis or a tape recording attached to your correspondence? ;) Personally, I don’t believe you are either a liar, bad apple or flighty. Your experiences with NCP are different than mine; but I see your exasperation.

    -Anya (Desiree)

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  • A Concerned Author
    March 18
    5:12 pm

    “Bomb-diggity”???? *giggle-snicker*

    Ah, here we go…the defenders have arrived! Let the attempted throw-down and bloodletting commence.

    How long will it take before somebody pipes up with the “that letter was private, we KNEW this would happen, we didn’t want it to get out because we knew our authors were too shit-stoopid to understand it” line?

    For the record, I’m not affiliated with anybody named here — I’m an author with a traditional print-only publisher. But I must say, I disagree with the “anonymous” comment that Dark Eden Press is a “rival” publisher. You can’t compare the two. Dark Eden Press is waaaay out of your league.

    That’s all I have to say. Have at it!

    *sits back with popcorn to watch the show*

    ReplyReply

  • And as to Ellen: Girl, I’d love to hear that “screaming letter”… did you manage this with magic, hypnosis or a tape recording attached to your correspondence?

    She totally sent a bunch of Howlers. I wonder if the NCP lady let them get to exploding status, hence why she’s so upset about them?

    ReplyReply


  • Ellen Ashe
    March 18
    5:20 pm

    Here’s one of the screaming letters I wrote:

    Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2008 10:55 AM
    Subject: Rights for all books

    What I am requesting now is for you to tell me clearly in an email that I have the right to take my manuscripts~

    MIDNIGHT TRYST
    A MISTRESS FOR MARCOS
    THE MOUNTAIN MAN
    LADY OUTLAWS
    LOVE NOT FORGOTTEN
    to another publisher. Seeing these books have been dropped from the NCP site I want the rights for all of them returned to me.
    Thank you.

    ReplyReply

  • [...] Aside- I did in fact send that snorefest email to Karen so you can read the entire thing here: http://karenknowsbest.com/?p=1050 [...]


  • Damn, there goes my Howler theory. That’s a perfectly nice, normal, non-foaming at the mouth letter.

    ReplyReply

  • Concerned, you are misled.
    My comment was in no way a defense of NCP.

    ReplyReply

  • Money is nice, but I’m afraid no amount of money is worth being a part of a company who insults their authors and readers.

    New authors take heed. Do your research and please, please, please learn how to read contracts. Protect yourself the best you can so you don’t find yourself with a publisher you later regret.

    ReplyReply


  • Anonymous 3.0
    March 18
    5:26 pm

    Concerned Author, with those reading skills, you must be a part of NCP’s target demographic.

    Nobody defended NCP’s business practices or mad communication skills, just pointed out that DEP didn’t do themselves any favors in the area of professionalism with that post. And I’ve never even heard of them, other than hearing a rumor the Infamous Sockpuppet worked for them, so I have no idea who’s league they’re in or out of.

    ReplyReply


  • Perplexed
    March 18
    5:32 pm

    it’s just sad to see so much… well, unprofessionalism running amuk in the industry.

    and, again, it’s all dumped on the heads of the authors who are “too stupid” to understand when they’re being taken advantage of. And dollars to donuts when NCP disappears there’ll be a fight for the last few dollars that’ll disappear into the pockets of the leaders while stepping on the hands of the authors who deserve a lot better than this trash.

    wonder what EPIC thinks…

    ReplyReply


  • A Concerned Author
    March 18
    5:38 pm

    Well, my first snarky reply got lost in the internet ether, so rather than rewrite it, I’ll just get down to the point:

    A little word of advice for “anonymous” in the message-boarding department — your response validates what I was implying with my first post. If you didn’t want validation of your NCP Defender label, it would have been prudent to simply keep your mouth shut and move on. But it’s obvious NCP hasn’t yet honed that skill.

    Just a little advice for future reference. Carry on!

    ReplyReply

  • WOW the ebook drama never stops. Sorry Karen, I started playing monopoly, cards and took a shower by the time this post ended. Tee hee.

    ReplyReply


  • Ellen Ashe
    March 18
    6:00 pm

    Let’s play a game…
    It’s called “spot the NCP authors who never need to promote”:
    Start with these~
    Desiree Acuna, Kimberly Zant, Megan Ziese, Raven Willow-Wood, Angelique Anjou, Madelaine Montague, Jaide Fox, Kaityln O’Connor, Marie Morin, Julia Keaton, Morgana de Winter, and Celeste Anwar.

    Count the number of times they can be found HERE!!!

