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Ellen Ashe sent me this note that Madris DePasture, of New Concepts Publishing, sent to the NCP author loop:

‘I’m curious to know if any of our Canadian authors can recommend a good Canadian attorney to handle a defamation lawsuit for NCP? I’ve contacted Catherine, the lawyer at White & Case in NY who handled our lawsuit with Kensington, but I’m not sure this is their area of expertise and figure it would probably be to our advantage to hire a Canadian attorney anyway. If any of our Canadian authors do know of one and can furnish me with the contact information, I’d appreciate it if you’d do so.’

First of all, she sent that to the author loop? And secondly, what lawsuit with Kensington?

Incidentally, I think she’s looking for a Canadian lawyer so that she can sue Ellen Ashe. Or so she wants everybody else to believe anyway. What a grade A twat.

21 Comments »


  • Ellen Ashe
    March 23
    3:08 pm

    I can recommend a lawyer but … oops, he’s mine and has already been notified about the oh so subtle threat.
    If she’s going to start taking authors who are “LIARS” about her company to court she’s going to be busy. Or she could just shut up- stop giving us even more material to work with-, and start doing some damage control for a change. A lawsuit against unhappy authors will accomplish what exactly? Attract more authors?

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  • “Or so she wants everybody else to believe anyway.”
    You may well be correct about it merely a form of intimidation, for lawyer’s names who specialize are available on line.

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  • Craaaazy

    The lawyer I’ll hire
    Wears tin foil and wire
    Cause I’m crazy for hating you…

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  • Dorothy Mantooth
    March 23
    3:59 pm

    I would hope there are no writers on that loop so low and kiss-assy that they would actually supply a name.

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  • I hope she knows that Canada isn’t the sue happy capital of the world that the US is!!!!

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  • Laura K
    March 23
    4:39 pm

    I don’t know, Dorothy. I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Someone will come out of the woodwork to help NCP. He/she will do it in THEIR own self interest, disregarding other’s misery. I look at this whole thing like knowing a guy cheated on his last girlfriend/spouse. Why wouldn’t you think HE would cheat on YOU? What makes you so special? I eventually think that other than the “vanity” authors at NCP, they will cheat on you….word to the wise..GET OUT!

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  • A defamation case? Wow… Ain’t that a crock. I guess she doesn’t understand that her own written words have negated the opportunity to convince much less win in such a case.

    I’m all for hoping it’s a bluff, and kudos to Ellen and her lawyer.

    And yes, someone will come forward. There’s still NCP support on the loop. People who have been paid, people who haven’t had their books locked down yet. People who haven’t been shafted because they are too new. Their time will come.

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  • Another anonymous
    March 23
    6:05 pm

    Yes, she posted this to the loop, and yes, given that Ellen Ashe’s blog says clearly she’s Canadian, it was obviously a none-too-subtle threat toward Ellen. I took it as a threat to the rest of the authors on the loop, too. Posting something like that to the author loop is stunningly unprofessional, IMHO, and it amazes me that there are still authors posting on the author loop in support of NCP. But as Diana says, a few of them are still supporting NCP, though even they now admit there are some problems with the company.

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  • Maddie
    March 23
    6:31 pm

    Maybe it’s just me but this whole set up with NCP is almost like one of those pyramid scams, where the more people you loop in (new authors) the more money (oldtimers) will get the oldtimers being the “family”.

    And it’s very very unprofessional to throw out the “looking for a lawyer out in the open to others, she should take a course in ethics and manners and running a business.

    I mean if you want to build an empire this is not the way to do it, word gets around and any one in their right mind will not want to due business with some one who will rip them off.

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  • Barbara B.
    March 23
    7:48 pm

    Maddie said-
    “I mean if you want to build an empire this is not the way to do it, word gets around and any one in their right mind will not want to due business with some one who will rip them off.”

    I’m pretty sure that if NCP survives they won’t have any trouble finding authors desperate to be published.

