Where To Turn?

We urge WCP authors to seek legal advice before signing the new contract. This could be accomplished with just one consultation, so the costs involved would be minimal. For those of you who don't have the resources to do so, consider getting in touch with one of the free online legal services.

http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/44-places-where-writers-and-other.html
http://legal.advicescene.com/
http://lifehacker.com/5895928/get-free-legal-advice-from-actual-lawyers-at-legaladvicecom-no-really
http://www.legaladvice.com/

108 comments:

Greg Gifford said...

Hey thanks for this. But I've no intention of signing this new contract even if a lawyer said it was the best thing since canned spam.

Anonymous said...

Good on ya, Greg. I feel the same way. Check your emails.

Adele said...

If you haven't seen the new contract, you can check it out here.

http://postimg.org/image/k9f50jgs9/

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed how deb and steve always put letters after their names. (LOL) Like, hey guys, that's pretty tacky. You only broadcast to the world you have a degree if you're participating in something where you have to use your credentials. Since when did the tacky world of epubs need BAs and MAs.
I tell ya guys, this is better than comedy hour. I mean are these folks for real??????????

Squire said...

According to this WCP makes $190,000 a year. Weird since most of their books never sell. Can anyone point me to a WCP title that has a high ranking on Amazon?

http://companies.findthebest.com/l/15023060/Whiskey-Creek-Press-in-Casper-WY

Anonymous said...

The contract I've been invited to sign simply carries forward my rights 'for the term of the copyright' in my existing contracts with WCP/Torrid. I hadn't signed yet because Steve still owes me royalties for Q1 2014, but now it looks as though I simply won't.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to sign it, period. I didn't need legal advice to see a 10% drop in your royalties is you bending over and handing them the lube. We won't go into the murkiness of parts of that contract. The communications I've had with the whatever from the new company shored that up. No shot in hell. then the princely sum of one dollar as incentive? That's a flat out insult. We won't talk about how i didn't get royalties this quarter and no statement for the last three. Then there is the fact that if you do sign it, you're basically saying that you agree not to get paid for 6 friggin' months. Two words; HELL NO! I call this we're taking the money and running then screwing the authors. All it is.

Barbara said...

"No shot in hell. then the princely sum of one dollar as incentive? That's a flat out insult."
You're darned right it is. I was shocked when I saw it. Like the Lord of the Manor throwing a pittance to the peasants. But hey at least it wasn't 50 cents. (LOL)

Anonymous said...

Hey, they were already screwing us royally for years and with the rest of that new contract, but throwing in the one buck bribe was like throwing salt in the fricken wounds.

Unknown said...

I don't know how much good it will do but I'm forwarding all this to the Attorney General's Office in Wyoming. The Womacks should be audited, at the very least.

Unknown said...

Update: I just sent the following to the Attorney General's Office in Wyoming. The more of us who complain, the better chance we have of getting what we want. There is a contact form on the website, so please make your views known:
http://ag.wyo.gov/contact-us

"An investigation and audit is required regarding the business practices of Debra Womack, the publisher of Whiskey Creek Press. 541 Long Ln Casper, Wyoming 82609-2405. WCP authors are stating that they've been ripped off by Womack. Royalty payments are either late or non-existent, and Womack continues to sell their books long after they are out-of-contract. She also demands a $500 termination fee for the return of rights. Womack is now selling WCP and is trying to get authors to sign another contract, which requires them to give up their copyright permanently."
http://reportsonwhiskeycreekpress.blogspot.ca/

Anonymous said...

Sent my copy and paste of Unknowns too :D Thank you, Unknown!

Anonymous said...

I don't plan on signing. I did contact a lawyer who has all of the same issues and concerns with the proposed revisions as I had. Nothing like having your gut instinct confirmed by an experienced person in a position to know. Although term of copyright may be the new black in NY publishing, at least according to WCP and Start, just because you are physically located in NY doesn't give you the same cachet as a known and established house with a proven track record. From what I see on this thread, it also seems like the 'incentive' varies, though I was told that all authors were being offered the same terms. Surprise.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many folks actually understand what term of copyright means? I've had several authors tell me that they were thinking of signing because they thought it meant the term of the contract they originally signed and figured they'd get out at the end of that if things didn't look good. They had no idea they would be signing away their rights for 70+ years with little to no hope of ever getting them back as that contract is written. I personally have never received a statement of any kind from WCP related to my sales so have no idea what my sales figures looked like.

June Storm said...

