Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Smoke at New Concepts Publishing--veinglory

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.


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

  2. 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.

  3. azteclady8:43 PM

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

  4. Anonymous11:35 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.

  5. Anonymous2:25 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.**

    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


    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.


    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.


    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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.

    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

    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


    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

  6. Where is EPIC in all of this?

    Oh right! Handing out awards.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Anonymous12:49 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?


  10. Sheryl Nantus12:52 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???

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

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

  13. Anonymous3:04 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

    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

    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

  14. 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.

  15. Anonymous7:07 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.