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Admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve bought directly from an epublisher, but once upon a time, they used to be my favourite places to buy books. It seems amazing, but I used to buy books from the likes of Elloras Cave, Liquid Silver Publishing all the time. But now, not so much. All my book-buying takes place at Amazon these days.

However, had I come across the types of books that featured on Bookstrand’s home page, I’d have been mad as hell. When I go to a romance or erotic romance book site, the last thing I expect is to find books where a teen girl seduces or is seduced by her own father. Or brother. Or uncle. Or grandfather. Seriously people???

I also really hate books that paint rape as the most amazing sexual thing that could happen to a woman. It really isn’t.

I get that some people get off on those themes, but why the hell should they be sold at sites that are supposedly all about romance, erotic or otherwise?

I was on Goodreads the other day, and somebody on this thread commented that it seems to be the self-pubbed authors that are suffering the most. Some of these self-pubbed writers are of course mad as hell and apparently they’re accusing ebook publishers of targeting them because they outsell the more mainstream e-published authors. Seriously, you couldn’t make it up.

The people who try to argue that Paypal banning sites that sell such filth is an infringement on our rights are dead wrong in my opinion. This isn’t a human rights issue or a civil rights thing either. For Paypal it seems to be a financial decision, but even if it had been an ethical stance, I’d have been right there with my Pom-poms and accompanying cute outfit, cheering them on.

Books where teen girls shag their fathers to within an inch of their lives aren’t romantic, and they don’t belong in romance book sites, so if these publishers who used to allow these kind of stories to pervade their sites are now banning them, I’m all for it.

That reminds me, aren’t Total E Bound one of the sites that sell incest stories? I recall that everybody’s favourite author, Carol Lynne, once wrote a book that involved two brothers and a woman, and the sex wasn’t just between the brothers and the woman, if you know what I mean…

Oh I’m so devastated. Not.

The last time I looked at the Bookstrand site, all the books on the front page seemed to be about teenage girls being diddled by, either their fathers, or their brothers. I get that some people enjoy that kind of thing, but honestly, it put me off from visiting the site.

Jane at Dear Author posted that Paypal were cracking down on publishers and retailers who sold books containing incest, rape, etc. She originally referenced Siren Publishing as one of the epubs that were being targeted.

She then got a slightly snotty email back from the Siren people who explained that they’ve never had the disgusting themes in their books, and blamed the self-pubbed arseholes “who don’t know where to draw the line when it comes to obscenity.”

The Siren people continue:

We have deactivated those self-pubbed titles from BookStrand as per PayPal’s specific request. Currently, these are the same titles still offered for sale by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance Ebooks…

I don’t know what your agenda is, but it is irresponsible of you for not checking your facts before making such an outlandish and false statement.

I demand that you remove such blatant inaccuracy that stems from your ignorance about what we publish.

Strong words from the people who allowed Lola Newmar to put out books about one apparently virginal female (aged 21), who ends up shagging seven shapeshifting longhorn bulls. I’m not even sure how to describe such a thing.

It seems that the reason that Paypal are ditching these sites were financial rather than on any ethical grounds. Apparently credit card companies don’t like dealing with porn retailers as they are a risky proposition. There are also a lot of chargebacks apparently.

Anyway, I for one sure am happy about the turn of events. It’s at least one less website featuring incest porn. Ewwwww…

Teddypig has a really interesting post on the subject of the number of incest stories on offer over at All Romance Ebooks.

Got this email last night:

I hope I have the right email for Karen Knows Best. I have a complaint and wish to let others know not to submit to Mundania Press. I was an author with Hard Shell Word Factory who Mundaia Press bought out in the fall of 2009. To date, I have seen only the 4th quarter 2009, 3rd and 4th quarter 2010 royalty reports. Nothing for the 1st and 2nd quarter 2010 or 1st quarter 2011. Mundania has an authors loop but regardless of how many authors post emails regarding royalties and payments, all we ever get in return from publisher Daniel Weitz is “we’re working on it.” They also have an online ticket submission via private email with the same results. Zip, zilch, nada in the way of answers.

This has gotten to the point of ridiculous and I would like to alert authors not to submit to them for fear of the same results. I hope you can help me get the word out. I have also alerted Allison Kelly at RWA National to the situtation.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of my letter. Please feel free to contact me should you need further information.

