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“Gobsmacked”, by L.B. Gregg

gobsmacked

Disregarding the title (because it takes a bit to warm to it, I confess) “Gobsmacked”, L.B. Gregg’s debut story, is 125 pages of awesome. Can I get away with saying that and nothing more?

No?

Rats.

Okay, then, let me write something a bit more review-like. First, the usual warnings: this is an adult story, so minors should steer clear of it and my review. Further, it is an m/m (or homosexual) erotic romance, which means that adults who have issues with homosexuality in general and/or graphic language should probably avoid this as well.

Here is the blurb from the publisher’s site: (more…)

Taking care of Business, by Megan Hart and Lauren Danetaking-care-of-business

Published originally in October 2008 in the United Kingdom by Black Lace, Taking Care of Business is being released in the United States on March 31st. I have read some of Ms Dane‘s work (Undercover, reviewed here) but nothing by Ms Hart until now.

I only mention this because during the first few chapters I found myself trying to identify which author had written which section or character. Not a good idea, because as long as I was analyzing the writing I wasn’t being pulled into the story, which is ultimately why I read. Once I stopped the guessing game, the characters and their circumstances grabbed me.

Before we get into the review, the usual warning: this is an adult novel, with adult themes, graphic language and explicit sex scenes. Minors, and any adult objecting to any of these, should avoid reading further, let alone the book itself. (more…)

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.

Ahhh Madris DePasture, she really is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Several people sent this rant to me yesterday, so I thought I’d post the salient bits on here. The e-mail was from Madris, to her beloved authors. Vidi:

For those of you who’ve been with us here at NCP for a while, you’ve very likely heard this speech before, but we have a lot of new authors now who haven’t, so please bear with me. I’ve recently had another nasty run-in with an author and felt like I should post something to explain since you’ve no doubt heard by now what a hateful, nasty bitch I am.

Damn, people are calling her a nasty bitch now? How verry dare they?

I’ve been accused of being blunt. I am. I don’t deny it. I’m southern born and bred, but I’ve got a good bit of the Scot in me—so, yes, I can be excruciatingly blunt. I am, have always been, and always will be as courteous, respectful, professional, and polite as I possibly can be, however, as long as I’m approached in that manner. I can, and will, be as mean, nasty, hateful, and rude as yoU can be, maybe a good deal more than you can, if you verbally attack me and insult me.

That’s the bottom line. Treat me as you would like to be treated. I expect it. I require it and as long as authors approach me with any question or doubt and treat me with the respect I deserve, I’ll respond as politely as I can. I don’t need, want, or expect brown nosing. I will not brown nose. I will apologize ONLY when I am wrong.

If I was a newbie author and I received an e-mail like this, I’d have to at least wonder what I’d let myself in for, but I guess the Desperate-To-Be-Published don’t give a crap as long as somebody’s willing to publish their work.

We’re always happy to get new authors and hope that they’ll be successful and sell many books. Authors should understand coming into this business, however, that we, as publishers, have no more control over how well you do, or how badly you do, than any other publisher. We try to take what you’ve produced and present it to our customers as appealingly as possible, but, in the end, the customers decide what they like, what they don’t like, and what they have no interest in.

Wow. Let us all marvel at her motivational and inspirational way of addressing her new authors for a minute…

Regardless, we have one of the largest customer bases in the business and it is HIGHLY unlikely that your book will sell better than it does at NCP. For those of you busy burning your bridges, keep in that mind and you should also keep in mind that I make it a policy never to do business with anyone I know will stab me in the back.

Your contract clearly states that you will support NCP and promote the company. Every single author who has gone on record trashing this company on the internet is in breach and has made my list.

And the sad thing is, her words will probably frighten some of her authors into keeping quiet about her ill-treatment of them.

I do realize that a lot of people are feeling the stress of the economic crises. Biting the hand that might feed you isn’t the smartest move you could make, however, and, as I told my last husband before I booted him to the curb—Don’t take out your frustrations on me. I won’t stand for it. I will try to help if there’s any way I can, but I’m not going to be your doormat or your punching bag. I don’t turn the other cheek.