"From what I see on this thread, it also seems like the 'incentive' varies"
The 'Incentive' for me was one dollar. No way am I signing away my copyright forever for that. Besides, I just want to get my rights back. I have never received a royalty statement from WCP, and the royalties are so poor it's pitiful. They don't do any promotion for the author, they just sit back and rake in the termination fees. I'm seeing a lawyer at the weekend. She's only charging me $25 for half-an-hour. That's not bad. I'll post everything she tells me on here. Good luck you guys, you sure didn't deserve such a deadbeat shark of a publisher.

June Storm said...

Just an afterthought here. As well as emailing the Wyoming AG, be sure and send this link to Piers Antony, Preditors and Editors, the Write Agenda, etcetera. I;d do it myself but I;m at work,

Anonymous said...

@June Storm

I did that last night. Piers got back to my today. He's going to publish the new info next month.

June Storm said...

Thanx. I had another thought too. We should check to see if WCP has a business license, or has been operating without one.

June Storm said...

This is the phone number of Casper City Hall. I couldn't find an email addy on their website. Could someone please give them a ring and ask for business licenses.
307-235-8400.

https://www.casperwy.gov/

Anonymous said...

@June
We should contact the IRS as well and ask them to do an audit. I mean, where did all those royalties go?

CR said...

I couldn't find a contact email for the IRS, but this is their Wyoming office address.

Internal Revenue Service
5353 Yellowstone Rd., RM 206A
MS 6610CHE
Cheyenne, WY 82001

(307) 261-6390

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-Wyoming

Angie said...

Hey guys; I love your new website.

June Storm said...

I also alerted Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware.

Admin said...

Thank you, Angie. We thought since we're attracting so many visitors we should spruce up a bit.

Anonymous said...

Whoever heard of signing away your copyright forever for the princely sum of l buck?

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, upon review of the contract, it appears the only way to get your rights back prior to expiration of your contract, whether you sign with Start or not, is to pay the $500 per book author buy-out as stated in the contract. The only other way author rights revert is if WCP files for bankruptcy. Selling to another publisher doesn't revert the rights. At least that's how it looks to me.

Victoria Strauss said...

Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware here. I've been out of the loop for the past couple of weeks and hadn't heard about the sale, but I'm looking into it now. I'd very much appreciate hearing from Whiskey Creek authors who haven't received royalties due, have been asked for money for return of rights, or have experienced any other problems with the publisher. I'd also very much appreciate it if someone (or several someones) could share their Whiskey Creek contract with me. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. My email address is beware [at] sfwa.org. Thank you!

CR said...

Thanks for your interest, Victoria. I've sent you a copy of the original WCP contract, and the new one.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope someone can help us!

CR said...

Just don't sign anything and you'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Whiskey Creek Press is here to stay.

"Both Night Shade Books and Salvo Press will operate under their current names as imprints of Start Publishing."

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/industry-deals/article/59138-start-publishing-acquires-salvo-press.html

Brampton Lakes said...

I'd like to see the contract Start sent round to the Salvo Press authors. If anyone can sniff out a copy that would be great.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
@June
"We should contact the IRS as well and ask them to do an audit. I mean, where did all those royalties go?"

Consider it done. I mailed it while out for my daily walk. Sweet. :-)

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Aw, everybody's ganging up on this really super publisher. My experiences at WCP were so happy. The editing was great and so was the cover art. My book sold tons of copies, and I always received my royalties and royalty statements right on time. But it was the responsiveness of the Womacks that I appreciated the most. They always replied to my emails promptly, and were helpful, courteous and very professional. Well it's what you'd expect when someone has an MA or a BA after their name.

They always worked so hard for their authors, promoting etc, now they've found us this super new publisher that will make us a million and get our names in lights. I can't believe that any author wouldn't be as delighted as I am about this. So what if you have to sign away all rights for a dollar. You realise don't you that if enough authors refuse to sign, the sale will not go through. Oh boo hoo hoo.

Anonymous said...

If a contract contains a lifetime copyright clause then good reversion terms are essential.

Anonymous said...

My new contract offered $200.00 to sign. I don't know how they made their decisions...
If you want to see how WCP books sell then go here
http://www.salesrankexpress.com/ and type in Whiskey Creek Press
WCP have a few authors that sell.. I have worked very hard to promote my book and I achieved Amazon ranking of 4,000 at one time and I consistently sell books. Because an author for WCP does not sell a book that is not WCP's fault. That is the writers fault. I do believe Ms Bris coe is evil and I do suspect she leads to authors paying $500.00 to exit WCP. I almost did but instead I went ballistic and Debi turned me over to another editor did very little. Another point: Night Shade Press (purchased by Start) is considered a high quality publisher of Sci/Fi/Fantasy .. I really do not have my hands around Starts business model and why they want to buy WCP..