Patti Shenberger
www.pattishenberger.com

Mundania Press….Who are they again? Are they related to that other scummy e-pub – Phaze Books?

Anybody got any more info?

Apparently Wendi Felter of Red Rose Publishing, owes people money left, right and centre, and she aint paying up. These people aren’t very happy.

Here are some of the comments:

I’m another person she’s cheated, both as an independent contractor and as an author. She offers diamond bracelets in response to our demand to be paid what she owes us, and does not respond to our inquiries or requests for payment.

Notherone

Why are people still submitting to this publisher? (more…)

Got this earlier via another blog post on here:

Hi Ms. Karen,

I couldn’t find another place to contact you, so forgive me if this isn’t the correct way.

The owner of Red Rose Publishing, Wendi Felter has breached my contract and continues to have my books up on the Red Rose website. Per the contract, the required 90 days were over as of March 27, 2011 and all my contract has been through email and certified mail.

I wanted the readers out there to know that if you buy any of my titles at Red Rose Publishing, that the publisher is in breach of my author rights. She has no right to sell my books.

Thank you, Ms. Karen for letting me get my message out. I’ve posted a notice on my Facebook page and am about to post on my blog.

You are more than welcome to contact me should you have any questions.

All the best,
Tambra Kendall

Any comments Wendi?

An E-Publisher Behaving Badly tale? It sure feels like old times.

Anyway, does anybody know much about Decadent Publishing? Do any of you guys write for them? Buy their books, even? Never heard of them myself, until now at least.

According to this rather disgruntled reviewer, DP (I’m trying not to smirk like a two year old at those initials) have allegedly been looking for the reviewer’s personal details as revenge for writing a less-than-glowing review of a book written by one of their authors, a Miss Graylin Fox.

The reviewer writes:

The stupidity of some authors who can’t take a review *ahem* Graylin Fox *ahem*, and must prove, ‘oh, I’m so great’ by running to Twitter and sniping at us has never failed to astound us. You are not the first. We highly doubt you will be the last. We chalk up your attitude to being a newbie and not being able to take criticism.

So it seems we have another Jamaica Layne on our hands eh? (more…)

Over at Mrs Giggles’ blog, there’s a post entitled, Ravenous Romance Critics – What is The Deal Here?

She doesn’t get why there’s still so much hate for Ravenous Romance:

I’m not being facetious, I’m genuinely puzzled. Every time I or someone blogs about Ravenous Romance in an even remotely positive manner, the same slew of Anonymous people will show up saying the following. You can make a drinking game out of it.

1. Jamaica Layne is a bitch.
2. Lori Perkins’s middle names are Conflict of Interest.
3. Ravenous Romance books are porn and smut and crappy.
4. Unspoken implication: Anonymous’s own publisher/company/books are better than Ravenous Romance.

I tweeted to Jane the other day about how Dear Author ironically enough have probably helped RR stay in business, and I honestly think it’s true. It does make one wonder though who is buying their books, and why, if the books are so bad. Mind you, My Friend Carol Lynne apparently is still selling like hotcakes, and I’m willing to bet her writing is on par with some of those really bad RR writers.

It’s a simple fact that some romance readers don’t care about good writing, as long as there’s enough hot nasty sex in the books to satisfy them.

As for the RR Hating, well they kinda brought it on themselves before they even opened, with all their claims of “blowing the competition out of the water” so I have no sympathy for them. Also, some of their more vocal reps are actually arseholes, which in turn leads people to assume that the whole company is full of assholic nutters.

Having said all of that, they’re still in business, whilst Quartet Press never got off the ground, so I guess that means they did a better job during the pre-planning stage.

For the rest of the post, pop over to Mrs G’s blog. You’ll see that Jamaica Lynne is the first one to comment, which will have secretly probably pissed Mrs G off, because although she likes to side with the underdogs of RomLand, she generally hates them polluting her corner of the world *g*

Idiot

I see Madris De Pasteur of New Concepts Publishing fame hasn’t lost her ability to make friends and influence people:

To roll or not to roll, this is the question—
We’re currently working on designing a new webpage for NCP to be launched early next year. Due to the fact that the unhappy have made a nuisance of themselves reminding us repeatedly to remove their books upon expiration, we’ve inadvertently removed some books by authors who wanted to roll over.

