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Whiskey Creek Press Love Their Authors Like Victoria Beckham Loves Complex Carbohydrates Part 1499...

Yet another satisfied Whiskey Creek author left this comment on an old Whiskey Creek Press blog post:

I also had a bad experience with WCP. They did not publish my book until one year after I signed the contract. A month before it was supposed to be published the editor contacted me and I had to rush to look at everything.

A second editor completely ignored the changes and sent me a galley with errors in it. When I asked if we could correct those errors she called me up and said that I was a horrible writer and she is confused about why the company ever took me on. After berating me for ten minutes she suggested I buy out my contract because I had a bad attitude (all because I wrote a polite e-mail pointing out that a few things were missed.)

She said I was much too young to be doing this. What company accepts a manuscript and then their editor calls to berate the author? Then when it came time for royalty payments, I never got them. They said “We will get you next time around.” Does this sound unprofessional to anyone?

I’ve got a few questions in response to the above:

A; She obviously knew the publishing date, why didn’t she query it in the first place, if she wasn’t happy with the length of time it would take for her book to hit the public? I have to say, a year sounds pretty reasonable to me.

B: Why was she rushing to get the edits in a month prior to publishing? She’s just complained about the length of time she’d been given between signing her contract and having the book published.

C: Why would an editor tell you what an asshole you are, just because you asked for the changes to your book to be implemented? Do we think she’s missed a whole chunk out of information out here? (Mind you, this is Whiskey Creek Press after all, so you never know…)

D: Did she actually sell copies of her books? What are the payment terms over at WCP?

I never know what to believe with these epub authors, I just assume that anybody who has this much trouble with their publisher isn’t the brightest bulb in the picnic hamper. It sounds like she’s been dicked around, but honestly she doesn’t sound overly bright, so my sympathies are limited. Harsh, I know, but hey, what are ya gonna do?


  • Lori
    June 1
    10:08 pm

    The mind boggles.

    I’m now completely about checking Absolute Write Bewares before I’d submit anywhere.


  • WCP is a strange/awkward/sus publisher to deal with but no sillier than any other epublisher. What fascinates me is there are writers still writing for WCP that whine in emails to me about how terrible they are and yet those authors still keeps writing for them. Shut up and deal or move on. Epublishing? Trust no one.


  • Avalanche
    June 2
    10:42 pm

    It seems that WCP is acting in an unprofessional manner and pissing off a lot of people.



  • It’s entirely possible the publisher did not send her the edits until a month before publication. That’s how I read it.

    I was once hit with an edit request on Friday when the book was supposed to be released the following Wednesday. (we’d been through the standard editing, but this was a special last minute request. Apparently the house objected to the use of “queer” as an umbrella term for the QUILTBAG, even if it was a gay man saying it.)

    When an editor calls you–a very rare occurance–they are peeved at you. They have gone to the trouble of digging out your phone number from the files just to yell at you personally. Why would they do it? Any number of reasons including jerkfacedness.

    Even if she got no royalties, she should have gotten a sales statement saying “You sold x copies. Your royalties are too low for a check to be issued and will be rolled over to the next pay period.” (I’ve gotten a few of those.)

    I’ve seen this crap happen with ebook authors. I’ve seen it happen with mass-market paperback authors. (See the Dorchester mess)


  • Mitzi Hill
    June 3
    8:04 pm

    One of the members of my writing group says that WCP has been holding onto her four novels, against her wishes, for over two years, and trying to stiff her for $2,000 to get out. During that time, she has received only $34.50 in royalties. That would be unusually low for even one novel, in one year, but for 4 novels in over 2 years, it isn’t possible.

    They have never replied to any of her emails, except to demand termination fees. The nightmare began when they edited her stories after the final edits had been done, in a voice that is not her own. Then after all the hard work she did in getting reviews, they didn’t even post them on their site. So obviously they are not interested in promoting the novels, just in the termination fees.

    This is from the WCP contract re termination fees of $500 per novel.

