Smoke at New Concepts Publishing--veinglory

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Info at Maya Reynolds. I haven't heard anything directly.

Edited to add: see also
Ellen Ashe,
Karen Scott at a temporary location,
Marianne LaCroix,
Dear Author.

17 comments:

Kayleigh Jamison 8:19 PM  

Yeah, Ellen Ashe has been fairly vocal about her problems with them as well:

http://ellenashe.blogspot.com/

Emily Veinglory 8:29 PM  

Thanks Kayleigh. Any other blog rumbles out there? I am waiting on Karen Scotts blog to come back online as I know there is something there.

azteclady,  8:43 PM  

emily, Karen't is posting here while her main blog comes back. She has more stuff up there.

Emily Veinglory 8:47 PM  

Thanks axteclady.

Anonymous,  11:35 PM  

I'm with NC. I was never told I had a cover. I had a friend email me that they liked my cover on the coming soon page and sure enough, there it was. I was never told at all. I had no edits. I was told they were done "in house" and here's the final copy. I was never told a release date or that my book was released. The way I found out was when I read a new release post on a Yahoo group I saw my title listed. I have gotten paid but I never received a 1099. The author liaison isn't quick with responses. I have heard he is a relative of the owners, but I don't know if that's true. It does seem to be family owned though, but who knows... And the author loop can be brutal at times. There's one author who always talks down to author voicing concern... She talks about how long she's been published and how much she knows... the funny thing is I've never even heard of her before.

Anonymous,  2:25 AM  

The following is a message sent to the New Concepts Author loop by James Lightsey, New Concepts Publishing’s Author Liaison, on January 30, 2008. The message appears unedited and in its entirety as sent to NCP authors.

**Please note Mr. Lightsey’s apparent helpfulness, regard for the authors, and his attention to spelling. Note the ‘Release’ section, where he freely admits that he “very seldom” contacts authors about the imminent release of their books. Scroll down and view the last paragraphs where he tackles the subject of blacklisting.**

To: authorpromotion@yahoogroups.com
From: “new_concepts_pub”
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008
Subject: [authorpromotion] Greetings from the Author Liaison

Dear Authors,

As most of you know, I’m sometimes slow(OK always slow) to answer e-
mails. So I try to answer as many questions on the author loop as
possible. As author liaison for NCP, my loyaty lies foremost to NCP,
however I am honor bound to help NCP authors in any and every way
that I can. So here is my best advice on many of the concerns on the
loop.

Submissions:

Always send the 100% complete, self-edited, RTF format version of
your manuscript. Include any and all dedications, forewords, prologs,
epilogs, glossaries, or whatever, because they might not be added
later. Also to speed up the editing process at this point, go through
your book and remove all references to trademarked items. Replace the
trademark name with the actual name of the item ie. Q-Tips are cotton
swabs, McDonalds=burger joint, whatever, we can’t use trademarked
names without permission.

Contracts:

When you receive a contract from NCP, as is true of all contracts,
read it until you understand everything. Do not sign the contract
unless you agree to stand by your decision. If your legal name, book
title, or address is different than what is typed on the contract,
strike through it with a pen, write in the correct info, and initial
it. The contract is as is and not negotiable. Any questions about the
contract may be sent to me.

Art Questionare:

You should receive with your contract an art questionare. If not, ask
for one. If you have a strong idea of what you would like for your
cover, detail it very clearly. Include your psuedonym and your full
legal name, your e-mail address, mailing address, word count, genra,
and sexual rating. Final cover art approval is made by Ms. DePasture.

Scheduling:

Our schedule is tentivetly full for a year in advance. There are
scheduling changes made for various reasons. For the sake of variety
for the customer we don’t release for example four shortstories or
four paranormals in the same week. I can usually give an author a
month or least a rough timeline on when a book is to be published. I
do not give an exact date. Final scheduling is ultimatley decided by
circumstance and Ms. DePasture.