That being the case and also because it could simplify things for us when designing the new page, we want to create a list of people who intend to remain with NCP. Please respond with your intentions to the author liaison address–NOT directly to me–so a list can be compiled and, hopefully, we can eliminate some of the confusion and focus on promoting the career authors and getting their books listed with the distributors, etc.

Due to the difficulty in removing books from listings with our distributors, books that will not be renewing will not be sent to distributors. Also, a reminder–the most effective promotion to build a fan base is frequent releases.

Thanks!
Madris
NCP

Lol, why am I not surprised that those idiots at NCP would mistakenly remove books of the few authors that they have, who are crazy enough to still want to stay with them?

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up. *g*

contract

Ooh, what is this I hear, Lyrical Press going the way of so many other newish e-pubs, and losing whatever common sense they were born with?

sinking ship

You remember Lyrical Press don’t you? You should remember, Renee Rocco, the CEO was featured on here quite often.

I received three emails from three different sources, eager to let me know about the goings ons at Lyrical Press.

Honestly, who’s surprised by any of this? I just want to know which fucktards signed a contract that contained the following: (more…)

misc-dumb_bunny

Aint that the truth?

Dear Ravenous Romance Peeps

Sometimes, it’s best to let the work do the talking. Know what I mean?

Getting into fisticuffs with your potential customers isn’t the greatest PR move methinks.

Letting some of your authors, Keta Diablo, Jamaica Layne run their mouths off on romance blogs is just not a smart move. Freedom of speech is all well and good, but surely you know that good PR is everything when starting a new business? You gotta be smarter than you’ve shown to be in the last few months. Seriously.

I’m just a reader, who along with a few others may have given you guys a chance in the beginning, had you taken the charm offensive route from the beginning. Unfortunately though, Ravenous Romance has now become synonymous with ‘Those Effing Crazies’. Unfair I know. Life’s a bitch that way.

One of your more vocal representatives once claimed that Ravenous Romance would “blow the competition out of the water” Do you think you’ve managed to do that?

Really?

You definitely made a splash, I’ll grant you that, but I’m not sure that all the negative attention you’ve garnered was part of your overall PR plan for Ravenous Romance, was it??? Also, I have to say, since becoming familiar with RR, the higher-ups at Elloras Cave seem positively normal to me now, which is quite scary. Believe me.

Anyway, I thought I’d offer up some advice, take it or leave it, but at least consider what type of image you wish to promote to your potential readers. The world outside Romanceland is massive, but online, it’s a very small world indeed.

Also, you may just want to label your books correctly. Readers get really mad when they get something different to what it says on the tin.

Just saying.

boycottncp_banner

…That New Concepts Publishing are cash-strapped, AKA, not doing well. Oh please let it be true!

Would anybody like to confirm or deny these rumours?

According to a former NCP author, they’re still trying to sell unedited books via Fictionwise, and intentionally mislabelling some of the books, e.g. labelling books as ‘romance’, when they should come under the ‘erotica’ banner. Nothing new there I guess.

Apparently they’re also trying to hire ‘staff writers’. Pray tell, what the hell are staff writers?

Either way, I’m still waiting for this particular ship to sink.

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up.

That’s from the gospel according to the NCP loonies.

I received this e-mail from one of their authors:

Hi, Karen. NCP just sent out a “marketing tips” letter to the internal author loop, this one explaining very seriously (and with absolutely no self-interest, of course) why it’s bad for authors’ careers to publish at multiple houses, and why authors should be publishing three or four books a year with NCP in order to develop the maximum possible fanbase.

Here’s an excerpt from the original post:

“In 2007, NCP sold around 150,000 ebooks. This year’s sales, contrary to the hopes and dreams of the truly evil, are up around 25%. Since we have, since our inception, pretty much doubled in sales every year, this is a low increase for us thus far this year, but we put this down to the choking economy—-not evil wishes. It’s difficult to get an exact figure on the customer base since many of our customers get a new customer number almost every time they visit, but with those sales figures it should be easy to see that we have a pretty respectable customer base.”

Totally selfless this lot, aren’t they?

Is it me, or do they seem to be getting more and more desperate?

You can pretty much guarantee that since they’ve given 25% as their annual increase, the numbers are probably a lot lower than that in reality.

