This Latest Publishing Disaster:Reblogged from Tricia Dammeh

Although my readership is still relatively wee, I want to get this unfortunate heads-up out to anyone thinking of writing for publication. Bad times for an apparently dying industry lead to bad times for authors everywhere. In short, trust no one, and read your contracts like you’re signing a deal with the devil. In some cases, this might be a more appropriate analogy than you think.

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6 thoughts on “This Latest Publishing Disaster:Reblogged from Tricia Dammeh

  1. Sophie E Tallis says:

    Absolutely Proseia! I had a terrible experience with my ex-publisher, a real nightmare I wouldn’t wish on anyone and I know I’m not alone, but what poor Tricia is going through is just horrendous! That’s what nobody tells you, that when you get that golden ticket, that amazing offer of a contract STOP! Don’t sign! Check them out thoroughly, and I mean thoroughly! If I had, I would have found them on Absolute Write, I would have found out that in only 2 years of operating they’d already had an author leave them, that their covers are dreadful, their sales are low, and their editing and the quality of their books is just poor. And that’s not counting all the broken promises, the incompetence, the dreadful way they treated me, them trying to change terms of contracts already signed and the awfully low deal I was on anyway. So why did I sign? Because they chased me and I was so excited and overwhelmed and off my head with excitement that I jumped before looking. Stupid! Lesson learned now though and I’m free as a bird and loving it. I’ll never sign with an indie again. Self-publish or big publisher, that’s it, any other route, for me, is just too fraught with danger. Poor Tricia though, has it a thousand times worse. I really really hope she can get herself out of the dreadful situation she’s in.

    • Proseia says:

      It really is a shame, since indie publishers -could- do so much good for the writing community, but by and large seem to be opportunists who take advantage of the fear most writers have of never being noticed by a big firm. The good news is that the word is getting out, and soon enough there won’t be as much of a market for them, and self-publishing (as we’ve already seen happen over the past few years) won’t carry so much of a stigma as it did. It used to be that anyone who self-published was seen as lazy or self-important; now with the publishing industry changing it looks like self-publishing is becoming the much more prudent route. It may be more difficult, but hopefully it will change the whole scene for the better as more and more people go that direction. I’m glad to hear you managed to get out with relatively few scrapes, though, and I hope the same will happen for Tricia. 🙂

      • Sophie E Tallis says:

        Yes, I must say the whole experience put me off indie publishers for life, which I know is wrong, as there are some decent ones out there. Wild Wolf Publishing for instance, at least pay all their authors a decent percentage, 10%, I had half that! Shocking! No author should accept below 7% which is industry standard, but as you said, now that attitudes are changing, self-publishing is definitely the better route for many. You may take the risks, but at least you keep all rights and the majority of the profits. Trying to get accurate sales figures and royalties from some publishers is like asking for the impossible, and the quality of the books is often no better than that which an individual author could achieve themselves. In fact, in my case, I was so disappointed and appalled at the cheap look and poor overall quality of my published book, that I am now self-publishing it myself as a second edition! Not only will it have a font you can actually see, as the publishers chose a microscopic 10.7 which made the text too small for kids to read, but it will have better editing, better formatting, better layout and a MUCH better cover as well! One of the worst things with my ex-publishers and again, symptomatic of a less than professional approach, was the fact that they employed no professional cover artists to do any of their book covers, instead one of the company directors who dabbled in art and thought she was talented (as a trained and qualified art professional myself, I can tell you she is not) insisted on doing all the covers herself and some of them as a result are shocking and certainly some of the worst I’ve seen in the industry. Dear dear…certainly NOT what I thought I was signing on for. Another warning sign authors need to be wary of, are publishing houses that claim to be ‘a family’, NOT a good idea. You want professionalism, not hugs and kisses or dictatorial parental control.

        I am lucky to be out of it, but it certainly left its scars and took me many months to pick myself up again. Now, I have a professional Editor, which just shows how dreadful the precious ones were, and the future is what I make of it! I just wish Tricia and anyone else going through publishing hell, every bit of luck in the world. The key is, not to suffer in silence, share with others and gain strength from it and knowledge to fight on! 😀

      • Proseia says:

        When is your second edition coming out? I’ve been looking around for your book White Mountain, but haven’t been able to find the ebook anywhere. Anywhere legitimate I can go to find it, or will it be down til you get your self-pub business squared? I’d love to read it. 🙂

      • Sophie E Tallis says:

        Phew! I’m kind of glad you can’t get hold of it tbh, as the publisher’s were supposed to have taken it all down, but I trust them as much as I could throw them! Thanks, Proseia! I know it’s still on the Waterstones website and I think it can still be ordered with them, but I’d wait for the second edition! I was originally going to re-release White Mountain along with Book 2, Race of Shadows for this Autumn, but due to illness and ensuring that things are settled with my ex-publisher’s it will be next year instead, probably Autumn for Book 2 and earlier in the summer for White Mountain. Cheers mate! 😀

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