Yeah, Ellen Ashe has been fairly vocal about her problems with them as well: http://ellenashe.blogspot.com/
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.
emily, Karen't is posting here while her main blog comes back. She has more stuff up there.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.orgFrom: “new_concepts_pub”Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008Subject: [authorpromotion] Greetings from the Author LiaisonDear 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 aspossible. As author liaison for NCP, my loyaty lies foremost to NCP,however I am honor bound to help NCP authors in any and every waythat I can. So here is my best advice on many of the concerns on theloop.Submissions:Always send the 100% complete, self-edited, RTF format version ofyour manuscript. Include any and all dedications, forewords, prologs,epilogs, glossaries, or whatever, because they might not be addedlater. Also to speed up the editing process at this point, go throughyour book and remove all references to trademarked items. Replace thetrademark name with the actual name of the item ie. Q-Tips are cottonswabs, McDonalds=burger joint, whatever, we can’t use trademarkednames 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 contractunless you agree to stand by your decision. If your legal name, booktitle, or address is different than what is typed on the contract,strike through it with a pen, write in the correct info, and initialit. The contract is as is and not negotiable. Any questions about thecontract may be sent to me.Art Questionare:You should receive with your contract an art questionare. If not, askfor one. If you have a strong idea of what you would like for yourcover, detail it very clearly. Include your psuedonym and your fulllegal 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 arescheduling changes made for various reasons. For the sake of varietyfor the customer we don’t release for example four shortstories orfour paranormals in the same week. I can usually give an author amonth or least a rough timeline on when a book is to be published. Ido not give an exact date. Final scheduling is ultimatley decided bycircumstance 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 layoutformats to create the covers that we are known for. When covers arefinished, they are sent to me and I forward them to the respectiveauthor.Editing:A note about the evil “track changes” feature. If you have usedtrack changes at any time during the writing of your book, even ifyou turned it off, editorial remarks and edit may reappear during theconversion process. Don’t use it. If there are minor edits, a bookwill be sent to the author once for changes. Major edits may take afew more times. Often short stories, novellas, books written by veryexperienced author are edited completely in-house as they requirenothing more than line editing.Always self-edit your manuscript to the very best of yourabilities before you submit it. This does several things; itincreases your editing skills, cuts edit time, and increases thelikelyhood that your manuscript will be accepted. The amount of timebetween edits and pub. is largly based on this.Release:I very seldom alert an author that their book has been released. Wetry to follow the upcoming titles pages and also when an authorreturns her/his edits they should be aware that the release will bevery soon. Normally before release I receive a PDF file of yourfinished book as it will go up. I try to send these as soon as theycome, but I may not. If your book is very close(a week) to releaseand I have not sent you file please send me a reminder. You arepermitted as per the contract to make up to 50 copies for reviewpurposes and as promotional giveaways. You may duplicate and use yourcover in any legal way to promote your book.Royalties:There are four royalty periods at NCP. JAN-FEB-MAR royalty statementsand checks will be sent by the end of April. APR-MAY-JUN royaltystatements and checks will be sent by the end of July. Royalties cannot begin to be tabulated until the last day of the last month of thequarter and so forth. Complete and accurate accounting takes about amonth to complete. If your are to be paid by paypal or some way otherthan check, you should tell me as soon as possible.Contract expiration:As stated in the contract, the author must inform NCP sometime before90 days of the expiration of the contract or it renews for anotheryear. The longer that you give us notice that you do not intend torenew the contract, the faster we will be able to take it down. Oncea book goes up it spreads to our distributors and e-book stores andit 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 greatdifficuty keeping up with nearly 200 authors on four continents. Ifthere is an error on the web page, please write to the webmaster. Ihave other duties at NCP that draw from my time as author liaison.I’m very sorry if I have neglicted anyone. Please keep in mindthat e-mail communications are flawed, they are just as likely (ormore so) to be lost, rejected, or misrouted as snail mail.In addition to this information that I’ve just presented, most ofwhich is available either under the files folder of this group orunder submission guidelines on the home page, I would like to offer acouple of suggestions from my personal perspective. These are myopinions and not NCP’s.NCP is a niche company. There are thousands of romance novelspublished each year. For the mainstream romance reader, theformulated novels offered by the large publishing houses are adequateto their needs. NCP customers want and expect something different.Futuristic, Paranomal, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, these are genres thatNCP readers most want. These genre are in high demand by a selectgroup 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 toend. If you have a complex story idea, don’t waste it on a shortstory. Short stories also make very little money for the effortinvolved in their publication.HEA:NCP does not insist on Happily Ever After endings to