    Sizzling Sellers from July ’04:

    1. When Night Falls by Kaitlyn O’Connor
    2. The Forest Whispers by Lyssa Hart
    3. Belly of the Beast by Desiree Acuna
    4. Abiogenesis by Kaitlyn O’Connor
    5. Carnal Thirst by Celeste Anwar

    Sizzling Sellers from June ’04:
    1. Carnal Thirst by Celeste Anwar
    2. Abiogenesis by Kaitlyn O’Connor
    3. Seduction by Kimberly Zant
    4. The Quirin Stone by Marie Morin
    5. Endless Night by Andrea Dionne

    Sizzling Sellers from May ’04:
    1. Abiogenesis by Kaitlyn O’Connor
    2. The Quirin Stone by Marie Morin
    3. Tears of the Dragon by Angelique Anjou
    4. Monday’s Child by Georgeanne Hayes
    5. The Barbarian Prince by Michelle M. Pillow

    Sizzling Sellers from April ’04:
    1. Tears of the Dragon by Angelique Anjou
    2. The Invitation by Kimberly Zant
    3. The Fairy Ring by Catherine Paige
    4. Intergalactic Pain in the Ass by Jaide Fox
    5. Intergalactic Bad Boys by Jaide Fox

    Sizzling Sellers from March ’04:
    1. Intergalactic Pain in the Ass by Jaide Fox
    2. Maiden of Atlantis by Marie Morin
    3. The Invitation by Kimberly Zant
    4. The Fairy Ring by Catherine Paige
    5. Intergalactic Bad Boys by Jaide Fox

    Sizzling Sellers from February ’04:
    1. Maiden of Atlantis by Marie Morin
    2. Beguiled by Julia Keaton
    3. Goldilocks by Kimberly Zant
    4. Red as Blood by Morgana de Winter
    5. The Shaman by Kimberly Zant

    Sizzling Sellers from January ’04:
    1. The Color of Twilight by Celeste Anwar
    2. Red as Blood by Morgana de Winter
    3. Guardian of the Storm by Kaitlyn O’Connor
    4. The Dragon King by Jaide Fox
    5. The Shaman by Kimberly Zant

    This list was deleted 2 days ago from NCP site after how many years?

    ReplyReply

  • Oops-a-daisy! Once again a yahoo intracompany super-secret email provides hours of omigod entertainment.

    I can’t get past “We don’t edit books.”

    Let us know when the sequel shows up, okay? I want to see if they’ll manage to shovel all that back into the box. If they can manage that with grace then maybe I’d someday consider buying a book from them after all.

    ReplyReply


  • Anonymous 3.0
    March 18
    6:05 pm

    “You can’t compare the two. Dark Eden Press is waaaay out of your league.”

    And..

    “If you didn’t want validation of your NCP Defender label, it would have been prudent to simply keep your mouth shut and move on. But it’s obvious NCP hasn’t yet honed that skill.”

    Interesting comments from a person claiming not to be affiliated with DEP. But no, I’ve never even bought an NCP book, never mind contracted with them. Thanks for playing, though.

    ReplyReply


  • Dorothy Mantooth
    March 18
    6:10 pm

    Sheesh. What a thing to send out. I’m always amazed when I see publishers who obviously KNOW their loop email are being spread around, using that as an incentive to basically DARE people to keep doing it. Shouldn’t that knowledge make you behave more, and not less, professionally?

    And more crap from DEP? After the flap on Romance Divas I’d heard they cleaned up their act. Apparently NOT.

    ReplyReply

  • The sad part: NCP has had a great reputation** and that really is a sad part.

    ______________________________
    **well, of course I can’t find any reference to the fact that NCP is fair to authors and is careful in its editing, but I’m sure I read that somewhere. Really. Someplace like Preditors and Editors (but not p&e because I looked). Bah.

    ReplyReply

  • So how come we can wade in and carry on about omigodjeeez that’s bad! but another publisher can’t join in? Is this along the lines of book snarking–as in readers can snark but writers can’t do any serious return snarkage because it makes them appear unprofessional?

    It’s one of those truths that seem to exist without any formal discussion but is commonly agreed upon. I wonder if the basic rules are written down anywhere.

    No, not snarking, just pondering who should write that Rules of Online Behavior list. (Definitely not an author, reader or publisher.)

    ReplyReply


  • Nora Roberts
    March 18
    7:05 pm

    ~always amazed when I see publishers who obviously KNOW their loop email are being spread around, using that as an incentive to basically DARE people to keep doing it.~

    I often think this exact thing. Hello, you can say don’t, you can’t say it’s not supposed to be done. But you know it IS done, and will be done. So WHY in God’s name do you write such insulting, slaptastical, designed to piss off pretty much everyone else posts to a group of people KNOWING some of those people are really fed up with you already?

    Still can’t over we can’t be bothered to edit, the majority of authors don’t understand it and readers basically don’t care enough to justify taking the time to edit.

    And, Ellen, I should’ve said before–sympathies to you once more.

    ReplyReply

  • What floors me is that she sent this to her authors. Regardless of her opinion of individual authors, she blankets them all with the brush of stupidity, thickheaded and liars.
    Apparently, she’s forgotten that authors create books. Books sell and make money. Without authors and books, there is no epublishing company. Of course, you can write all the books yourself, but I don’t think that will keep the company afloat.
    I sympathize with the authors that found this in their inbox.

