Thursday, February 21, 2008

Smoke at DCL--veinglory

I am leaving the branding question (two posts ago) open until Saturday and hope to hear from more of you. If you submitted pen name please let me know what you think of the others on the list ;) This question is open not only to what you think of the pen name but their general 'branding' and works. I have 5-6 replies but would like at least 10 to provice a reasonable sampling of opinions.

I am moving Dark Castle Lords to the 'smoke' category of epublishers where there are signs of trouble. I have emailed them directly for comment on complaints that they are tardy in reporting and payments, and charge fees for cover art showing a human figure. In the absence of a convincing reply and/or flood of supportive comments from their authors I will eventually move them to 'not recommended' status.


Anonymous said...

Hi Emily,

I am one of the writers with DCL, SJ Ronayne. I am new to everything but I would like to throw in my support of them. Our contracts talk of quarterly reporting and payments. If an author receives this contract and disagrees with the terms, he or she shouldn't sign and should contact the owners.

I'm not sure about the fees for models and cover art other than I think the money goes to the artist and the models, not into DCL's pocket. Again, being new, I can't say whether this is or isn't an accepted practice. I do think it is a nice gesture, though, for models who have been so good to us.

Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinions,

Anonymous said...

DCL is model-obsessed. I think that is their big handicap. They aren't so focused on putting out quality books as they pimping rather old, dated, and frankly, unattractive men on the mediocre covers of ebooks. Yes, several of the models have won/participated in Mr. Romance, but one of the upcoming releases features a model with a mullet hairdo.

I don't see DCL as a bad publisher. I've been involved in several epublishers, some good, some bad. This publisher has the earmarks of one that began on a whim without investigating exactly how to run an e-business. I believe that the problems DCl is experiences are growing pains. The owners have suddenly been smacked over the head with their lack of knowledge-- that's not said in a bad way, we all have to start out somewhere.

The authors that are screeching are ones that are used to established (or at least experienced) publishers. DCL is relatively new. They're still learning. As they've confessed, they didn't know what they needed to do. Right now it's sort of a one step forward, two step back thing, but I do believe they can pull it together. And it probably wouldn't hurt to branch out in the areas of cover art/artists.

Communication isn't exactly the owners' forte. That's another big problem. I've seen, in emails, the avoidance of serious topics raised by authors. But once again, this is their baby people are questioning (and beating about the head). They're getting defensive instead of just answerign a question.

The authors that are having such a huge problem with DCL need to think about it. DCL is a learn-as-they-go thing.It's NOT MArdi Gras Publishing or, more recently, Aphrodite's Apples. Things could be a lot worse.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure about the fees for models and cover art other than I think the money goes to the artist and the models, not into DCL's pocket. Again, being new, I can't say whether this is or isn't an accepted practice."

What? My publsher uses at least one of their cover models. We never have to pay for the priviledge. That money that you pay a cover model or artist is supposed to come out of the publisher's share of the profits.

It sounds like they aren't making enough money it even cover their own costs on an e-book, so they are passing it along to the author.

Anonymous said...

SJ you said "Our contracts talk of quarterly reporting and payments."

Yours does? Mine doesn't have anything about payment in it. Just the pay percentage.

Anonymous said...

It said I'd be paid quarterly. It also stated the percentage I'd receive. I didn't mean for you to interpret it promised an exact amount of money for no enterprise can do that and not get sued when it doesn't happen.