As always, this material is © copyrighted by Madris DePasture and any reproduction in whole or in part is a copyright violation that will be reported. (KS: Oh goody!)

I bet her authors felt all lovely and warm inside after reading this latest rant.

Batshit isn’t the word. She might even be in the same league as The Vicious Rhinoceros and her side-kick.

We haven’t talked about NCP in a while have we? Well let’s see how they’re doing shall we?

Apparently their doors are open to new authors and they are “always taking submissions”. Of course they are. Their authors are leaving them in their droves, and are asking for the rights to their books back, left, right and centre.

I also heard that they asked Blogger.com to tell Ellen Ashe to delete all the NCP-related posts on her blog. The real shame of it, is that she did. If I’d still been using Blogger, and they’d written to me, I’d have moved the whole damn blog before I took a single post down.

Anyway, it seems that they are still looking for people to work for them:

Here’s the ad for the author liaison role: (You remember their former liaison officer don’t you? James Lightsey. He’s the guy who allegedly tried to sell new NCP print books on Amazon, so that TPTB wouldn’t have to pay any royalty to their authors. Stellar guy.)

Position: Author Liaison

Qualifications/Responsibilities:

Answer emails from authors/handle author problems-keep email and physical addresses current-return contracts-filing contracts-routing artwork questionnaires-update contracted books list(Excel)-send authors marketing/promotion tips-company updates-artwork. Scheduling information-track author orders/booksignings. Online promotions (author/reader chat group)

That didn’t sound much like their old author liaison person now did it? Also, didn’t Madris get rid of the Reader Group a while ago?  Shall we attempt a re-write?

OK, here’s mine:

Author Liaison Officer

The ideal candidate must have a firm understanding of how a legitimate e-publisher works. He/she must show a willingness to lie, and cheat upon instruction. He/she must be an expert in the art of prevarication, and have the ability to give vague answers whenever questioned about inconsequential issues, such as royalty payments not being received.

He must also be fully commited to screwing authors over when necessary. Professionalism is not an absolute requirement, but the ideal candidate must be able to refrain from using the C word to describe his/her authors. The F word is much more widely used and acceptable.

The ideal candidate must have some grasp of the English language, but must not get hung up on inconsequential details like the appropriate use of punctuation, and the utilisation of the spell-check function.

Whilst we here at New Concepts Publishing, do not believe in showing favouritism to any specific author, the ideal candidate will have a comprehensive understanding of what the term ‘black-balling’ refers to, and must be willing to initiate this action upon request, or as he/she sees fit.

Now, doesn’t that sound more like it?

Anyway, there are a few more positions available, here’s one for a customer service person:

Position: Customer Service/Receptionist

Qualifications/Responsibilities:

Customer Service-answer customer emails–handle customer order problems-bookstore liaison.
Receptionist-phone calls-mail pickup-mail routing/sort-take phone orders-rout mail in orders-type invoices for both mail in and phone orders–order routing.

Here are a couple more to choose from:

Position: Editors/Proof readers

Qualifications/Responsibilities:

Editors/Proof readers-edit-proof read manuscripts. Write blurbs and one liners for books. Requires superior knowledge of grammar/excellent reading skills and ability to read and evaluate all genres-good well rounded knowledge. We publish Romance and Erotica-subgenres Contemporary, Historical, Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal, and readers must be able to spot a wide variety of problems in
areas from scientific to historical details. If you are easily offended by graphic materials, you should not apply. Familiarity with outlook express, typing skills, good working knowledge of MSWord.

Position: Bookkeeper
Qualifications/Responsibilities:

Bookkeeping-payroll-accounts receivable-accounts payable-royalty statements-taxes-stock ordering-billing.

So how would you guys re-write any of the above job ads?

The winner will have the privilege of having their ad posted on the blog.