    ReplyReply


  • Barbara B.
    March 18
    7:39 pm

    Instead of composing this epic, incendiary letter, she could have used the time more wisely. Perhaps even edited a book or two.

    ReplyReply

  • I’ve never been much of a fan of self-help books, but this post reminded me of a once-popular book titled “The Road Less Traveled.” It was written by a psychiatrist named M. Scott Peck. There was a passage in that book I’ve never forgotten.

    Dr. Peck described most of the patients he saw in his practice as falling into one of two camps: they either suffered from a neurosis or from a character disorder. He described both conditions as disorders of responsibility. To put it simply, neurotic people think everything is their fault and character-disordered people believe nothing is their fault.

    Obviously, treating the neurotic patient is much easier than treating the character-disordered. The neurotic patient already believes he’s the cause of his own problems while the character-disordered patient blames her problems on everyone else.

    That letter is almost diagnostic.

    ReplyReply

  • Frankly *all* of us should be careful when we’re discussing this issue and others of this nature. If I ranted here with horrible grammar and curse words right and left, it would reflect on me personally. But as a person representing a competitor, another publisher – perception is part of their job.

    Posting here in a comment filled with poor syntax and grammar as well as personal, profanity laced attack language reflects poorly on Dark Eden and Debra. Just as it reflected poorly on NCP when James whatshisface said he took glee in the downfall of Triskelion. Just as it reflected poorly when Paula Guran went off on Nocturne in her blog and then here later.

    As a *representative* of a business, it’s your job to represent them effectively. Standing up to dress someone down for unprofessional behavior with, well, unprofessional behavior makes no real positive point.

    There are no lists – just common sense and dignity.

    Also, for god’s sake, when will people learn that in the middle of something like this simply printing, “this is private, don’t share it” at the bottom of a post sent to a massive author loop will only be an invitation to post it widely? At this time, it seems counterproductive for NCP to be adding to their own mess.

    ReplyReply

  • kate r wondered,

    So how come we can wade in and carry on about omigodjeeez that’s bad! but another publisher can’t join in? Is this along the lines of book snarking–as in readers can snark but writers can’t do any serious return snarkage because it makes them appear unprofessional?

    and Lauren Dane wisely answered,

    If I ranted here with horrible grammar and curse words right and left, it would reflect on me personally.

    Standing up to dress someone down for unprofessional behavior with, well, unprofessional behavior makes no real positive point.

    There are no lists – just common sense and dignity.

    I’m positive authors (and more than one reader) are getting fed up with me repeating this, but regardless–it still holds. Authors are trying to sell something to readers, not the other way around. Hence, different standards of behaviour for each group.

    Fair? Hell, no. Then again, life ain’t fair.

    Common sense? Hmmm… lemme think…

    ReplyReply

  • We will be working on cleaning up the page and removing some of the backlist books over the coming year. I want to assure everyone that this is neither a punishment nor a reward–so those trying to get out of their obligations should not see this as ‘preferential’ treatment, and those who were happy to leave the books for the sales–this isn’t intended to punish you for slights real or imagined. We just need to remove some of the dead weight and make room for newer books.

    Dead weight? Unbelievable. Yeah, that’s the kind of publisher I want buying my stories. Someone who will call them dead weight at their discretion. Nice.

    ReplyReply

  • Meta tangents continue and they are fun.

    azteclady, yeah, I get that it’s true, the part that I think is interesting (and I’m NOT defensive, just interested) is that everyone seems to feel it, not just know it and it’s not explained anywhere, just. . .just KNOWN.

    Therefore this qualifies a knee-jerk response–and despite the usually negative connotations of the phrase, I don’t think knee jerk responses aren’t necessarily the wrong responses. Hey, when the doctor hits you with the little hammer, it’s not WRONG to kick out. But I’m always interested in them because they operate at such a basic emotional level.

    I love that kind of stuff. Not very good at expressing it without sounding snarky or judgmental, but I’m not feeling either.

    ReplyReply


  • Ellen Ashe
    March 18
    8:38 pm

    “those trying to get out of their obligations”……????
    Guess that’s a one-way street. Authors are obligated; NCP is not.

    ReplyReply

  • and what you label as common sense, is this whole complex system taught from baby-hood.

    That’s kind of cool to think of such a huge bunch of nearly universal (for a particular culture anyway) signals and basic hierarchies–and there really are hundreds maybe thousands–that people can hold in common and then use throughout life for new situations00like a publisher weighing in on the issue–but we couldn’t really explain beyond “it makes sense” or “it’s obvious.”

    ReplyReply

  • kate r, after I posted the comment I thought some more about it, and you are right.

    Some of us hold certain things to be true and self evident, but then someone else comes along and asks, why? And we are left there scratching our heads.

    Mind, I still think that for writers/authors image is extremely important, but that is because I am aware of how I react to it.