Here’s hoping they go under soon.

According to NCP at least.

I got this e-mail from an NCP author:

A couple of NCP authors conveyed Sydney Somer’s blog post to the NCP public loop (one in response to a reader, who wanted to know if her latest book was authorized or not). A reader then asked on NCP’s public loop why Sydney Somers had been placed on moderation. NCP responded simply:

“As stated on the front page of the group: PUBLISHER BASHING; OR BOOK TRASHING IS NOT ALLOWED NOR WILL IT BE TOLERATED”

These people are complete morons. One has to wonder how they ever became as successful as they are/were.

Apparently, a couple of hours later, NCP then post the following on the loop:

“The loudest complainers, on any publisher’s loop, are the complete failures in the publishing business. This is WHY they are complaining, because they’d like to blame everyone else for their failure instead of actually working to become a success.

Professional much?

Authors focused on building a career in the publishing industry should take note of their irrational/unprofessional behavior and make certain that they do not model their behavior after the failures in the industry.

You should also study their ‘offerings’ to the public and their writing style to learn what NOT to write and what elements are least desirable to readers. These books are perfect examples of what does not market well and will not make sales for you–which a savvy author can utilize to their advantage.

Oh wow, that’s just low. Mind you, they signed her in the first place, so does that not say more about their poor judgement, rather than Somers’ purported inability to write a book that markets well?

These authors are a perfect example of people who will NEVER find success because they’re too focused on running thier mouths and not nearly focused enough on actually writing and improving their work.

That being said, this author loop was set up to be used solely for networking with your fellow NCP authors and gathering marketing tips–working together to promote one another, etc.

Talk about showing their knickers in public.

The loops are the property of NCP, and you can use private messages or other boards to complain–like those who’ve been doing so all along, but it won’t be allowed on the NCP reader loop–which was designed for you, the author’s sole benefit to market your work to
readers. If you cannot respect that, having a place to market your NCP books, then we will be forced to delete the loop, and you will have no place to promote yourself other than other people’s loops. I hope it won’t come to this. It’s a shame to make everyone suffer because of a few.

The READERS loop was set up specifically to give you authors a place to promote your NCP books–Not as a COMPLAINT department–and NOT as a place to promote books with other publishers.”

God, I hope they go bust soon. The lunatics running the NCP asylum seriously need to be caged.

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up.

Via Sydney Somers’ blog:

25.07.08 – Again, I first want to apologize for having to take a publisher grievance public. Unfortunately New Concepts Publishing isn’t leaving me much of a choice. They have released another unfinished partial of mine, One Dark Knight, as part of a round robin anthology I did not authorize. I want to be clear that there is no clause in my contracts that gives NCP the legal right to finish my work or have any other author infringe on my copyrighted material. Yes, NCP knows is aware there is no clause as the owner admitted to that in a previous e-mail to me.

I can’t pretend to understand why they went ahead with both releases knowing this, but I once again ask my readers not to buy this book. I had hoped to see this matter resolved through the formal complaint process with the RWA, but at this time it appears as if NCP plans to disregard the complaint sent on my behalf. Also, it seems I’m now on moderation on the NCP reader loop and am unable to post to let readers know about this new development.

How these people are still in business, I’ll never know.

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up

I got this from Ellen Ashe’s blog:

“Subject: [flirtingwithpassionnewsletter] Important Notice!!!!!

New Concepts Publishing has recently released a story that has my name on it. I did not finish writing HOWL FOR ME. I have no idea who the two other authors are on the cover on what their involvement in this project is. It was not an anthology. I wrote three chapters of a proposal for a full length novel a year and a half ago and that was ALL that NCP ever received from me. HOWL FROM ME as it is being released from NCP is not a story that I wrote and completed and I encourage my readers not to purchase the book expecting this to be a release from me. I’ll have more details on this frustrating situation in my next newsletter. If you have already purchased the book under the assumption it was a complete story from me, I encourage you to complain to NCP.
Sydney”

http://www.sydneysomers.com/news.html

Wow…

Thanks to you-know-who for the heads up.

Diana Debalko from Siren Publishing, posted the following, in order to set the record straight, referencing my last Ocean’s Mist post, that alleged that Noemi (the morally bankrupt publisher/shyster) had gotten a contract with Siren.