I know, my generosity knows no bounds.

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

Remember James Lightsey, AKA ex fucktard of the week here at KKB Central? Well a few people think that this person might be him.

If it’s him, it’s a bit cheeky isn’t it? I guess this way, none of the authors get their royalties, and they don’t have to pay tax on the books sold. If NCP have resorted to doing things like this, surely they can’t be doing all that well financially?

Can anybody shed any light on this? Are your books included in there somewhere?

Thanks to You-Know-Who for the heads up.

From NCP’s website:

Our office has sustained damage from a severe thunderstorm and our phone and email is temporarily out of service. All emails will be answered as soon as our service has been restored.”

Does anybody really believe them?

Via Emily’s blog.

By the way, I meant to ask the question earlier, but does anybody know if they are still getting lots of new submissions?

So, does anybody know why Madris DePasture (NCP Owner) felt the need to post the names of all the authors whose rights have reverted back to them?  I’m thinking that this was a directive from a legal source, but I cannot fathom out why, seeing as I’ve never seen anything similar at any of the other e-pubs.

Here’s the gist of what’s been written on the NCP site:

Notice of Breach of Contract and Intention to Resolve

In as much as author Shalon Stewart aka Sydney Somers has refused to honor her obligations to this company regarding completion of her novels Howl for Me and One Dark Knight. And, in as much as New Concepts Publishing has invested money in art, editing, and promotion of these two books as well as other considerations and Ms. Shalon Stewart having been informed of this circumstance has stated the intention of not completing the projects, New Concepts Publishing has taken such steps as they deem appropriate to resolve this situation.

Notice of reversion of rights

To whom it may concern, this is to serve as notification of the reversion of rights to Janet Luchinger, aka Lauren Agony/Janet Springer regarding novels previously contracted with New Concepts Publishing and sold through our website as well as through our distributors, webwide, and various independent bookstores under the titles of A Hitman for Hannah and Loverboy. Although both novels appeared together in the print version, Naughty Men, and New Concepts Publishing reserves the right to dispose of the returns due to the substantial monetary investment the company has paid for these books in print, all other rights have reverted to Janet Luchinger as well as future print rights of both or either book so long as it is understood that New Concepts Publishing will continue to sell Naughty Men until we have recovered our investment in these print versions of A Hitman for Hannah and Loverboy. We acknowledge that the author, Janet Luchinger, is entitled to any royalties that accrue from the sale of these print books. We further maintain that no royalties will be due to the author in the event that we are unable to sell the remainders and/or are forced to sell them below our cost, or give the books away as promotional items.

Madris DePasture
New Concepts Publishing

Notice of reversion of rights
To whom it may concern, this is to serve as notification of the reversion of rights to Ellen Ashman aka Ellen Ashe regarding novels previously contracted with New Concepts Publishing and sold through our website as well as through our distributors, webwide, and various independent bookstores under the titles of Love Not Forgotten, Lady Outlaws, Midnight Tryst, The Mountain Man, A Mistress for Marcos, Merlin’s Eye, and the Sorcerer’s Mark. Although the novel The Sorcerer’s Mark appeared in print version, and New Concepts Publishing reserves the right to dispose of the returns due to the substantial monetary investment the company has paid for these books in print, all other rights have reverted to Ellen Ashman as well as future print rights of the book so long as it is understood that New Concepts Publishing will continue to sell The Sorcerer’s Mark until we have recovered our investment in the print versions of The Sorcerer’s Mark. We acknowledge that the author, Ellen Ashman, is entitled to any royalties that accrue from the sale of these print books. We further maintain that no royalties will be due to the author in the event that we are unable to sell the remainders and/or are forced to sell them below our cost, or give the books away as promotional items.

Madris DePasture
New Concepts Publishing

Notice of reversion of rights
To whom it may concern, this is to serve as notification of the reversion of rights to Tracey Ranson regarding novels previously contracted with New Concepts Publishing and sold through our website as well as through our distributors, webwide, and various independent bookstores under the titles of The Conqueror, The Warlord’s Woman, Caribbean Splendor, and The Unforgiven: Raphael.