    I know that when an author implies that I’m an idiot because I didn’t like her book (example here, hope no one starts getting paranoid), it’s highly unlikely (read: no way in hell) that I’m going to spend what little book budget money I have in buying another one.

    Or if someone keeps telling me that I’m not her audience because we disagree on something *coughnotnamingnamescough* it’s likely I’ll remember and make sure to fulfill that prophecy for her.

    Conversely, I know that when I’m impressed with someone’s behaviour online, I’m more likely to seek out their work *waving to Shiloh* (and she’s not the only one, by the way)

    Does this make sense?

    ReplyReply

  • Oh and btw, I do agree. I think Lauren Dane should teach “Professionalism 101 for Publisher and Writers”

    Now I will retreat to a quiet corner of my cage and babble to the bananas.

    ReplyReply

  • No I lied: one last note.

    If Lauren holds the class, I’ll pay Madris’s fee (and I’ll even swap class notes with her).

    ReplyReply


  • Nora Roberts
    March 18
    9:14 pm

    It seems fairly straight-forward to me.

    Reading is not a profession (in this context), so a reader may elect to say whatever she wants. She may be deemed a fuckhead, she may be blasted by others. She may incur resentment. But she risks only that.

    An author or other publishing professional IS (obviously) in a profession. I strongly believe authors and others in the business can and should be able to express their opinion. Even an unpopular opinion. But when one chooses to do so by insulting others, with rudeness, with name-calling or blasting out on line, one risks damage. And deservedly so.

    ReplyReply

  • Kudos, Nora. I couldn’t have said it better. It’s not the saying that should be curtailed, it’s the way of saying it that should be examined before it goes live.

    ReplyReply


  • Anon 4.0
    March 18
    9:34 pm

    Amen, Anon 3.0.

    And Debra, please do recall that saying about people in glass houses. At least NCP did, at one time, have a good reputation, which is more than DEP can say.

    ReplyReply


  • Dark Eden Press
    March 18
    9:41 pm

    I am sorry, but two curse words does not make it a obscenity-laden post. Nor was I bashing her or NCP, she did that all by herself. The one person was right, we are not even in the same league. NCP is bigger and has been open way longer than DEP has been.

    I am also sorry Lauren if my grammar and syntax were not correct, I am not a writer and my editor was not available this morning to look over my response.

    Where does it say that I as a company owner am not allowed to post a response, even one dripping in sarcasm as this one so obviously was? I am, and always have been, very aware of what I and my authors say in public. Very rarely will you even see me post anywhere. I have given numerous lectures on my author loop about this very subject.

    Nor do I think it unprofessional to say if you are going to screw your authors over at least be honest about it. I posted exactly what I thought of Madris’ post, in all it’s sarcastic, and what I thought funny, glory. Like it or dont, it really makes no difference to me.

    Debra

    ReplyReply


  • Dark Eden Press
    March 18
    9:48 pm

    Anon 4.0

    Please explain this comment as you seem to know something I do not, or seem to think you do anyway.

    We are open and honest with our authors every step of the way, they can always reach me, they are treated more than fairly, and we have some very good names among our authors. So how is it that we have a bad reputation, one that we are not even aware of? Surely there would have been a hint of it somewhere before now yes?

    Debra

    ReplyReply


  • writerdish
    March 18
    9:55 pm

    OMG! That is a whopper of an email comparing to the shorties I get…Karen I am so jealous….Friends of mine has tried to get into NCP, and these are friends that writes for some amazing epubs that publishes the best work. They promptly told her that her work was hot enough…let me translate that for you guys – it didnt read like a penthouse fake letter or in other words “sexsexsexsexsexsexsex” *Rolls eyes* They’ll get over it. With every intention of going off topic, does anyone know how to contact that author Nalili Singh?

    ReplyReply


  • Kate
    March 18
    10:16 pm

    I feel the issue with your comment representing DEP, Debra, is that it’s not “just an opinion” when you’re posting it as a publisher berating another publisher. It’s like you’re coming out and saying, “Man, that pub is SO BAD. COME SEE US! We’re amazing! PROMO! PROMO!” rather than calmly taking a step back and analyzing your choice to comment.

    To me, it’s not that you’re saying the practices of NCP are bad, it’s that you’re using their bad practices to promo yourself and your company. Nothing officially wrong with it, I guess, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I, as a reader, will remember both.

    ReplyReply


  • Alicia
    March 18
    10:43 pm

    I liked seeing Dark Eden’s response because, not being part of the publishing industry, it gave me a reference for perspective. It said that this email was off the wall, even to another publisher.

    ReplyReply

  • Phew, I read this entire thing, plus the comments, and my lord this is crazy. I’ve never had anything to do with NCP, and after reading some of the comments made above, I can honestly say, I’ll be steering clear of them in future. As an author, I’m going to try to be very clear on what worries me about the post.

