You might be gasping at the title of this blog post, and it almost makes me cringe to even type it. Because I’m suggesting that you do NOT to buy some of my books.
Here’s a little story:
There once was a young, naive author who signed contracts with not one publisher but two who have screwed her out of money and rights. Unfortunately this author didn’t know what the future held. With publisher #1, at least she got recognition and a name. It was a chance at being published that others hadn’t taken on her.
But publisher #2 was a good publisher (at the time). They were at the top of their game, doing every conference and book function in the industry. Some huge names were published there, so this stupid author signed a CONTRACT FOR FOREVER RIGHTS. Yes, you read that right–rights will never be reverted (except under a weird little clause, which I’ll tell you about later.)
This publisher has cheated hundreds of authors. Their big ship was the Titanic with a huge gouge in the side but unlike the Titanic, this motherfucker won’t sink. They keep floating along–how is anybody’s guess. They’re wanted for thousands in back taxes and they’ve been attacked on Dear Author and many other prominent blogs. Still, they’re still kicking. Ain’t no Raid bug spray that takes this vermin out.
They’ve gone from paying monthly to quarterly, but for some authors, they stopped paying them altogether. In case you haven’t guessed, I’m one of these authors. The last check I got was in December 2015 and it was for books sold around March 2015. Now, in this industry, this is complete and total bullshit, folks. Holding onto funds is not right.
Say you work at McDonalds and one day you stop getting a paycheck. They say you’re getting paid ASAP. That day never comes. YET THEY TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN’T QUIT UNLESS YOU GET YOURSELF AN ATTORNEY AND FIGHT THEM FOR IT.
Yep, that’s what I was told. You can’t have your books back. You can’t get paid either, so here’s the big fat middle finger. Sit and spin, Em. I told them they’d breached contract by failing to pay quarterly as per their terms. Their response was, and I quote:
Breach of clause 16 regarding royalties payments (or any other contract clause) does not void the contract nor revert book rights to you. When a contract is breached, the party claiming breach has the option of waiting for the other party to correct the situation or may pursue legal action to gain correction of the situation. In such case, the court would typically set a deadline by which time the situation must be corrected (“cured”), and if not corrected the court would decide on further action.
The only conditions set forth in the contract for reversion of rights are in clause 1.1. If your book qualifies (meets all the conditions listed), you may send a request for reversion of rights, stating it is based on clause 1.1.
Therefore your request for reversion of rights is not granted.
Ellora’s Cave Evil Publisher continues to hold all publishing rights to the contracted books. The author has no rights to distribute or sell these books in any format or channels.
So basically, they’re saying:
Nananananana! Get a fucking lawyer. Pay for it out of the grocery fund that feeds your 4 kids, Em. And good fucking luck to you, because chances are, you’ll be wrapped up in a legal mess forever. And we still won’t pay you. Oh yeah, we won’t give your books back either.
Oh, and Evil Publisher has also sold our rights back to us in many cases. Authors were mortgaging their fucking houses to get enough money to buy their own books back! I asked the price of my own books and was quoted $25,000 for my fireman series and $10,000 for each of the other titles.
Can I get a big FUCK NO?
Okay, here’s the real meaning behind my post today. If I get no sales on these titles, I can have rights back. I’ll let you make up your minds whether or not to buy these:
If it were me, I’d see these titles, close my eyes and flick on past them. Because buying them is equivalent to knowing little Asian toddlers are sewing your underwear 12 hours a day and losing fingers in the sewing machines.
With poor sales, I have a CHANCE at getting the rights back. Evil Publisher will return rights for poor sales (after they scratch their asses for undetermined amounts of time).
I feel like I’ve been silent long enough. Many other authors have come out about this bullshit, and it’s my turn. I’ve been waiting for the right moment when I could be heard and make a difference. If not to other authors, then dammit, to my own livelihood. As a single mom of 4 I want the money I’m owed. And if they won’t pay me, then I want these books back in my control so I can earn from them.
Instead of me asking you to help me shoot a book to the top of the charts, I’d like to see these rankings drop to 200 squillion on Amazon. WHEN I get these rights back (yeah, I’m gonna fight till the end of my days–or likely theirs), I promise to offer them all #FREE just because I can!
As for Publisher #1, they aren’t a concern to me. They gave me a start when nobody else did. To me, it’s like saying I got 5 beautiful kids out of my shitty marriage. What concerns me right now is a publisher who can say screw you, get a lawyer, we won’t help you at all.
I hope you’ll continue to buy my MANY other titles. You can see them all on my website.
Thanks for listening to my rant and for following me and my books. Each and every fan is important to me, just as every author should be important to publishers. Overall, the publishers I’ve worked with have been amazing and gone above and beyond for me. I will continue to write for several publishers as well as indie publish. Don’t worry–I’m not lying down and waiting for the experience to end me.