Madris DePasture
New Concepts Publishing

Notice of reversion of rights
To whom it may concern, this is to serve as notification of the reversion of rights to Louise Crawford regarding novels previously contracted with New Concepts Publishing and sold through our website as well as through our distributors, webwide, and various independent bookstores under the titles of Rhiannon and Spirit Heart.

Madris DePasture
New Concepts Publishing

There are a couple of authors on there that I know for sure have been dying to get away from the madness that is NCP, but what of the others?

For anybody with any inside information, you can e-mail me at hairylemony @ gmail . com, and as usual, total confidentiality guaranteed.

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.

Apparently, NCP readers have been having trouble receiving their book orders from the publisher.

A disgruntled reader posted the following on the loop:

Hi everyone

As you know i am a print NCP reader and i have currently got an order in for 10 books with my local seller

She tells me her order went in a month ago with no confirmation yet received

I have sent a follow up email to customer service (yeah right) for get them to follow up

Hopefully i will get some sort of reply in a 24 hour timeframe (my hopes are not high)

Anyhow i thought i would include you all in this first step of the wrestling match that is ordering from NCP and will keep you updated as to responses and outcomes

This is the above reader’s original e-mail to NCP:

From:___>
To:
Subject: Order query
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 13:10:11 +1000

Good Morning

My local bookseller here in Australia put an order in with you about a month ago for some print books

As yet no confirmation has been received

Could you confirm the timeframes for fullfilling orders placed with your organisation

Would appreciate a timely response to my query as i have been trying to contact you by phone and been told the number has been disconnected

Thanks

—–

Here’s a response from another reader:

Hello,
Don’t hold your breath!!! I have tried to order ebooks from them lately and can’t even get those! I never had any problems before but now they are having customer service issues! Their website says they will answer all quests 48-72 hours, yeah right, it’s been over a week and I still haven’t gotten my refund!!!

Apparently their main e-mail isn’t working too well either:

—– Original Message —–
From: Mail Delivery System
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 1:02 PM
Subject: Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender

> This is the mail system at _____.
>
> I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not
> be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.
>
> For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.
>
> If you do so, please include this problem report. You can
> delete your own text from the attached returned message.
>
> The mail system
>
> : host[]
> said: 550 ncp@newconceptspublishing.com…Due to extended inactivity
new
> mail is not currently being accepted for this mailbox. (in reply to
RCPT TO
> command)

No idea what the above means, but if they’re having e-mail problems you’d think they’d sort it out ASAP to avoid losing out on potential sales.

Anyway, this was forwarded to me last night, but I didn’t get a chance to check my e-mails until this evening, so maybe the issue has been resolved.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Thanks to Ellen Ashe for the heads up.

New Concepts’ RT Photos…

Saturday, May 3, 2008
Posted in: New Concepts Publishing


Andrea DePasture, Some Model Person, and Madris DePasture

I wandered over to C’um Hither Global, and came across this link to New Concepts’ RT photo gallery.

As Peter Piper already noted, there seemed to be very few photos of NCP authors in this collection. I wonder where they all were?

Yet another Madris DePasture tirade to her authors.

You’d think she’d make up her mind one way or the other on the subject of editing:

The question of editing continues to surface. We EDIT the books. We Have ALWAYS edited the books. We will ALWAYS edit the books. The COMPANY’S reputation is based on the quality of books that we release And we are just as careful in guarding–make that MORE careful in Guarding the reputation of this company than many of the authors who Write for this company.

In the simplest terms, we do not ACCEPT books for publication unless We deem them to be an asset to this company to begin with. Once we Have accepted a book for publication, it becomes the company’s Decision when the book has been edited sufficiently to be deemed Worthy, by this company, of publication.

