Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dark Castle Lords in Print

Dark Castle Lords is preparing to release their first print novels:

* The Lord of Merewood Keep by CH Admirand
* Naked Visions Silver Dreams by by Veronica Towers/DCL Peter DeCicco
* Deadly Sins by Annmarie Ortega, Kate Hofman, Adra Steia, Serena Knight, S.J. Ronayne, Skyler Grey & Veronica Towers/DCL Peter Decicco Edited to Add: it appears there is an update on the line-up pf authors contributing to this volume's current edition. I will post it when I receive it. -- Further edited to add I still have received no updates. But according to the yahoogroup this book has an as yet undisclosed author line up. So the only correction I can offer is that the author list shown is out of date.
* The Tudor Falcon by Pam Seres

The Tudor Falcon seems rather like the odd one out, having not been published by DCL as an ebook as the other three were. The other three were presumably selected on the basis of ebook sales volume? One must assume that the fourth book is selected because it is the basis of DCL's movie project and/or because Ms. Seres is co-owner of the publisher.... In my opinion the cover art is not consistent with the usual appearance of 'print' romance works.


Edited to Add: it has been suggested that this information is incorrect so I would like to offer my sources

#1: DCL yahoogroup dated June 1st, 2008 [links in this post now broken due to message archive being set to members-only]

"Stuart & I are happy to announce our first DCL Publications, LLC print run!

Congratulations to the following DCL authors and the Dark Castle Lords that will grace their covers which will be done by Annie Marshall, of Beyond the Book Productions.

We would also like to thank Ines Dinn, of InesCreations for her wonderful e-book covers of these novels that helped create the following author’s sales.



DEADLY SINS by Annmarie Ortega, Kate Hofman, Adra Steia, Serena Knight, S.J. Ronayne, Skyler Grey & Veronica Towers/DCL Peter Decicco

Look for more information coming soon!"

Althought this message is fairly old I see no corrections or changes offered in later posts. If there have been updates I would be happy to hear about them.


#2: yahoogroup messaged dated August 24, 2008

"I have been traveling some and gearing up for the next faze of the first THE DARK CASTLE LORDS/THE TUDOR FALCON movie which will be filmed in the NYC area.

For movie updates and progress check out:

After much consideration and offers from NYC publishers, I have decided to have DCL Publications publish the movie novel which will be available in print and e-book next year before the movie comes out. The cover will be done soon."


Updated with correction as provided to the yahoogroup:

"This information is not correct:

DEADLY SINS by Annmarie Ortega, Kate Hofman, Adra Steia, Serena Knight, S.J. Ronayne, Skyler Grey & Veronica Towers/DCL Peter Decicco

The sin novel will go into print and the new authors will soon be announced along with our release dates."


Further Edited to Add: Commentary from Pickled Cupid.


Anonymous said...

Hmm one has to wonder, based on this publishers past behavior if the titles chosen to be published were not based on sales but more on the basis of who can pay to be published (purely speculation on my part) and if that is the case one has to wonder if their co-owner paid the same to get her manuscript in print as well.

Color me skeptical.

Anonymous said...

you're colored....

plus some people listed as antho authors have actually their stories from the antho, after it was released for sale, then pulled, then released, and then pulled once more.

Anonymous said...

Classy cover art...NOT! Can't even read the title, but their "hey, hey, we're the monkeys" company name is splashed twice on the front. Amateur hour!

Stacia said...


Mari said...

I happen to know at least one (and a rumored second) author(s) in that SINS antho pulled their story from the project.

Anonymous said...

One of the names in the anthology is def. wrong.

veinglory said...

I will be interested to see how they go in print. Debate about how to choose titles aside, trying it out with a few books first rather than jumping in with both feet can be a sensible approach for a smaller-sized press.

Anonymous said...

Somebody went a little crazy with the blur tool in Photoshop...that man has no pores!

I can't imagine how anyone could put out a cover so poorly made. I really can't. There's tutorials all over the internet on photoshopping graphics, it's not that hard. I mean, come on, when you can't even get a stroke border around your text done properly, there's a problem. Of course, stroke borders on text are a bad idea for book covers anyway...drop shadows, they are your friend!