    This part about they don’t edit, and the flighty authors terrifies me:

    “Editing-the focus of editing in this company has shifted with the times. We spent years trying to help new authors perfect their writing skills by paying editors to tweak the books. Some authors actually appreciated this. The vast majority did not or they just didn’t have enough understanding to comply with suggestions. Beyond that, the salability of the books is so unpredictable, I felt uncomfortable requesting authors to put a lot of time into making changes that might not pay off in the end.

    Either way, the flightiness of authors also encouraged us to stop wasting time and money on trying to tweak the books to increase their marketability. We rarely do anything to the books beyond corrections of errors any longer. This considerably streamlines the edit-to-release time frame and allows us to adhere to the schedule more closely without having to continually reschedule books.”

    Okay, now, when you get a new author, they may not understand a great deal about the editing process. It’s not something you automatically become aware of when you have a book/story accepted. The EIC/editor/publisher/liason, may have to explain what’s expected and who is reponsible for what. Yes? Make sense? Doesn’t mean anyone’s a twit or stupid, just means they’re new. When it comes to authors who ‘think they know it all’ you have a different set of problems, and I feel sorry for the editors who get stuck with that kinds of trouble.

    But, to come out and say, we’re all a bunch of morons who don’t accept or appreciate the hard work of an editor, that’s INSANE! To admit you don’t edit, that’s even more INSANE. I’ve dealt with a publisher who didn’t. And I’ll never deal with them again. The book needed an edit. I knew it, I expected it and when it didn’t happen I was heart broken.

    I could go on, but I’m going to quit before I get in over my head.

    Ellen, I’m truly sorry you’ve had to deal with this crap and hope you find a publisher who will treat you with the respect you deserve.

    Jude Mason

    ReplyReply


  • sistergoldenhair
    March 18
    11:14 pm

    Wow. Just… wow.

    This person clearly has no understanding of business, marketing or simple common courtesy.

    Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit if you are in any way associated with this business. This is not a drill.

    ReplyReply


  • Anon v5.0
    March 18
    11:14 pm

    I agree Kate. I’m not sure if DEP intends their comments that way, but it is *very* common that I see posts from them (commonly on EREC and forums) or comments from them and at every opportunity sliding in how wonderful DEP is as opposed to whoever the current pariah is. I get that they’re excited about their new company, but I find it very off-putting when they boast about themselves and have very little history to back it up with, being so new. Come talk to me about how stable and wonderful you are a year or so when there’s some track record to back all those claims up.

    ReplyReply


  • Dark Eden Press
    March 19
    12:51 am

    Kate and Anon 5.0,

    No where in my reply having to do with NCP do I try in any way to promote DEP. I stated my opinion as a publisher, basically saying yes, even for a publisher this is way off base.

    I occassionally do post on EREC site to various topics one of them puts up, but I do not post on any other forums. I can probably count on one hand the times I have posted on any subject anywhere other than EREC site. I think one of those times was posting here concerning another matter entirely. So stating that it is *very* common to see, is incorrect. Maybe it was one of the other owners or possibly an author? Or possibly in the very beginning of DEP last year?

    My post that said this is how we treat authors was in response to one of the Anon posters who said DEP has a bad reputation. A reputation that I might add no one here at DEP, or any of our authors, has heard anything about, not a hint of it anywhere. I asked for an explanation, and stated fact, which was this is how we treat our authors, this is how we do business, so how is it we can have a bad reputation. That was not promoting, just stating fact against a poster’s comment.

    For the most part I understand why most people post anonymously. But when you make a statement such as ‘DEP has a bad reputation’ with no evidence to back it up that you have shown, and you post it Anon, it makes the poster suspect. It smacks of someone being pist off, and unless you at one point in time worked for us, as an author or a staffer and was let go, why make a comment like that under Anon without any reasons behind the particular comment, why would you even have reason to?

    Either way, it doesnt really matter. I do not think my original post was unprofessional, yes I used two curse words, big deal. What should matter to all of you is how I run my business and how I treat my authors and readers. What should matter to you is how well done the books I put out are, and how we handle customer service situations. Me putting two curse words into a post shouldnt have anything to do with that. Since I have never put out some rant filled raving lunatic post anwhere, since I would assume I seem to be reasonably sane, and since there isnt any reason to suspect that my company isnt run as I said it is, or that my authors arent treated as I say they are, then how could we possibly have a bad reputation and why would you possibly have a problem with me or my company?

    But I will take all of your advice, and in the future refrain from posting my thoughts. I will however continue to post when the need arises to defend my company or my authors.

    Debra

    ReplyReply


  • Ellen Ashe
    March 19
    12:53 am

    Debra- you can post on my blog any day!!
    http://ellenashe.blogspot.com/

    ReplyReply


  • Dark Eden Press
    March 19
    12:54 am

    By the way Anon 5.0, I will come talk to you about how wonderful and stable we are in a year, which would be in three months.