It is the author’s responsibility to submit to the company their Product already polished and edited to the best of their ability. We Do not teach writing at NCP. We do not accept books for publication That are not already deemed publishable. Authors seeking critiquing Services should do so before they submit the final product.

So basically, authors have to make sure they do their own editing, even though she says that NCP have always edited their books.

Yep, clear as mud.

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

Ellen sent me a link to a page at New Concepts Publishing, where they are selling the books that they originally took off the website just to spite her. They are now selling them less 20%.

What must be a little annoying for Ellen Ashe is that the books have no cover, and the author’s name is absent. So yeah, no attribution, until you click on the ‘Buy’ link. How it must have pained them to have to include her name at all.

Could Madris DePasture be any more petty and vindictive? What a nutter.

If the NCP ship sinks, she wont be able to blame anybody but herself, although I suspect, she’ll try very hard to blame everybody, but herself.

Hopefully nobody buys the books at NCP. Ellen has been trying to sell them herself, since NCP removed them from the website out of sheer bloody-mindedness. I would strongly recommend that anybody interested in Ellen’s books, buy them from her directly. I wouldn’t trust those crazies at NCP as far as I could throw them.

Hopefully authors who are coming to the end of their contracts will have enough brain cells to not renew, because I can only see this ending one way.

Doesn’t Gail Northman from the now defunct Triskelion seem pretty lucid these days in comparison to Madris DePasture? *Shudder*

So I thought I’d post Madris DePasteur’s latest rambling post. Apparently she sent this to all the authors again.

“There are a lot of reasons we’ve abandoned the critiquing phase of editing and now generally accept books `as is’. Foremost among these reasons is a lack of cooperation from the authors whose books we’ve tried to improve who appear to have far more confidence in the pointers they get from friends and family members than people experienced in the business.

Since this actually is a matter of opinion, expert or not, and the authors seem determined to live with their decision, we let them. The only exception to this is when an author has a habit that is so distracting and/or annoying that we feel that it will be impossible for the reader to get any enjoyment out of the book.”

She can’t help herself can she? Although, admittedly, I had to read that paragraph about three times before I finally understood what she was saying.

“We consider if bad policy for any of our authors to annoy our distributor, who is not only very prompt and reliable in paying, but who also sells a high volume of books. If our distributor reports to us that one of our authors has been annoying them we will pull that author’s books from the list to ensure that our authors do not annoy our distributor, and that includes all of the online booksellers who get the books from the distributor, who report to the distributor, who reports to us.

Do not NAG the distributor or booksellers unless you’d just rather not have your work widely available, in which case, you should just tell us not to list your book with the distributor and STILL leave the distributor alone.

Professional to the end isn’t she? *g*

Thanks to you know who for the e-mail.

little-devil.jpg

I just go this e-mail:

The rumor is Kensington sued NCP after NCP released “Intergalactic Bad Boys”. Apparently, even though titles can’t be copyrighted, Brava felt they owned all the “Bad Boys”. I don’t know how it turned out, or if it’s even resolved.

Interesting. Does anybody know whether it’s been resolved or not? Surely this would have been an expensive endeavour for NCP? I wouldn’t think they’d be in any position to launch a defamation suit.

idiot.jpg

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.

do-i-give-a-shit.jpg

Please note, this was originally posted at my Karenscott.wordpress.com blog. You can also find the corresponding comments there.

That’s what Madris DePasture wrote in a New Concepts announcement letter addressed to her authors in 2002/2003.

It would seem that even as far back as that, Madris lacked a certain finesse when dealing with her writers.

Because I’m a bad, bad girl, let me post this warning that she included within one of the letters:

Please remember, this page is ONLY for NCP authors, so don’t give out the address to anyone else. There is no link on the main site going to the Author Lounge, so be sure to bookmark it. The address is http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/authorlounge33.htm

Ooops, again.

That should get some of the authors at the Romance Divas forum anxiously wringing their hands. Yes, I know, I am the devil herself.