Cover art:

Our cover artist rarely read the books that they do the covers for.
They use the art questionare as a guideline and use popular layout
formats to create the covers that we are known for. When covers are
finished, they are sent to me and I forward them to the respective
author.

Editing:

A note about the evil “track changes” feature. If you have used
track changes at any time during the writing of your book, even if
you turned it off, editorial remarks and edit may reappear during the
conversion process. Don’t use it. If there are minor edits, a book
will be sent to the author once for changes. Major edits may take a
few more times. Often short stories, novellas, books written by very
experienced author are edited completely in-house as they require
nothing more than line editing.
Always self-edit your manuscript to the very best of your
abilities before you submit it. This does several things; it
increases your editing skills, cuts edit time, and increases the
likelyhood that your manuscript will be accepted. The amount of time
between edits and pub. is largly based on this.

Release:

I very seldom alert an author that their book has been released. We
try to follow the upcoming titles pages and also when an author
returns her/his edits they should be aware that the release will be
very soon. Normally before release I receive a PDF file of your
finished book as it will go up. I try to send these as soon as they
come, but I may not. If your book is very close(a week) to release
and I have not sent you file please send me a reminder. You are
permitted as per the contract to make up to 50 copies for review
purposes and as promotional giveaways. You may duplicate and use your
cover in any legal way to promote your book.

Royalties:

There are four royalty periods at NCP. JAN-FEB-MAR royalty statements
and checks will be sent by the end of April. APR-MAY-JUN royalty
statements and checks will be sent by the end of July. Royalties can
not begin to be tabulated until the last day of the last month of the
quarter and so forth. Complete and accurate accounting takes about a
month to complete. If your are to be paid by paypal or some way other
than check, you should tell me as soon as possible.

Contract expiration:

As stated in the contract, the author must inform NCP sometime before
90 days of the expiration of the contract or it renews for another
year. The longer that you give us notice that you do not intend to
renew the contract, the faster we will be able to take it down. Once
a book goes up it spreads to our distributors and e-book stores and
it is a long slow process to bring it completely down.

Communications:

While I’ve often claimed to have a big S on my chest, I have great
difficuty keeping up with nearly 200 authors on four continents. If
there is an error on the web page, please write to the webmaster. I
have other duties at NCP that draw from my time as author liaison.
I’m very sorry if I have neglicted anyone. Please keep in mind
that e-mail communications are flawed, they are just as likely (or
more so) to be lost, rejected, or misrouted as snail mail.

In addition to this information that I’ve just presented, most of
which is available either under the files folder of this group or
under submission guidelines on the home page, I would like to offer a
couple of suggestions from my personal perspective. These are my
opinions and not NCP’s.

NCP is a niche company. There are thousands of romance novels
published each year. For the mainstream romance reader, the
formulated novels offered by the large publishing houses are adequate
to their needs. NCP customers want and expect something different.
Futuristic, Paranomal, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, these are genres that
NCP readers most want. These genre are in high demand by a select
group of readers that want more variety than mainstream can provide.
Length:
Readers want long books, if they like the story they don’t want it to
end. If you have a complex story idea, don’t waste it on a short
story. Short stories also make very little money for the effort
involved in their publication.
HEA:
NCP does not insist on Happily Ever After endings to our
publications, however I’ve seen more than one author have to abandon
a pseudonym because they had killed the hero and/or heroine.
Sex:
Our readers like an equal measure of great sex,a solid central plot,
and dynamic internal conflict with a resolvable end. Writers that
build their stories around these tenants sell better. Spicy to carnal
sex with multiple partners w/ intense love triangle..octangle w/
nearly unresolvable internal conflict with HEA are the top sellers.
Old manuscripts:
Before you dust off an old manuscript and send it to any publisher,
re-read it, re-edit it. Your writing style will typically change and
improve over time and what you once thought was a masterpiece might
not be up to your current standards.

