Posted in: Publishers behaving badly
Tags:Anthony Giangregorio, Mandy Degeit, Undead Press
Woohooo! It’s been a while since I wrote a Publisher’s Behaving Badly blogpost, but this one’s a doozy!
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.
… … …
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
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.