Anonymous said...

Hi all, many thanks for the information provided by this blogspot. It has been very helpful. I'm just wondering if anyone has an update on the current state of play (given that today is the deadline for signing the new contract). There seems to be conflicting messages coming out as Start Media are now telling me they will honour the terms of my original contract with WCP. The implication appears to be that the new contract sent out by the Wormacks is no longer relevant or applicable. Does anyone know anything about this? There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of information.

CR said...

As Start was always required to honour the terms of the original contract, their stating as much now is no indication that the Womack's addendum, whether signed or not will be scrapped. You'd need a clear and unequivocal statement from them to this effect.

Anonymous said...

I notified Steven Womack that I will not be signing. I had also been offered $200 to sign. According to my lawyer, Start will have to honor the exiting contract if you do not sign the addendum, however Start is under no obligation to promote you or your books if you have not signed on their terms.

Anonymous said...

I would be curious to know how many authors signed and how many did not. Also wonder if there is a clause in the sale that a certain number must sign or the deal falls through. From what I've read, I think there was something mentioned about that in the Night Shade deal.

Angie Baby said...

Start has an obligation to promote the book whether or not the author signs the new contract. If it doesn't, then it's in violation of the terms of the original contract, which it has agreed to honour.
"Publisher will promote the Work through its website and through other Internet avenues of promotion at its discretion."

Angie Baby said...

There's no 'legal' way that by not signing the new contract our books will remain in limbo. No way! If that happens then WCP and Start are in violation of the terms of the original contract, which makes it null and void.

Angie Baby said...

"I would be curious to know how many authors signed and how many did not. Also wonder if there is a clause in the sale that a certain number must sign or the deal falls through. From what I've read, I think there was something mentioned about that in the Night Shade deal."

Oh yes, I'd say there definitely is, and if anyone has a copy of the Night Shade deal we'd love to see it.

Anonymous said...

"Authors Criticize Night Shade Books"
http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/genreville/?p=547

Brampton Lakes said...

"The deal will only go through if enough Night Shade authors agree to it,"
http://io9.com/another-indie-publisher-on-the-ropes-night-shade-books-468876511

So we can safely assume the same rules apply to this current deal with WCP. It will only go through if a certain number of WCP authors sign it.

Terri said...

There was nothing in the new Nightshade contract about signing away copyright.

Anonymous said...

@Angie Baby I didn't mean that if we didn't sign the books would be in limbo. They will remain on the WCP site (which will be an imprint of Start) and on retail sites for the remaining length of the contract. However, Start will not actively promote them in their marketing campaigns.

Anonymous said...

From what I read, Night Shade was facing bankruptcy and authors were told that their rights would remain in limbo indefinitely if that happened. In the WCP contract however, it states that if the publisher files bankruptcy, rights revert to the author

Pins and Needles said...

"The messy demise of Night Shade Books"
http://www.mhpbooks.com/the-messy-demise-of-night-shade-books/

Looks as if the WCP demise will be just as messy.

Anonymous said...

WCP must be on the verge of bankruptcy, just like Nightshade was, hence this shady deal.

Terri said...

It's heartening to see that so far the majority of WCP authors have not signed.

Anonymous said...

"From what I see on this thread, it also seems like the 'incentive' varies, though I was told that all authors were being offered the same terms. Surprise."

LOL. There's quite a difference between what the authors are being offered. It goes all the way from 1 buck to 200. I did sell away my copyright once for a short story, but I received $4,500 for it. Of course, once we sign away all rights like that, the story is no longer yours. I've never regretted it though.

Not saying said...

From what I've seen of Start, this is not a 'major' publisher. They come in, take on the houses that are failing, absorb their catalogs and move on. There is no promo-ing anything anywhere. They don't publish on their own, from what I’ve seen of their site, only flog what they've bought, and not very well. They don't even have much of a web presence beyond that site.

As for Start not working to flog our stuff? WCP didn't either other than the very basics. That was up to us. They didn't even use very easy avenues to do that, such as FB, like other houses do. We always did that. We did everything with our stuff while they raked in most of the profits. One of my books up on their site that Start is arguing with me about is not under contract. That ran out a couple years ago and I never resigned. So, it's being sold, by them, under their name, while I'm not under contract for it. Don't give us that we can't make money or it's our fault. We know what we are doing, including, in my case, actually buying ad space to do that. Which tells me something is decidedly dung smelling here.