Editing:
Regardless of which publishing company you submit your manuscript to,
editing is vitally important to presenting yourself as a professional
writer. Well polished manuscripts are much more likely to be
published.

Titles:
When thinking of a title for your book, keep in mind the appearance
of the cover. If the title is too long, it will obscure the cover. A
title shouldn’t contain negative words like nerd. One to three power
words can be used in combination to create a powerful and striking
title. Often made up names catch a readers eye like Ms. Becraft-
Woodall’s PMSing and Weremones. Both imaginative titles. Also, always
have a back-up title in case the one that you have chosen has already
been used recently.

Artist vs. Commercial Artist:

During one of my art classes in college, my art teacher told me that
I had a better chance of becoming a commercial artist than anyone
else in the class. That surprised me because one he didn’t like me
and two I was no where near the artist as my classmates. It was then
that I saw the difference between a pure artist and a commercial
artist. A pure artist creates for her/his self without care whether
the piece will be liked, accepted, or bought. A commercial artist
creates art for a patron, both for the sake of art and money. I
assume that all of our authors are commercial artist. This requires
flexibilty.

Blacklist:

I know that all authors speak of a blacklist of problem authors. As
far as I know, one does not officialy exist and I’ve been in the
industry since ‘91. I will just say that there are a finite number of
bridges to burn in the publishing market. There are always first time
jitters for new authors. Always be very carefull of what you say and
do publicaly, once your name is in lights so to speak, you are under
the public eye and industrial eye.

I hope this answers a few questions about NCP and the publishing
industry in general. I would like for all of our authors do well. If
you were accepted by NCP then you obviously have talent as an author.
I wish you all equally well in business.
I would also like to thank Ms. Mandy Roth and Ms. Charlee Compo
for being so supportive of our new authors. I know your plates are
full and I appreciate your time.

James Lightsey
Author Liaison
New concepts Publishing

Teddy Pig 9:26 AM  

Where is EPIC in all of this?

Oh right! Handing out awards.

Teddy Pig 9:35 AM  

You have not received any royalties on that book? Well that's too bad maybe you are just a unscrupulous author.

Here, have a nice award and some bad legal advice given by this whack job we voted in as president and remember pay your EPICs dues and maybe someday there will be a group that is meant to support ePublishing Writers and not the people who rip them off.

Barbara Sheridan 9:55 AM  

The contract is as is and not negotiable.

This tells anyone all they need to know. All contracts should be negotiable. Sure you may not get every change you ask for but you damn well better be able to ask for and be given a chance to negotiate them.

And the bullcrap about track changes not being able to be removed when manuscripts are converted? Please.

LI, EC, Samhian and even brand new Noble have the right software to tackle this issue so why don't they? NCP has been around the longest, they should be on top of each and every innovation.

Anonymous,  12:49 PM  

hey, Teddy - don't forget that "whack job" is also senior editor at Mundania Press... wouldn't you think that'd be a conflict of interest?

;)

Sheryl Nantus,  12:52 PM  

sad thing is that I remember a huge article on the front page/cover of Romantic Times magazine only a few months ago!

how do you go from that to ripping off your authors and then ignoring them???

Teddy Pig 2:08 PM  

RT can be bought lock stock and front cover like the cheap whore it is.

Teddy Pig 2:14 PM  

Yeah, I sorta figured she had some nasty codependency problems with a Vanity Press a long time ago.

Anonymous,  3:04 PM  

More from New Concepts Publishing's James Lightsey on March 13, 2008 to the NCP loop

Dear Ms LaCroix and other authors that have concerns on this matter.

Years ago, we let some authors out of their contracts early and
what happened. A loud mouthed flag-waver led a slew of inexperienced
authors with her to Triskilon and a couple of other now defunct e-
pubs. I have to admit it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling all over.
NCP is not exploding internally. Even though 2007 was a bad year for
retail sales nationwide, we still grew by 7%.