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  • Jackie L.
    March 23
    7:52 pm

    I’m being threatened with a defamation of character suit by a former employee. Fortunately for me, the ex-employee has no character to defame (multiple convictions for drunk driving, deadbeat dad, etc). In the fifteen second conversation I had with my (American) lawyer regarding the issue, it would take the guy years, cost him thousands, net him very little money to pursue the suit. If he even finds a lawyer to take the case.

    But my lawyer says the defendant in a defamation lawsuit gets to pick all the way through the character of the defendant, so Ellen should have no fears if the law is at all similar.

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  • DS
    March 23
    9:20 pm

    Canada is different from US. Bar is lower when it comes to proving defamation but: “Third, the materials must have been false and, in the eyes of a reasonable person, discrediting to the plaintiff.”

    http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/defamation/defamation.html

    As my grandmother used to say, “Speak the truth and shame the devil.”

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  • I’m pretty sure that if NCP survives they won’t have any trouble finding authors desperate to be published.

    No doubt Barbara, no doubt. Authors will keep getting shafted because some of them are so desperate to be published that they’ll ignore every bit of good sense they ever had.

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  • Dorothy Mantooth
    March 24
    12:28 am

    Oh, I’m sure someone will come forward. My comment was simply my preemptive way of telling them they should be ashamed of themselves.

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  • Maddie
    March 24
    3:34 am

    “No doubt Barbara, no doubt. Authors will keep getting shafted because some of them are so desperate to be published that they’ll ignore every bit of good sense they ever had”

    Well Karen that is on them then and when the sh*t hits the fan with them not getting paid or not having their books promoted it’a all on them, someone pointed out that if you cheat with someone more than likely they will cheat on you too.

    I do have to add though my favorite author is Kaitlyn O’conner and quite frankly I will not be buying anything with her name on it or from NCP any more, it does suck because I really did like her cyborg books, but I will live with out them.

    So just because she might be getting more authors to sign with her does not mean she will have people hitting that send button to order and download a book from her site.

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  • Nora Roberts
    March 24
    11:12 am

    This is low, very low.

    Can’t imagine ANY publisher posting a question like this.

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  • I agree. Low.

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  • Ellen Ashe
    March 24
    2:31 pm

    I have addressed the defamation threat on my blog.
    http://ellenashe.blogspot.com/

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  • Here’s the thing that’s killing me.

    I think most authors/professionals have stepped it in online before. It’s easy to do. The internet makes some people much braver than being in person and things that wouldn’t get said face to face do get said online.

    So it’s easy to screw up. But most people, whether they openly admit it or not, can tell when they’ve screwed it up. If they can’t be big enough to fess up, make apologies, okay…fine.

    But for crying out loud, don’t keep DOING it. Learn from your mistakes. To keep at it like this is only making the situation worse. And it was already ugly.

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  • Another anonymous
    March 24
    2:55 pm

    Exactly, Shiloh. I have yet to see a SINGLE communication from NCP that has the slightest flavor of, “Yes, we’ve screwed up, and we have some things we need to fix.” The issue of multiple pen names was addressed by an angry rant about how authors are entitled to use pen names (true, but the circumstances here are quite different, for reasons that have been pointed out several times) and a hard-to-believe explanation that unfair bias toward the “stars” (aka the owners, in many cases) was actually intended to benefit ALL of NCP’s authors. The issue of nonpayment was addressed by an email that never actually acknowledged some authors hadn’t been paid, along with an angry rant that authors should never approach Fictionwise and other third-party retailers on their own. The editing issue was addressed in a way that made NCP look far worse in the eyes of both readers and authors.

    In short, NCP just keeps on doing what they’re doing, and at the same time posting unfocused, off-topic rants that tick authors AND readers off. Instead of damage control, they just keep adding to the damage.

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  • Seeley deBorn
    March 24
    4:01 pm

    “I’m pretty sure that if NCP survives they won’t have any trouble finding authors desperate to be published.”

    Maybe, but considering word is getting around to readers too, they likely won’t sell any books.

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