My guess? When things started getting wonky back in Dec with that whatever when it came to our royalty statements, was WCP was failing then. It was the start of a shell game other houses have done, including two right now exhibiting the same kind of bait and switch, blaming it on new accountants or software. Sound familiar? This is their out. They can take the money and run while we get bent over.

I have a feeling the only ones signing this contract are the ones that didn't read it completely. All they saw on Start's site was that one movie they backed then felt 'blessed' (saw it worded that way on someones homepage and wanted to shake them to make them see sense) and signed before they could research more. That's the ones they are getting. And they'll take those and run with what they now own. Not fully reading the terms of that contract is not going to get you wiggled out of it. So, they'll take what they now own and make money off them. The rest of us? We just have to wait until they violate the terms of our contracts, something they probably will, or that contract to run out before we can do anything. They don't promo? Fine. I don't care. Anyone that rude (and the emails I've gotten from that whatever he is at Start were plenty that) won't get me to sign anything. I don't deal with rude people. If he was the publisher he purports to be, he would be professional. He's not. He's a liar and contradicts himself.

We can hope the sale falls through, but I won't count on it, and either of them to violate our contracts so we can get the rights back. Or someone that can actually afford to get a lawyer starts a class action suit that will result in plenty of us actually getting paid and our rights back. That's about the only shots we have right now, from what I see.

Which means we have to just wait until an avenue we can use opens up. And I'll be honest that I would rather my books sit in limbo until my contracts run out than deal with Start. That's sad to say, but the honest truth. I don't fancy a company like this making money off my hard work.

Repo Man said...

The copyright for Night Shade authors remained unchanged. So why are the WCP authors being so royally screwed?

"5. You agree that your agreement(s) with Night Shade shall be assigned, for copyright, as follows: (a) with respect to eBook rights (to the extent currently held by Night Shade), to Start Publishing, LLC; and (b) with respect to all other rights set forth in the agreement(s) (to the extent currently held by Night Shade) (with the exception of Paragraph 3 above), to Skyhorse Publishing Inc."

http://www.scribd.com/doc/134089596/Night-Shade-Books-Contract

Anonymous said...

@ Not Saying

Amen to everything you said. Very well put.

Angie Baby said...

@ Repo Man

Is it possible that Nightshade authors signed away their copyright in the original contract? Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

"The Embarrassment of the Night Shade/Skyhorse Deal
I've never done business with Skyhorse, but I've sent a few things to editors there over the years, mostly if not all nonfiction. And when you visit its website, you'll find exactly zero titles under "Fiction." Which raises two questions for me:

Why would Skyhorse want a genre publisher such as Night Shade?
Why would a Night Shade author want to be published by Skyhorse?

There are significant differences between publishing fiction and nonfiction, particularly when it comes to publicity and promotion. Now, some might be reassured that Night Shade's team is going to remain involved with the imprint and so perhaps that ensures some kind of genre knowledge, but that same team is the one that got all of these authors into this mess to begin with, right? So some authors might be less than excited about continuing to do business with that team.

Furthermore, the terms offered are universally worse than those Night Shade's authors have under their current contracts, a reality demonstrated ably in the two posts I've linked to above.

In a sense, this entire deal seems to me to be:

Bottom-feeding
Extortionist"
http://www.zackcompany.com/index.php/component/option,com_easyblog/Itemid,106/id,33/view,entry/

WCP authors should be asking themselves the same questions as posed here, as they're in the same position as the Nightshade authors were one year ago.

Steve said...

Why on earth would anyone sign that thing that Womack send around? Heck, nobody knows better than the authors what this 'publisher' is all about. It was bad enough being locked in for 3 years, but this new deal is much much worse, it locks you in forever!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

@ Steve

Because they didn't read the damned thing fully. That's what I'm seeing from the ones that signed. Including a couple that now realize just what they did and what it means then sobbing about it. Not to be mean here, but this is why you read. If you get a bad feeling about it, don't sign it and check elsewhere. Hell, get friends to read it. If they own a small business, even better! Ones that have those know contracts and can point out problems. Other authors can. Friends can because of their lines of work. Even those that have plain old common sense can. The rule is never ever sign anything without fully reading it. Once you do, set it aside for 24 hours then come back and read again. It's your hard work you're protecting. So it's up to you to know what you're getting into.

Again, not being mean, but it does come down to it's up to you in the end as it's your blood, sweat, tears and work that went into it.

Anonymous said...

Angie Baby said...