    Debra

    ReplyReply


  • MB
    March 19
    12:59 am

    Apologies for the tangent here, but Debra your company does not have a good reputation with me for the simple fact that I sent you three seperate emails asking for clarifications of a portion of your submissions guidelines and never recieved a response. Not even an automated one. If you can’t respond to a simple question before I submit to you, how can I be certain that you’ll be responsive if I do submit to you or did sign with you.

    ~MB

    ReplyReply


  • Dark Eden Press
    March 19
    1:08 am

    MB,

    I apologize that you did not receive a response. If I received the emails in question, then you would have gotten a response. I can only assume that it was suspected spam, which we have a huge problem with on the blue host servers for some reason, and it was filtered into that. Please do let me know which email address you sent it to so that I can check the filters for that particular email addy.

    All of the emails I receive in each of the email addys is answered promplty, usually within a couple of hours unless it comes in overnight which it is then answered the next morning.

    My authors know this is a number one pet peever of mine so I will usually stop whatever I am doing to answer an email right then and there.

    Again MB, I apologize and if you will let me know which email and what portion of the guidelines was in question, I will check it out and possibly try to make the submission page a bit clearer in that area.

    Debra

    ReplyReply


  • MB
    March 19
    1:18 am

    Debra,

    I sent it to the questions email address (questions@darkedenpress.com) that’s at the bottom of the Submissions Guidelines page. I wanted to know a bit more about a now closed submission call, the time travel one, and about the “Just Sex” line. I sent the messages from my Hotmail email in November and December 2007 and again in January 2008.

    Thank you for the response and for trying to find them.

    ~MB

    ReplyReply


  • Dark Eden Press
    March 19
    1:22 am

    MB,

    The hotmail might be the issue as I cant seem to get any of the hotmail addys, I have the same problem with earthlink also, cant send to them, get a failure notice every time.

    If you will email me at my yahoo address, I will answer whatever it is you want to know if you are still interested in knowing. The address is renae1269@yahoo.com. Usually the email addys I have problems with I direct them to this email address which is my personal one.

    Debra

    ReplyReply

  • So how come we can wade in and carry on about omigodjeeez that’s bad! but another publisher can’t join in? Is this along the lines of book snarking–as in readers can snark but writers can’t do any serious return snarkage because it makes them appear unprofessional?

    It kind of seems like unfair, but it does boil down to professionalism.

    An example… I’m not happy with my doctor, so I move, go see another one. And the new doctor asks who I’ve been seeing and when I tell the new doc, this new doctor launches in a tirade about how crazy my other doctor was, what a quack and how that doctor never should have graduated medical school. It could be that what the new doctor is saying is 100% true…but it would reflect very badly on the doctor and I think I’d be searching for yet a third doctor.

    Now on the flip side, there’s almost away a way to voice criticism without seeming insulting. Almost always a way to voice disagreement without coming off as unprofessional.

    I’ve seen/heard things that would make eyebrows go waaaayyyy up. I could share them, sure, maybe score a few points for snark-age, but it accomplishes nothing. It doesn’t paint a positive image of me, and it doesn’t fix whatever the problem is. All it does is damage to a reputation I’ve worked hard for.

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  • Where does it say that I as a company owner am not allowed to post a response, even one dripping in sarcasm as this one so obviously was? I am, and always have been, very aware of what I and my authors say in public. Very rarely will you even see me post anywhere. I have given numerous lectures on my author loop about this very subject.

    Unfortunately DEP, when you’re saying it as one publisher to or about another, sarcasm is a risky road to tread.

    It reflects poorly.

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  • Moira Luz
    March 19
    1:57 am

    I’ve been following all this with a heavy heart. I feel so sorry for the NCP authors. What bothers me most is that all the authors and not just those who are in a fight with the company are going to suffer for this. When readers say they will bypass a company because they don’t like what the owners are doing, the authors are the ones being penalized. That is such a shame. I buy a lot of NCP books because I absolutely love some of the authors there.

    You don’t have to support the company but please don’t penalize the authors.

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  • You don’t have to support the company but please don’t penalize the authors.

    But how on earth does one penalize the author?

    No one is saying that they will never buy any book from any specific author. Some authors said that they wanted to stay clear from NCP, which is fair, given that they are presented with evidence straight from NCP that NCP doesn’t edit their books anymore, while some readers said that they didn’t want to buy NCP books, which is also fair given that the lack of editing means that the books are most likely inferior in quality.

    I’m a fan of Celia Ashley and Ellen Fisher who write for NCP – you can bet I will buy their books if they publish with other companies that aren’t NCP.

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  • Another anonymous
    March 19
    2:11 am

    “When readers say they will bypass a company because they don’t like what the owners are doing, the authors are the ones being penalized. That is such a shame. I buy a lot of NCP books because I absolutely love some of the authors there.

    You don’t have to support the company but please don’t penalize the authors.”

