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Undead Press Behaving Badly...But I Blame The Author For Being Stupid...

Woohooo! It’s been a while since I wrote a Publisher’s Behaving Badly blogpost, but this one’s a doozy!

When publishing goes wrong…Starring Undead Press

Author, Mandy Degeit had been waiting for her first ever publication to be sent to her, her story was part of an anthology and was called She Makes Me Smile.

When the copy of the book finally came, she found that they had fundamentally changed her whole story.

Mandy writes on her blog:

You all know I’ve been ranting about my first ever publication coming out for the last little while… “She makes me smile” was picked up by Undead Press (Anthony Giangregorio) to be published in their anthology called Cavalcade of Terror and the book was released May 1st 2012.

I waited… and waited… I was SO excited to see my story and name in print.

One of my friends even went as far as to pay 40$ to Expresspost me a copy of Cavalcade, I waited around two days for the delivery. (Apparently I’m dealing with a buzzer issue here at the house.)

It finally came in and believe me, I didn’t waste any time ripping into the package…

Wtf? There’s a spelling mistake in the title of my story. *(Not from my submission however… They changed it to wrong.)

“She Make’s Me Smile” by Mandy J. De Geit

Well that made me sad, but okay the Mandy part is kinda cool. Let’s see the story itself…

ARGH!!! Same mistake on the title page. Fack, She Make is Me Smile… Really? Oh well… Read on.

… … …
..Wait… What?
Read read read… WTF? WHO THE HELL? (Run to computer and load up the submitted file with great difficulty, cause your breathing is laboured from a really tight chest, your hands are shaking to the point you can hardly type and you can hardly see the screen cause you’re about to lose your shit waterworks wise… and you NEVER do that…)

Fucking Bastards! They changed my story without telling me.

Let’s see: They turned a non-gendered character into a boy, they named the best friend, they created a memory for the main character about animal abuse. They added a suggestion of rape at the end… I feel like they ruined the suspense in the story. I don’t know what else, I haven’t even read the whole thing through yet because it makes me SOO FREAKING ANGRY!!!

So yeah, Mandy really isn’t happy. Here’s the response from the owner of Undead Press, Anthony Giangregorio, when Mandy contacted him about the changes. This is a perfect example of how not to respond to people in writing:

“wow, i truly cant believe that e,mail. you go girl. this one one hell of a story about dealing with unstable writers

lets see.
on the contract, it clearly says publisher has the right to EDIT work. you signed it. are you saying you are a dishonest and immoral person and will now try to deny you signed the contract? well i have a copy right here
and as for the story. the editor had a hard time with it, it was very rough and he did alot to make it readable. despite what you think, your writing has a long way to go before its worthy of being printed professionally.
we did what we had to do to make the story printable. you should be thankful, not complaining. ah, the ungrateful writer, gotta love it
the contract also says any disagreements you have about the contract must be filed legally in Massachusetts and when you lose, you must pay all court costs.
so, we are done here. any more correspondences from you must be from your lawyer. i will then send any of those letters to my lawyer and they can hash it out as i dont waste my time arguing with writers over legalities. thats what lawyers are for.
you are so funny. thanks for this email, it truly made my day.”

Lololol. Seriously, who responds to a legitimate complaint in that way?

All I can say is, author beware. I don’t really have that much sympathy for Ms Degeit here, because there were probably signs that she was dealing with an unprofessional arsehole in the first instance. Google is your friend Mandy!

She wasn’t even getting paid to have her book in the anthology, she just wanted to see her name up in lights. Apparently, she was going to sell the books to her family and friends herself. Craziness.

Anyway, you can read more about the whole mess over here.


  • *jaw drop*

    That’s actually a new one on me, and I thought I’d seen it all. They completely re-wrote her story, completely and added a really disturbing scene as well – so that ends up being attributed to her.

    But… why even do this? How is it even remotely considered professional? (I won’t even mention the reply letter because that’s so sadly typical) Who thinks an edit is a story re-write without even asking permission? And what is this idea that authors should be grateful when their work is abused?

    Why even take the story in the first place if they hated it this much?


  • That’s how these skeezy publishers make money — preying on people who just want to be published and will buy their own copies. It’s one step better than making them pay for publication, I suppose…


  • …wow. I do feel kind of bad for the author, because I know what it’s like to want it so bad. But you can’t want it so bad that you blind yourself to the bad out there and fail to protect yourself.

    And um…undead press? WTG! You impressed me with your skeeze! After a few times around the block, it takes a bit to do that, but this…

    the contract also says any disagreements you have about the contract must be filed legally in Massachusetts and when you lose, you must pay all court costs.
    so, we are done here. any more correspondences from you must be from your lawyer. i will then send any of those letters to my lawyer and they can hash it out as i dont waste my time arguing with writers over legalities. thats what lawyers are for.

    Oh… that’s classy. Really nice…


  • FD
    May 15
    5:34 pm

    Undead Press? Well, I suppose truth in advertising and all, because they clearly suck.


  • Patrice
    May 15
    7:16 pm

    Seriously? I’m not sure this person can be called a professional publisher. That whole transaction was unprofessional. After that reply I hope the edits were done by someone else! And saying it’s an email is no excuse for the poor quality, not to mention the insulting content. Poor sentence structure, little punctuation, inaccurate information and insults. Pathetic really.

    Having any written work edited doesn’t mean the editor just rewrites it! Real editors at reputable houses don’t have time for that sort of thing. Ridiculous. If it was so poorly written why did they accept it and contract with the author in the first place? Didn’t have enough of his own and his buddies stories to fill the table of contents maybe?

    Having the main author on the site also be “the publisher” rings all the alarm bells. And their submissions are closed. Imagine that. It seems like he’s changed submitted content before according to this blog comments http://litreactor.com/news/publisher-of-anthology-screws-over-writer-a-cautionary-tale

    They need to be reported to the MA Better Business Bureau and posted on Writer Beware and Piers Anthony sites.


  • I feel bad for the writer, but Undead Press’s home page should’ve scared away any and all writers: “Welcome to Undead Press, we are a zombie/ horror publisher, as well as apocalyptic fiction.” O_o If the so-called editor can’t edit that single sentence, how can you trust him to edit an entire manuscript?

    No one should ever be desperate enough to publish with this hack…especially when it appears he doesn’t pay his writers.


  • Anon 76
    May 16
    4:37 am


    Sadly, the BBB won’t get involved in stuff like this. Hence why so many of these type of companies are still around. Author Solutions, anyone?

    Thing is, as a writer, you are a private contractor not a consumer. This holds true even if you have to purchase your own books in order to sell them/give them away. You sign a document listing the rights for yourself AND your publisher. No crying “foul” if they excercise those rights. Not according to the BBB, anyhoo.

    A sad tale but one repeated with regularity.


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