@ Repo Man

Is it possible that Nightshade authors signed away their copyright in the original contract? Does anyone know?
_____________________________________________________
No they didn't.
"Night Shade doesn't own the rights to the book;"
http://courtney-schafer.blogspot.ca/2013/04/update-on-labyrinth-of-flame-shattered.html

Anonymous said...

Which means there is something they want from us or to get their hands on. Bloody wonderful...

Anonymous said...

So I wonder for those of us who did not sign and continue under the terms of our current contract...if we are not paid the first quarter royalties quoted in the letter along with the incentive....does that constitute breach of contract and thus reversion of our rights?

Anonymous said...

SKYHORSE/START PUBLISHING BUYS UNDERLAND PRESS
http://weirdmage.blogspot.ca/2013/04/skyhorsestart-publishing-buys-underland.html

Anonymous said...

I didn't sign the contract and I'm really glad I didn't. Thanks to everyone for the information!

Anonymous said...

that sale fell through. Underland was bought by Resurrection House

http://www.resurrectionhouse.com/

terri said...

It would be interesting to know WHY the sale fell through. Hazarding a guess, I'd say it was because the majority of Underland authors did not sign the contract.

Anonymous said...

"Skyhorse—with its nine imprints (Allworth Press, Arcade Publishing, Gary Null Publishing, Helios Press, Night Shade Books, Not For Tourists, Sky Pony Press, Sports Publishing, and Talos Press) now boasts a backlist of more than 3,000 titles."
http://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/aboutus/

Man, I'd hate to have my book lost in such a colossal catalog, and that's what will happen if the WCP scheme is steamrolled over us.

Annabelle Lee said...

Skyhorse Publishing: A small publisher.
http://pred-ed.com/pebs.ht

Yikes, yet now they've accumulated some 3000 books, and in such a short period of time. Certainly not 'small' anymore.

Anonymous said...

This just gets weirder and weirder. Can anyone figure out what is REALLY going on here, because I sure can't. What is the real Skyhorse/Start agenda?

Anonymous said...

one question...Can we still buy out are contract for $500.00?

Stephen Ryan said...

with Start Publishing

Anonymous said...

why I signed...
1.Between my "incentive fee" and catching up on royalty fee I will be getting a check for about $500.00 .. It is not clear yet but it seems the $500.00 buyout clause is still in effect,,,

2. I am trying to sell books .. I am trying to promote my book . With Start I can now "promote" my book as being part of a New York publishing house. and by the way Night Shade Books and Salvo both acquired by Start are indeed quality publishing houses. No matter what anybody thinks of this deal this is an uptick from WCP. On various social media I posted an article titled:
"Rights to book "XXXXX" sold to New York publishing house"

3. For all the folks on this blog going ballistic I am not sure what the outrage at WCP is all about. If you don't like them take your book back and self publish with create space. The royalties are much bigger anyway. I agree the editing is often poor at WCP but in the end it does take time to format books get them on Amazon but a book cover together etc. WCP probably loses money on a lot of books. WCP probably has close to $500.00 (maybe $200.00) in each book so they are just trying to recoup their out of pocket.

Anonymous said...

at Mary Jane.
First your point about if think my book is worth only $500.00 You are forgetting one point Start Media is obligated to pay royalties forever as well.

Start Media acquired Night Shade and Salvo. These are quality brands with following. So no matter what you think Start IS a New York publishing house with quality books...
WCP has out of pocket expenses ..not a lot but they do.

What I agree with is Briscoe was a wicked tyrant..Had i not pushed for someone else and if WCP had not made a change I would have been on a plane to Casper Wyoming and I would have raised some hell. If you were stuck with her then I agree with everything you are saying.

John Braithwaitte said...

This is slightly off-topic, but has anyone noticed the awful banner WCP has for their children's books. That kid's legs are very weird. They look fat and misshapen.
http://www.weecreekpress.com/

Anonymous said...