    “The Author may terminate this agreement before the three (3) year period above by means of a contract buyout. The Author will notify the Publisher 90 days before buyout date with a certified mail notice or other receipted or traceable delivery service, of the intent to exercise the contract buyout option. All rights granted the publisher would revert to Author at the time of the buyout, if proper notification has been done. Upon this contract termination through the buyout option, Publisher will remove listing of the Work from its website and all download-based distributors and advise Books in Print that that particular ISBN is no longer in print. The exception to this termination of contract is that Publisher may continue to sell existing stock of physical formats (print books) but may not create new physical copies upon depletion of its existing stock. The Author will pay to the Publisher the sum of $500.00 (five hundred dollars) to exercise this contract buyout option. This fee must be paid to the Publisher by the Author at notification of intent to exercise the buyout option. The Author will be responsible for full payment of damages and customary legal fees as a result of legal action stemming from failure to pay this buyout clause.”


  • Actually, sad as it is, I’ve heard of authors who have novellas that haven’t earned $25. This is over a few years, too. The authors I’m speaking of don’t come WCP, but other semi-well-known pubs. That being said, all these authors did receive royalty statements, telling them how many (or rather how few) books they sold.


  • Breckenbridge
    June 3
    10:05 pm

    “Actually, sad as it is, I’ve heard of authors who have novellas that haven’t earned $25. This is over a few years, too.”

    But this was apparently 4 books, only earning $34.50 in over two years, not just one novella.


  • Bubblegum
    June 4
    3:20 am

    There’s a group of disgruntled WCP authors who feel they’ve been ripped off, and are considering a class action lawsuit. WCP has their books up for sale at Fictionwise and Amazon, but these outlets will not release the sales figures without a court order. At this point the legal route seems the only way to go. Especially, since it’s this publisher’s policy to simply ignore all communications, except, of course, when they think there’s a chance some poor, mistreated and desperate author just might cough up a hefty $500 per book in termination fees.


  • Jenn
    June 4
    9:50 pm

    Question: If a book isn’t making any money for WCP, then why do they hang onto it so tenaciously for years, demanding $500 to cancel the contract? Why not just do the decent thing, as most publishers do, and let the author out to try his luck elsewhere? Unless, of course, termination fees are WCP’s raison d’etre. And looking at this publisher, and how they began as a straight out vanity press, the signs are there that this is the case. Why would anyone sign up with WCP when they can self-publish on Amazon and Smashwords and do much better?


  • Anon 76
    June 5
    4:20 am

    You have to think on some publishers in the same manner you think on “puppy mills”. The sole focus is on the almighty dollar no matter how damaging the practice.

    And yes, they do find ways to make those bucks even if books don’t sell, or sell and aren’t listed on any accounting sheet. Either way, the burden for the bucks is usually made on the back of the author, talented or not.

    Don’t look to the BBB for relief in such matters. A writer is a private contractor and thus not a consideration for them. Even if you must purchase your own books to sell via the publisher, you are still not covered by the BBB. If that were the case Publish America and those of their ilk would have been shut down long ago.


  • Are there any happy WCP authors out there? If so, now would be a good time to speak up…


  • Robert G
    June 5
    7:31 pm

    “Are there any happy WCP authors out there? If so, now would be a good time to speak up…”

    S I L E N C E!!!!!!



  • @Robert G: Lol, I knew hey wouldn’t be that popular, haha!


  • I had a horrible experience with WCP that rings true to other complaints listed here and various other sites – not ran by WCP. They contact you immediately before they intend to release your work, and revisions are not marked in documents that allow author to see changes. One must read thoroughly to find what they have revised. My attorney and I kept voicemails demanding the revisions be made within a week or it would be published “as is” along with repeated unprofessional and contradictory emails. My complaint file is witness documented and my attorney was prepared to sue before they finally released my work back to me. The first obvious error in their galleys: misspelling of my name! Tip of the iceberg. It took quite some time to terminate my contract, but after learning WCP does not allow external auditors (the family of several publishing aliases also has four authors in their family who get royalties). Talk about conflict of interest. My attorney also uncovered countless similar complaints and learned the only physical (never trust PO Boxes) address listed by WCP and their other aliases, is that of a tiny warehouse of another company unrelated to publishing.
    Fly solo or keep working on your novel until a reputable publisher will accept, promote, and allow you or your representative to view all financial reports.


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