Saturday, September 27, 2014

Scattered E-publisher Thoughts

I have a question I haven't seen addressed. It might have been, I just haven't seen it. Perhaps I should ask over at DA or SBTB, but I'm more comfortable in this setting and you never know, someone might answer.

EC isn't the only epublisher to go into meltdown. It's happened to others with just as much scandal and you can be sure it'll happen again. Unfortunately I don't remember their names, a hazard of being a small, dishonest epub, but Absolute Write will have them.

Here's the thing. I've never heard of any legal sequellae because of epub skulduggery. The epubs just go away. No one is arrested for fraud or stealing or bad business practices or anything.

See, my observation is epubs seem to attract crazies who want quick money, or just a lot money period and get it by starting their own publishing house. They'll milk the cow for awhile, do everything they can to keep the left hand from knowing what the right hand is doing such as threatening authors and playing fast and loose with money. Then, after squeezing everything they can from every person they control, they'll declare bankruptcy and slink off into the night. Or start another epub a couple of years later.

Was it Barnum who said there's a sucker born every minute? Well, there's a writer yearning to be published born almost as often and unfortunately many of them are shark bait. If there's anything I've learned from all this, it's BEWARE! Double and triple check your research and read that contract carefully. (Of course contracts don't always matter to a dicey epub, so sign at your own risk. I think it safe to say most epub authors would not choose to sue over a contract dispute because principles can be so expensive!)

I do want to say that the epub who accepted my manuscripts, Lyrical Press, and edited and published them, was a joy to work with. I was lucky because I did no research at all. At all! Beginner's luck. Lyrical is now with Kensington and I wish them well.

So, was anyone ever arrested or is all this perfectly legal?


  1. Keeping in mind that IANAL and TINLA, here's what I believe applies: authors are subcontractors, and like many subcontractors to small businesses, if the business goes belly up and no one buys the assets (in this case, the authors' contracts and any manuscripts/titles there may be), then those would revert to the authors--otherwise, whomever buys the assets gets those contracts/titles.

    At one point, Karen Scott used to keep a pretty accurate ear to the ground for many--many, indeed--of the epub implosions, and I honestly don't remember anyone actually paying with jail time, or even with money out of their pocket, for scamming authors.

    Which is probably why it keeps happening, and why if I wrote, I would first look into what successful self published authors are doing.

  2. I was so confused by this post until I realized epub meant "epublishers" rather than the format... ;-)

  3. I'm an old fart, Willa, lol. I have to google all the acronyms folks use on the internet, but I apologize for the confusion.

    Btw, I found the review Jamie McGuire is supposedly upset over, upset enough to gloat over Jane's situation. I would die, and Lori too, I bet, if any of my stories got a C at DA. I remember reading the review and thinking the writing was good but I like my characters to grow, so I didn't get it.

    But how childish to pout over a C, which is a very good grade in my world, lol. Unless there's some other reason, I have to say this person is not an adult. Perhaps that's why she writes NA?

  4. Addendum: of course, Lori got a B so my statement is premature, lol.

  5. Another addendum: should have read the remarks for that review. All is explained. What a bitch and I ain't talkin' 'bout Jane!