While Start may have a NY address, as someone else said, getting an address in NY is easy. In my opinion promoting your book as being part of a New York publishing house. and saying "Rights to book "XXXXX" sold to New York publishing house", while not strictly inaccurate, are at the very least misleading. Again, that is my opinion and I would not feel at all comfortable doing like-wise.
Night Shade was indeed a respected small press, however, they had also not paid authors/contractors in months and were on the verge of filing for bankruptcy which allowed Start to acquire them at the eleventh hour. There are no guarantees that Start will continue that same quality. If you look at Salvo's site, the majority of books now being offered for sale are those written by the former owner/founder under pen names.
Aside from a very slick website (easily obtained for the right price) there is very little concrete information on Start. In addition, a search on the president on the publishing branch reveals lots of job hopping, bad press, and borderline shady dealings. He is also a literary agent rumored to be connected to a vanity press with some sources implying that his agency rejects authors and then refers them to this 'publisher'. I have no idea if any of this is true and don't mean to imply that it is or isn't. But I cannot feel comfortable signing away all rights with the information I've come across.
As far as suggesting people who are unhappy with the current situation "take your book back and self publish with create space", not everyone has $500/book to buy their rights back at a moment's notice which is pretty much what was provided.
Don't get me wrong, I wish everyone well whether you've decided to sign or not. This is just my two cents on why my John Hancock won't appear on the new deal.

Rob said...

All these folks who swallowed the Start hype about "New York Publishing House" would be interested in a certain bridge for sale. I can get you a good price...:-)

Anonymous said...

Saying my book is with a New York publishing house that owns a well respected publisher in Night Shade and has a business relationship with Skyhorse which is a legit publisher is accurate and is in fact the truth . Your characterization that my statement is misleading is preposterous.

Terri said...

Has anyone contacted any of the authors at the houses that Start took over, to ask them what they think of the new ownership, and most importantly, what are the royalties like?

Terri said...

"Saying my book is with a New York publishing house that owns a well respected publisher in Night Shade and has a business relationship with Skyhorse which is a legit publisher is accurate and is in fact the truth ."

Nope, it's misleading, conjuring up as it does the really big and legitimate New York houses such as Harper Collins. How do you know how legitimate Skyhorse is? And as Nightshade is (basically) no more, it isn't relevant if they were once 'well-respected' or not.

John Braithwaitte said...

"In addition, a search on the president on the publishing branch reveals lots of job hopping, bad press, and borderline shady dealings. He is also a literary agent rumored to be connected to a vanity press with some sources implying that his agency rejects authors and then refers them to this 'publisher'. I have no idea if any of this is true ,"

Yes, it would appear to be true, judging by the following:

"At this point I hope you’re sitting down.

Night Shade Books wants to sell the ebook rights contracts to Start Publishing LLC. Start Publishing is a relatively unknown firm with obscure ownership, at least one division run by a literary agent, and questionable experience in publishing ebooks. In fact, Start Publishing’s total current catalog consists of some hundreds of public domain titles.

But wait, there’s more.

Jarred Weisfeld, the literary agent in question, is a principle agent at Objective Entertainment. That agency has in the past rejected authors while suggesting that the authors consider self-pubbing with AuthorHouse (now a part of Author Solutions). Why did Objective do this? Because they got a commission from AuthorHouse. Here’s more about that story:

But Objective isn’t just suggesting that rejected clients check out a self-publishing service–it’s encouraging them to do so in a wholly misleading manner. Not only is AuthorHouse described as a “publisher” they “trust,” it’s described as “our Publisher” and an “amazing opportunity for you.”

So Night Shade Books wants to sell the ebook rights to a sleazy literary agent with questionable ethics and no real experience in publishing. Yeah, I’m sure that’s going to go well."

http://the-digital-reader.com/2013/04/08/night-shade-books-puts-assets-up-for-sale-to-avoid-bankruptcy-offers-authors-a-deal-that-rates-a-full-wtf/#.U6njw7GYFVc


Anonymous said...

Oh man, this sounds worse and worse. I could kick myself for signing the Womack letter without doing the homework.

Anonymous said...

This board is a poster child for internet trolls.

You all have over looked one very important point. Take a look in the mirror. You act like you are all a bunch of wronged Stephen Kings. I knew what I was getting into. We authors are in the same boat with the bottom fishers sorry to say. How many of you authors out there turned down somebody so that you could sign with WCP? I really cannot believe what I am reading - that somehow you all are shocked by what is gong on.

CR said...

There's more about Objective Entertainment at Writer Beware:"
http://accrispin.blogspot.ca/2009/01/victoria-strauss-shades-of-edit-ink.html

Anonymous said...

I never for an instant saw myself as Stephen King or anyone close. Nor do I believe I've acted as though I thought I was. I was a first time author who asked around and was told WCP was reputable by others who had published with them. I was thrilled to be offered a contract. I have since contracted several other works with a different publisher and see a clear difference in business practices. I may have been naïve, but that doesn't mean I'm willing to just kiss my rights good-bye. Live and learn, I suppose...so yes, I am shocked... just because someone isn't well known doesn't mean they deserve to be treated like they and their work is worthless.

ministryvalues said...