Hello, We want to set the record straight with regards to Essence. Essence does not write for Siren Publishing. We dropped her on March 25th once we discovered she faked her legal name in her signed contracts. Rest assured, we do not support misconduct in this industry where we value our authors and our readers. Sincerely, Diana DeBalko (aka Amanda Hilton), Publisher, Siren-BookStrand, Inc., www.sirenbookstrand.com

She faked her name on a legal document? Wow.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Loose Id follow suit. If she lied to Siren, what was to stop her from lying to LI?

Rebecca Pack has been ignoring e-mails from her ex-authors since before Chippewa Publishing went belly-up, but apparently she’s still playing on the net. Her current pseudonyms (allegedly) are Sloane King, and Rebecca K Rhodes.

Capo at C’um Hither Global reports:

“Anonymous Carol” sent us these page links to MySpace. AC claims these women are one and the same: MIA e-publisher, Rebecca Pack (Chippewa, Lady Aibell). Although it seems Pack has removed all photos identified as her from the internet, yea, the similarity is strong. As the pages currently appear neither Sloane King or Chippewa Publishing have logged in at Myspace since November of 2007.

Also, “Chippewa Publishing” designates her home town as San Francisco, while Sloane King claims she’s a resident of the same city. “Rebecca K. Rhodes” on the other hand, logged in as recently as May 10th of this last week.
http://www.myspace.com/sloaneking
http://www.myspace.com/chippewapublishing
http://www.myspace.com/rebeccakrhodes

What a fucktard.

Anyway, if you want to read the rest of the post, head on over to C’um Hither Global.

Even though the owner still hasn’t paid the authors, the money that they are owed, OMP is still in operation. Their coming soon page, shows a release for May, by an author called ‘Essence’. You can also purchase any of the books listed on the site. Books by authors who haven’t seen a penny from the sale of their work, I suspect.

Author Crusader posted the following e-mail that she received, on her blog in March:

“Noemi is Essence and has a book with Loose id today, did you know that? She has not gone away and has books coming with Siren press too! She has not gone underground, she is still around and not paying people. She is rediculous!!! These companys know who she is but don’t care. I heard this info last year after she closed and cheated the authors. I hope you can get her!!!”

Basically Noemi is the owner of OMP and she managed to get away with sneakily closing the company down, and disappearing for months on end, without a word to her authors.

I think I’ve come across her before actually. I seem to remember that she brazenly posted an excerpt of a story she’d written on another author’s Yahoo List. I recall at the time thinking that the woman couldn’t write for toffee, and that she’d never get published. I think I said as much to the Yahoo owner. Big effing sigh.

This woman is not the kind of person you want to trust your work or your credit card with.

Talk about unscrupulous.

Let me just say, that any fool, who A, buys from Ocean’s Mist Press, and B submits to them, deserve everything they get.

Just sayin’

By the way, apparently Noemi has at least five pseudonyms, so she may have penned the majority of the books on the site herself.

Via ERECsite

Rumour has it that the disgraced ex-owner of the now defunct Triskelion Publishing, Kristi Studts has opened a new publishing company. Of course, she’s not listed as the owner of Mystical Moon Press, but apparently she may be using several pseudonyms to hide her identity.

I got this e-mail from an ex Trisk author:

We (ex Trisk authors) have discovered that Kristi Studts has started up again. Or at least has something to do with this set up:
Mysticmoonpress.com

She is Magickal Media, the cover artist there (I think Dear Author did an expose a while back when she displayed our Triskelion covers on Magickal Media as her work, which they were). However, nobody I’ve been in contact with knows any of the authors there, and there are some names on the owner and author page that seem – a bit familiar. Perhaps you can get someone who knows a bit about computers and stuff to find out more.

What is annoying us, (the ex-Triskettes) is that Kristi isn’t coming out and telling people who she is. Nothing wrong, legally, with her doing this and trying to make a living, but unethical not to tell people who she is?

There are some very unhappy authors who never want to have anything to do with her again (yours truly included). But if she hides under pseudonyms and other names, we won’t be able to tell.

Does anybody out there know if A, she is actually the owner, and B, who the hell is submitting their work to her?

A fine week for the e-publishing industry isn’t it? Will this madness ever stop?

Methinks not.