After that fiasco years ago, we shortened the contract time to 3
years. It had previously been up to six. Personally I feel it could
be shortened to two years. The contract length has to be this long to
allow for scheduling, editing, and at least a year's worth of sales.

Madris is currently reviewing our booklist to let some books and
some authors go, both for the sake of streamling our accounting and
to shed ourselves of a few bad apples.

I'm happy to say that most of our authors behave in a courteous
and professional manner which makes our jobs much easier. Especially
mine.

It appears from Ms Brown's post that there are a myriad of sites
to complain and low-rate your publisher. These would be the best
places to aire your grievances. I don't go to those sites. This loop
is for author promotion and company news.

Ms Roth told me that she will no longer be the mod for this group,
so that thankless task will now fall to me. If you have any problems
posting let me know and I'll try to help. I would like to acknowlege
Ms Roth's great contributions to the group. Without favor or
compensation she took on the task of moderator. This loop should be
tended daily and I don't know if I'll be able to do that, but I'll
certainly try.

Our contract was modeled after the largest publishing house in New
York designed by a team of laywers who probed and proded at it from
every direction for weakness. It is as close to perfect as we could
make it. While it protects our authors, its primary purpose is to
protect NCP.

Our contract, like any other contract anywhere in the world is
legal and binding. We do not force authors to sign a contract no more
than we can force readers to buy a book. I can imagine it must be
very exciting to have a work of art, that you've created from your
mind, to be accepted as a professional work worthy of publication.
But always read a contract-every word. Not just ours but any
contract. And it's not enough to read it, you should understand it,
think it over and in the end agree to abide by it before signing.

Our policies are not designed out of greed or spite, but stability
and common sense. We do not borrow money for any reason, we don't pay
advances, and we don't idlely give up a contract.

I hope that I haven't sounded too mean, but I have a head and chest
cold. My head feels like a pumpkin and my chest like a box of broken
glass. Perhaps I can explain my frustration with a little literary
flare.

I'm a waterboy at the half-way point of a marathon. There's a slick
spot of the trail in front of me that I can't do anything about. The
experienced runners simply jump over the slick spot or go around. The
runners that are new to this course are unaware of the slick spot.
Almost every new runner that comes up slips and busts their ass,
inspite of any warning that I can give and to make matters worse,
most of them slip on the same spot over and over.

OK, I think that the cold medicine is kicking in. In short it is a
waste of an imaginative mind and literary talent to spend all day
making up rumors and blogecating on your publisher.

james lightsey
author liaison

Teddy Pig 4:50 PM  

behave in a courteous and professional manner

Is that the reaction he thinks his unprofessional behavior qualifies for?

I would think an all around kick in the ass would be more reasonable.

Anonymous,  7:07 PM  

Epublishing becomes scarier and scarier as the years progress. Publishers run roughshod over authors, but we're expected to take our whacks and keep smiling. But for every publisher that fails, another one will take its place. In fact, many of the unscrupulous owners go on to survive and thrive in this industry.

For example, not too long ago, Teresa Wayne, publisher of the defunct Mardi Gras Publishing, is attempting a comeback.

A couple of months ago, Venus Press rose from the ashes, either through a server blip or malfunction. (I don’t believe that—several NEW titles were displayed).

And my personal favorite: Ocean’s Mist Press publisher, Noemi Rivera aka Noemi DeLeon aka Felicia Anthony aka Essence aka Omi Yale aka Elsa De Leon and many other aliases, has recently contracted books with Siren Publishing. Noemi, writing as Essence, also has a release upcoming with Loose Id on March 18, 2008.

I find it interesting that Ms. Rivera continues to enjoy the “benefits” of this industry, despite her lies, non-payment, and reneging on contracts. There’s been very little talk about the fall of Ocean’s Mist Press, and that could lead some of us to wonder why. OMP was a springboard of sorts for writers of multicultural and ethnic fiction; perhaps their authors’ troubles didn’t spark the same kind of outrage.

D,  8:10 PM  

Oceans Mist Press still there, no?

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