The way I see it my book has gone from being published by the independent WCP to now being affiliated with Night Shade Books and Salvo. How is this worse then where I was before (accept for the rights issue) I find it hard to beleie Jarred Weisfeld wants to get into a business where his business model is to not paying 3,000 authors.

Anonymous said...

Why is anyone surprised by all of this? What kind of outfit would you expect sleaze bums like the Womacks to hook up with?

Anonymous said...

3,000 works in the catalog doesn't translate to 3,000 authors needing to be paid. Start also acquired a very large catalog of books in the public domain. In fact, it appears that the bulk of what they currently publish is in the public domain. You don't have to share that profit with anyone.

Anonymous said...

I have a book that went in the Lyrical Sale to Kensington. I could have had my rights back immediately if I wanted--Have author friends that did just that. I decided to give Kensington a try, but wanted to negotiate the option clause--and that was done very easily. No one was trying to take advantage of me. And Start is no Kensington, they are a cobbled together company, not one of the big NYC publishing companies. Lifetime of copyright contract, phooey.

Anonymous said...

WCP made good on every promise they represented. What is really wrong is writers who have not sold many books have the gall to be outraged. Go sell books and quit wining . Whether your book is self published, big publishing house, indie, whatever, the success of the book will depend on the authors efforts.

Desperate Housewife said...

."..the success of the book will depend on the authors efforts."
Not always. I have a writer friend who never did a lick of promotion, yet she's now on the Amazon bestsellers list and has been for over a year. She's selling thousands of books.

Anonymous said...

You can't make your book popular, no matter what you do.

Mary Jane said...

"the success of the book will depend on the authors efforts"
No, the onus shouldn't be on the author to promote. That is the publisher's job. WCP fell down on it badly..

Anonymous said...

To be fair, WCP in the contract states it will promote on its website and other online venues at its discretion. Nowhere did they promise to do more than that. Any promotion I did, I expected to do. I just don't care for the way this deal is being conducted with half truths and shady practices.

Anonymous said...

Start cannot be any worse than WCP. Even if they sell one more book than WCP, it is a bonus. I never planned on submitting to WCP with future titles, due to past experiences. While having pending contracts or reoccurring characters may complicate things, I'd say cut your losses and move on to better publishers in the future. If you didn't plan on taking your books and re-publishing after WCP contract was up, you didn't expect much to be done by WCP anyway. If that WAS your plan, I can see the frustration. No matter what everyone decides, best of luck, and keep on writing!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. It seems like a parallel move.... from shadiness to shadiness. I hope to avoid that with future submissions to different publishers!

Anonymous said...

The weaselly Womacks are going to jail,
To sit all day upon their tail.
They set up a scam
Put the authors in a jam,
Please, please, please don't give them bail.

June Day said...

When I discovered that WCP was a vanity press, I immediately asked for my rights back. I didn;t (of course) receive a reply. They'd be waiting for me to offer the $500 ransom to get out. But I didn't. I jolly well changed the titles of my two books, gave them smart new covers, and self published them. I wasn't going to allow something I'd labored so hard at be left sitting for 3 long years in Fagan's kitchen.

Anonymous said...

"The contract I've been invited to sign simply carries forward my rights 'for the term of the copyright' in my existing contracts with WCP/Torrid."
No, it doesn't. "term of copyright" means the life of the author, plus 70 years. Womack snuck that in there real sneaky like.

Anonymous said...

I've never had a problem with or a complaint about WCP ...

But I signed the new contract, also thinking "term of copyright" meant for the term of my contract. Whether we made the mistake of signing or not, and regardless of whether we loved or hated WCP in the past, no one could have anything but a problem and a complaint now.

Repo Man said...

ministryvalues said...
"I find it hard to beleie Jarred Weisfeld wants to get into a business where his business model is to not paying 3,000 authors."

Watch my lips: T E R M I N A T I O N -- F E E S

Anonymous said...

Victoria Strauss said...


Early termination fees are not at all uncommon in small press contracts. So writers do need to be aware of this issue.

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2013/10/early-termination-fees-in-publishing.html

Wild Thing said...

"I'd go farther. If your contract includes an early termination clause that imposes a fee and the publisher won't remove it, consider walking away. It's not just that early termination clauses have the potential for abuse--it's what the clause says about the publisher's attitude toward its authors, and its willingness (or lack of willingness) to shoulder the risks of publishing in exchange for the privilege of making money from its authors' intellectual property."
http://www.victoriastrauss.com/2013/10/15/early-termination-fees-in-publishing-contracts-a-cautionary-tale/

Anonymous said...