ourpublications, however I’ve seen more than one author have to abandona 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 thatbuild their stories around these tenants sell better. Spicy to carnalsex 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 andimprove over time and what you once thought was a masterpiece mightnot 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 professionalwriter. Well polished manuscripts are much more likely to bepublished.Titles:When thinking of a title for your book, keep in mind the appearanceof the cover. If the title is too long, it will obscure the cover. Atitle shouldn’t contain negative words like nerd. One to three powerwords can be used in combination to create a powerful and strikingtitle. Often made up names catch a readers eye like Ms. Becraft-Woodall’s PMSing and Weremones. Both imaginative titles. Also, alwayshave a back-up title in case the one that you have chosen has alreadybeen used recently.Artist vs. Commercial Artist:During one of my art classes in college, my art teacher told me thatI had a better chance of becoming a commercial artist than anyoneelse in the class. That surprised me because one he didn’t like meand two I was no where near the artist as my classmates. It was thenthat I saw the difference between a pure artist and a commercialartist. A pure artist creates for her/his self without care whetherthe piece will be liked, accepted, or bought. A commercial artistcreates art for a patron, both for the sake of art and money. Iassume that all of our authors are commercial artist. This requiresflexibilty.Blacklist:I know that all authors speak of a blacklist of problem authors. Asfar as I know, one does not officialy exist and I’ve been in theindustry since ‘91. I will just say that there are a finite number ofbridges to burn in the publishing market. There are always first timejitters for new authors. Always be very carefull of what you say anddo publicaly, once your name is in lights so to speak, you are underthe public eye and industrial eye.I hope this answers a few questions about NCP and the publishingindustry in general. I would like for all of our authors do well. Ifyou 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 Compofor being so supportive of our new authors. I know your plates arefull and I appreciate your time.James LightseyAuthor LiaisonNew concepts Publishing
Where is EPIC in all of this?Oh right! Handing out awards.
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.
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.
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?;)
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???
RT can be bought lock stock and front cover like the cheap whore it is.
Yeah, I sorta figured she had some nasty codependency problems with a Vanity Press a long time ago.
More from New Concepts Publishing's James Lightsey on March 13, 2008 to the NCP loopDear Ms LaCroix and other authors that have concerns on this matter.Years ago, we let some authors out of their contracts early andwhat happened. A loud mouthed flag-waver led a slew of inexperiencedauthors 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 forretail sales nationwide, we still grew by 7%.After that fiasco years ago, we shortened the contract time to 3years. It had previously been up to six. Personally I feel it couldbe shortened to two years. The contract length has to be this long toallow for scheduling, editing, and at least a year's worth of sales.Madris is currently reviewing our booklist to let some books andsome authors go, both for the sake of streamling our accounting andto shed ourselves of a few bad apples.I'm happy to say that most of our authors behave in a courteousand professional manner which makes our jobs much easier. Especiallymine.It appears from Ms Brown's post that there are a myriad of sitesto complain and low-rate your publisher. These would be the bestplaces to aire your grievances. I don't go to those sites. This loopis 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 problemsposting let me know and I'll try to help. I would like to acknowlegeMs Roth's great contributions to the group. Without favor orcompensation she took on the task of moderator. This loop should betended daily and I don't know if I'll be able to do that, but I'llcertainly try.Our contract was modeled after the largest publishing house in NewYork designed by a team of laywers who probed and proded at it fromevery direction for weakness. It is as close to perfect as we couldmake it. While it protects our authors, its primary purpose is toprotect NCP.Our contract, like any other contract anywhere in the world islegal and binding. We do not force authors to sign a contract no morethan we can force readers to buy a book. I can imagine it must bevery exciting to have a work of art, that you've created from yourmind, to be accepted as a professional work worthy of publication.But always read a contract-every word. Not just ours but anycontract. 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 stabilityand common sense. We do not borrow money for any reason, we don't payadvances, and we don't idlely give up a contract.I hope that I haven't sounded too mean, but I have a head and chestcold. My head feels like a pumpkin and my chest like a box of brokenglass. Perhaps I can explain my frustration with a little literaryflare.I'm a waterboy at the half-way point of a marathon. There's a slickspot of the trail in front of me that I can't do anything about. Theexperienced runners simply jump over the slick spot or go around. Therunners 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 awaste of an imaginative mind and literary talent to spend all daymaking up rumors and blogecating on your publisher.james lightseyauthor liaison
behave in a courteous and professional mannerIs that the reaction he thinks his unprofessional behavior qualifies for?I would think an all around kick in the ass would be more reasonable.
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.
Oceans Mist Press still there, no?