    The difficulty is that the authors are, to a large degree, the company. It seems that the owners’ pennames are the authors making the most money, judging from the old Sizzling Sellers list and the distribution of paperback releases. Certainly there are some authors who aren’t affiliated with the company who are making money– but it would appear that a substantial percentage of the bestselling authors are NCP management.

    With any luck, NCP will do as the note above suggests and cut the “dead weight” authors loose, and then their loyal fans can follow them to other, better publishers.

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  • Another Editor
    March 19
    2:14 am

    I’m an editor elsewhere. I can’t really say where because it would break confidentiality clauses and that is also why I have to stay anonymous.
    But I have to say that more than once I’ve seen books that I rejected turn up at New Concepts. I bet editors from other houses could say the same.
    They have a reputation and have had it ever since they started up. In the early days they were one of the good guys, because in comparison with houses like RFI West, they were. But readers demand more from ebooks these days. They haven’t moved with the times.
    Interesting that Dark Eden pipes up. Another house I would treat with caution. Go and read a few excerpts.

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  • Another anonymous
    March 19
    2:26 am

    “But I have to say that more than once I’ve seen books that I rejected turn up at New Concepts. I bet editors from other houses could say the same.”

    Well, who among us hasn’t been rejected by one house or another at one point? Rejection is part of writing. I honestly don’t think the fact that some NCP authors have been rejected by another publisher reflects on the authors’ quality. Different editors like different things, after all. As an author there myself, I’m obviously biased, but I have read plenty of good books by NCP authors.

    However, all of us benefit from good, solid editing, and that’s one thing authors are obviously not getting from NCP. That’s one reason I think a lot of us “dead weight” writers would be happier elsewhere– and yes, I do think most of us are good enough to find other homes with good publishers:-).

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  • Nora Roberts
    March 19
    2:27 am

    I don’t read e-books. I don’t have a reader and don’t want to read at my computer. Just my personal preference.

    I would be the last one to want to penalize authors for the flaws of their publisher.

    However, when a publisher states outright they can’t be bothered to take the time or make the effort to edit the books they publish, I wouldn’t spend my money there. Every writer needs an editor. Every single one.

    If there are good writers with a house that doesn’t think editing is worth the time and money, I sincerely hope they land at another house, one who respects them as writers, and respects the reader.

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  • Eh, I’m going to have to climb into the boat with those that like reading books that have been edited.

    I’ve butted heads over something or other with every editor I’ve had but they’ve all made my books better. Editing is necessary, not optional. Or at least, it should be.

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  • I’ve been with another e-publisher that didn’t edit (no, not Phaze), but they didn’t behave like this.

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  • You don’t have to support the company but please don’t penalize the authors.

    Huh? Some of the authors have already stated NCP is selling books they do not want sold.

    So there you go. How do you tell?

    Personally I do not want to spend the time doing that so no more NCP purchases from me and I am sure the authors will understand if I wait for them to get their rights back so they can move elsewhere.

    There has be a point where you as a reader just have to say no more.

    I am not hurting the authors I am staying away from doing business with a company I feel mistreats their writers.

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  • [...] aspects of electronic publishing. Her suggestion arises since there has been quite a bit of negativity that spreads from blog to forums. So here’s a Thursday Thirteen for all of us published in [...]


  • Just to switch things up a bit:

    I know one pub (who shall remain nameless) who boots authors over personal issues and [while] this may be unprofessional at least that pub keeps their mouth shut…

    Yikes! I don’t think the “booted” authors should keep their mouths shut. That’s tyrannical!

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  • KZ, My guess is every publisher occasionally boots someone for personal issues. I’ve seen it happen (not to me) and not just with epublishers.

    Fair, unfair, it makes sense.

    No one’s hurting for good writers. For every writer who’s nabbed a contract, there are dozens out there who are just as good and haven’t had a shot yet.

    Obviously a publisher will put up with a lot more from a writer who brings in the money, but why keep giving deals to someone who gives you a pain in the tuchus and who isn’t a proven seller?

    I don’t suppose a publisher would even have to say “I’m not giving you a new contract because you get on my last nerve and I don’t like your blog” they’d just stop answering correspondence or maybe start sending form rejection letters.

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  • Ellen Ashe
    March 21
    10:13 pm

    Yesterday Madris wrote to my lawyer stating:

    “What I’m going to require from Ms. Ellen Ashe at this time is a
    retraction of the lies she told all over the internet–AS PUBLICLY as
    she lied and maligned my company to start with. She can start with the
    first blog site and move to the others and as soon as I’ve seen her
    retraction and her explanation that she MISUNDERSTOOD to begin with and
    there was never any question about us holding her rights beyond the
    length of time it would take us to remove the listings, THEN I will
    immediately, and very gladly, terminate all association with this woman.