@ wild thing..."Walk away"? and go where? Here is the thing about WCP
They ARE a royalty paying publisher. They tell you they do not pay up front. They never asked for money. I am a member of International Thriller Writers literary society because WCP is a qualifying publisher. As I waited for the "editing" to start I checked many of the WCP books.. Few sold much at all. I did the math. I figured they could not put more the $200.00 into editing per book and some extra money for a book cover and formatting or they would be bankrupt in a year. Hell Whiskey Creek Press SHOULD charge a termination fee if you cant sell your book. There are a lot of low quality stuff WCP does but I dont think I can say they ever truly misled anybody. They were pretty upfront. They gave every author the thrill of signing a contract with somebody who would publish the book without asking for money.

Mary Jane said...

"They never asked for money."
They certainly used to, and the fee was 90 bucks.
http://reportsonwhiskeycreekpress.blogspot.ca/2012/03/dear-author-reports.html

"Hell Whiskey Creek Press SHOULD charge a termination fee if you cant sell your book."
Rubbish! You can't blame the authors for this shoddy outfit, pretending to be publishers. It's up to a publisher to promote and sell. The author's job is to keep on writing.

"They gave every author the thrill of signing a contract with somebody who would publish the book without asking for money."

Aw please, give us a break. Are you a shill for WCP, or what? And how about that 500 bucks, isn't that asking for money??????????




Anonymous said...

Except for the really big guys who do some promotion, most publishers inthis day and age have scaled back and the expectation is that authors will do a lot of their own promotion. This even applies to big name best selling authors. Anyone who believes they can sign a book contract and sit back and expect ANY publisher to bust their hump selling you and your work has not taken a good look around. Absolutely some do more than others, but all expect the author to promote themselves, as well.

Anonymous said...

@ MAry Jane ...let me ask you something.
Did WCP publish your book? Did they get you an ISBN number? Did they design a cover? Did they format the book for Amazon? Did they allow you to submit an errata sheet? Did they make the corrections? If you say yes to these is it then unreasonable for WCP to keep your book for three years hoping to recoup their efforts by having you sell some books?

Greg Gifford said...

@Anon
The Womacks didn't pay dickety for the ISBN, you get them free on Amazon. As for formatting, I can do that myself in half-an-hour with my eyes shut. And the formatting they did do was awful. Then they never replied to requests to fix it up. This is one shoddy low-class outfit.

Anonymous said...



“why I signed...
1.Between my "incentive fee" and catching up on royalty fee I will be getting a check for about $500.00 .. It is not clear yet but it seems the $500.00 buyout clause is still in effect,,,”

If you feel your book is worth only $500, then you got a good deal. But remember, all rights to it now belong to Start Media, so you’re tied in with them forever. You can’t even self-publish it.

”2. I am trying to sell books .. I am trying to promote my book . With Start I can now "promote" my book as being part of a New York publishing house. and by the way Night Shade Books and Salvo both acquired by Start are indeed quality publishing houses. No matter what anybody thinks of this deal this is an uptick from WCP. On various social media I posted an article titled:
"Rights to book "XXXXX" sold to New York publishing house"”

The Start Media website is designed to impress. I’m amazed that anyone would fall for the ‘New York Publishing house,’ spin. Anyone could get a New York address by simply renting a P.O. box from Private Mail Box Rentals at 609 Greenwich Street, and that happens to be the same address that Start has on its website.
http://www.mystore411.com/store/view/3461689/Apple-New-York

”3. For all the folks on this blog going ballistic I am not sure what the outrage at WCP is all about. If you don't like them take your book back and self publish with create space.”

The outrage is about being treated like dirt by an arrogant incompetent 'publisher,' who is trying to extort $500 per title to let them out. The WCP authors want nothing more than to get their books back but they can’t.

“The royalties are much bigger anyway. I agree the editing is often poor at WCP but in the end it does take time to format books get them on Amazon but a book cover together etc. WCP probably loses money on a lot of books. WCP probably has close to $500.00 (maybe $200.00) in each book so they are just trying to recoup their out of pocket.”

It costs WCP virtually nothing to upload a book to Amazon, and that’s all that they do. They only go through the motions of ‘editing.’ In effect, the books would be much better if the ‘editor’ (Marsha) didn’t go anywhere near them. The cover art, of course, is appalling. So no, they don’t lose money they make it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have hung on in business for years. It’s certainly not for the good of the authors. They’re raking in the bucks, believe it.
24/6/14

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