Let me post you some snippets anyway, after all, the devil has no conscience:

“Any author who has NOT fulfilled the terms of their contract, or in any other manner behaved unprofessionally, been verbally abusive or just uncooperative, who demands the release of their book, may or may not be given permission to withdraw.

If money has been exchanged and/or time and effort put into marketing your book, we might then decide NOT to release you from your contractual obligations. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you wish to hire a lawyer to regain the rights. If we do decide to relinquish the rights, and state as much via email, do NOT expect to receive further written confirmation just to make you comfortable.

We will not go to any extraordinary lengths to soothe your fears. You are not welcome to submit again at a later time when we have managed to build a market and your work will never be considered again by New Concepts Publishing.

Charming woman.

For those of you who don’t understand and get nervous when you don’t hear anything and want to be continually updated on any and all progress… I’m sorry, but we just don’t have time to hold hands right now. Please repeat this mantra…..NCP is a business with much work to do.

As long as the website is there, they are there. If the phone is busy, it’s a good thing. If my emails have not been answered it’s because they are busy doing the work publishers do in order to stay in business and sell books. I am not being ignored because I’m not important, or because they’re thinking about dumping me. They are busy and I am allowing my fertile imagination to conjure paranoia.

Good grief.

Otherwise, keep in mind that your reputation is our reputation and our reputation is your reputation. If NCP is thought well of, then our authors have status as our authors. If our authors are thought poorly of, then NCP is not considered a good publisher. Whatever doubts or anxieties you might have, when you make NCP look bad, it makes you look bad.

Watch what you say, where you say it and to whom you say it. Don’t share your hysteria, anxieties or disappointments. Don’t play the blame game. Whether you realize it or not, YOU always get tarred with that feather.

I realize that people are either confident, or not. Nothing anyone can say or do can build confidence in those who lack it. Everything anyone says or does can further deteriorate a fragile confidence. However, I am sick to death of hearing ‘we’re not as good as’ NY, or any other publisher for that matter.

I have a feeling she’s not that big on trying to build confidence in the first place.

Rumor has it that Ellora’s Cave is so desperate for ‘romantica’ that they’re asking their authors to add sex scenes to previously written books. Anyone who’s been in the business for a while, and learned their craft, will know that this is a formula that will generally not click.

Hehe, she dissed Elloras Cave. That should go down well with the folks over at EC. We all know how precious they can be.

Before I go further, I need to address one serious problem that frequently rears it’s ugly head in this business, particularly when I try to talk shop to our authors—jealousy. I do understand that this is something that is a part of some people’s nature, hard to control and hard to combat. However, it is a totally useless and unproductive emotion. If it empowered a person to strive harder, then it would have some use. I’ve yet to see that—I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but in general it just causes problems.

Set your jealousy aside. The plain, hard, indisputable fact of life in publishing is that you are an entertainer. Sometimes your ideas appeal, sometimes not. I wish I knew the exact formula to produce highly successful books every time, but no one knows that. Even authors who regularly sell well occasionally write one that flops, and usually some that do not perform as well as others—this isn’t an exact science and it is useless to try to compare your books to anyone else’s.

Hey, it’s not all bad, she does give props to one of her authors:

Now, having said that, I want to give credit where it’s due, Autumn Dawn ‘lucked’ out by writing a wonderfully appealing book, effective promotion, and being in the right place at the right time with the right story.

I wonder she couldn’t just say the author in question did a good job, without having to say that her success was due to ‘luck’?

What a great ambassador for her business eh? I can’t believe how bad she is at addressing her writers. It is possible to write a communication document without leaving the recipients feeling like they just had a fight with a cruise missile.

Oh, and for those folks over at Romance Divas who insist on wringing their hands over the legality of posting Madris’ e-mail, and discussing whether it should have been posted in the first place, rather than concentrating on the fact that your fellow authors are being shafted left, right, and centre, let’s hope you’re never in the same position as Ellen Ashe eh?

Thanks to you-know-who for the link.