    Is English her first language?”

    hmmmm, and she said I lied about my books being held hostage? Gee, I feel terrible…My response is on my blog.
    http://ellenashe.blogspot.com/

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  • It’s absolutely ridiculous to whine and rage about how poorly people are treated and how hard it was to see the crash coming THEN BITCH OUT THE PEOPLE WHO OUTED THEM.

    Sorry, yes, I was shouting. Ahem.

    Since “taking the high road” seems to be trendy, if not particularly helpful, I’ll pay very close bloody attention to those willing to wade through the crap on the low road. They get many blessings from me for showing me where NOT to step.

    Every weasel who knew what was going on and refused to say a word because they were afraid the mean lady wouldn’t let them sell their book… well, I suppose payback is being rather bitchy about now.

    Keeping quiet and letting this crap stay buried is how this ugly BS builds up and explodes.

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  • AnonymousNCPer
    March 26
    1:52 pm

    (I’m cross-posting this comment I also posted on Dear Author)

    The ongoing issues at NCP are definitely a sign that the company is about to implode. They weren’t always this way. And the owner Madris appears to be mentally ill based on my recent interactions w/ her. That may be the reason the company is in so much trouble. (Or maybe she’s mentally ill b/c her company is collapsing—who knows, it’s a chicken-and-egg question).

    Madris & co. have recently been very upset that many of their top-selling authors (me included) have been jumping ship and taking contracts with big NYC print houses. The fact that the NCP (non-negotiable!) contract is so crappy is probably a good indication why so many of their top-selling authors have left. (I know I got screamed at via email when Madris & co found out I had gotten contracted by a large print house—-she said something along the lines of “you ungrateful print authors are destroying my company!”.)

    I think in the early days, NCP published the kind of novels that mainstream print publishers weren’t interested in (i.e., paranormal, urban fantasy, erotica) so those types of authors had nowhere else to go. Now that the print houses can’t get enough paranormal/UF/erotica, those authors have learned that there are better contracts/royalties/editors to be had than what NCP has to offer. NCP is now only getting second- and third-tier new authors as a result. And NCP is scrambling for revenue and screaming bloody murder at the fact its sales are declining and their top authors are abandoning them.

    I think they must be having a lot of trouble paying their bills because of all this, and are probably too busy dodging collectors and landlords to pay attention to their authors.

    FWIW, I have a couple titles w/ them, and have earned respectable royalties by ebook standards. But their editing/administration has deteriorated beyond repair. I think they will be out of business by the end of the year.

    I should add that my NCP titles DID get thorough edits. But I was given less than 48 hours (!) to approve them—-when my contract stated I got 90 days to approve edits. They threatened to pull my book if I didn’t comply.

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  • [...] Read*. Memorize*. Do NOT Repeat. [...]



  • Amber
    August 12
    7:40 am

    Well, I know I’m looking at this from the outside looking in, but I think what she meant by marketing is that you’re supposed to write what people are interested in reading. I figure that, of course, because I had a friend who told me once that I should write from my heart and everything else will come along on its own. I disagree. I believe you should write what people are interested in reading. Otherwise, you’re not going to make any money, which is pretty much the point of writing isn’t it? Frankly, I’ve seen a number of books that, while they may have been ‘written from the heart,’ held no interest for me or, turns out, the majority of people. (Such as the one about the used trailor saleswoman and the trailor manufacturer. Romance is all fantasy, and that’s just not the kind of life I would want or want to fantasize about. I’m sure it was a great book in it’s way, but I passed on it anyway.)

    If the book is great, it does sell itself, because everyone who reads it will tell all of their friends about it. If it’s really bad, it won’t sell for the same reason.

    Anyway, one of the problems with talking to people over the internet is that, like reading a leter, you can’t see their face or read their body language. You tend to take what they say and twist it around depending on your own mood. Some of you who read this will think I’m mad, some will read irritation, some… well, I think you get the idea. As a matter of fact, I’m really only bewildered. I’ve heard a lot of good things about that company, but I tend to take everything I see and hear with a healthy helping of salt since every story has a few hundred sides and I have no doubt that’s the case here too.

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  • As a matter of fact, I’m really only bewildered. I’ve heard a lot of good things about that company, but I tend to take everything I see and hear with a healthy helping of salt since every story has a few hundred sides and I have no doubt that’s the case here too.

    Amber, here are a few sides to the story.

    A thousand flies on shit generally aren’t wrong, as my dear mum likes to say.

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  • If it were a case of isolated incidences I could see taking things like this with a grain of salt. Such was my reaction the very first time I heard about an employee complaint against retail giant Wal-Mart. But when complaints pile up, up and up that grain dissolves.

    I have to disagree with the thing about making money is the point of writing. If writers made $$$ their priority I really feel the reading world would be missing out on a hell of a lot. Readers are more than vapid consumers.

    ReplyReply

  • [...] and I’ll say the same as I would had it been a small press or a dodgy publishing company like New Concepts Publishing, Google is your friend, if you chose to sub your work despite the rumours that authors [...]


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