It just makes me angry to see such poor covers, not just from them but other pubs as well. It really doesn't take more than a couple of hours to make a really good looking book cover. And it doesn't take much to learn how to use the tools well enough to do that. It's like they do this stuff in MS Paint.

Anonymous said...

Pam Seres isn't even listed on the website as an author.

Skyler Grey said...

Well.. I'm certainly shocked because I'm an EX author with DCL and my story was pulled so MY name nor my story has ANY business being on here. I'd like to know who sent this over and gave permission to advertise using my name? Can someone help clarify this for me?

Skyler Grey

DCL Publications said...

You have once again published false infomation about DCL and who is in print. I will be passing this infomation to our lawyer.

I am so happy though to have your continued interest in DCL and we will continue to sell e-books and go into print.

veinglory said...

I took titles and authors by direct cut-and-paste quote from your pro yahoogroup--where the message archives were set on public mode for anyone to read.

But if you wish to offer corrections or updates rather than threats I would be happy to receive them.

DCL Publications said...

It's not a threat but will be my course of action unless you correct the infomation. You have false infomation on what authors are going to print. You must have cut and pasted wrongly from our pro group. You also have the models wrongly listed for the covers. DCL did not give you permission to post our covers on your website or blog so please take them down.

Pamela Seres

DCL Publications said...

And to clear things up, no DCL is paying for their covers or to go to print. Our sales are going very well. Not sure why some of you have tons of time for drama or feel the need to bash our covers or authors but if it makes you happy keep at it but the false infomation about DCL along with our covers need to be taken down off this blog and website.

veinglory said...

If your own publically posted information is incorrect I am not sure what you think is legally actionable. If you wish me to correct the information, I would need to be notified of the correct information.

DCL Publications said...

That was an old message and already publicly corrected.

The sin novel will be in print but redone by different authors.

Please take that down along with our covers. DCL did not give you permission to use them.

Thank you and I hope to find this corrected by morning.

Pamela Seres

veinglory said...

Readers of this blog may follow the links to see the original posts. If I made any error perhaps they will point them out.

Again, if there have been changes since the time you made those posts I would be happy to received updates.

I consider the use of a cover thumbnail associated with commentary to be fair use.

veinglory said...

I still do not have access to the corrected information.

DCL Publications said...

I gave you the corrected infomation last night along with nicely asking you to take down the false infomation. You also do not have permission to repost our covers or use our artwork in anyway. If you are going to post infomation make sure it's the most current.

Pamela Seres

veinglory said...

I believe I used the most current publically available information which strikes me as sufficiently dilligent on my part. I have not received an corrections. Did you use the same email we have conversed via before (veinglory at You could also post it here. I will post an addition that updates will be forthcoming but a careful search found them no where on the public internet as far as I could tell.

We have a difference of opinion on what is allowable under fair use re: cover art.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that if the comments here were crying out about how wonderful the cover art was, it would be a non-issue. I would think that merely the fact that you have it up, thus promoting it would be a good thing for the PTB at Dark Castle Lords - but I could be wrong.

I also question the authenticity of the statement

"After much consideration and offers from NYC publishers, I have decided to have DCL Publications publish the movie novel which will be available in print and e-book next year before the movie comes out. The cover will be done soon."

I would think that anyone who wants to make a successful go at cinema would want the promotion & marketing signing with a big NYC publisher could give them.

Sounds like a lot of hot air to me.

DCL Publications said...

I sent you the updated information last night, you have failed to correct it on this blog still.

Again, DCL did not give you permission to use our covers or artwork in any form.

I kindly ask you to take them down.

Serena G., Any use of our cover art in good or bad terms has to be approved by DCL or by the DCL author. Neither has been done on this blog or website. Nor has the false information replaced.

Hot air? Huh? I am so happy you have such an interest in what DCL does. Smile!

Pamela Seres

veinglory said...

I will look again but as yet see no email. I will check my filters. For the benefit of the auithors in the two line ups it might be an idea to post this correction to the in a public location--also as I am going to correct the main post provided the corrected listed via comment would be a sure fire way to get it to me.

Anonymous said...

Serena G., Any use of our cover art in good or bad terms has to be approved by DCL or by the DCL author. Neither has been done on this blog or website.

Pamela, perhaps it would be a good idea for you to learn about copyright law? Seeing as how you're supposed to be a professional publisher.

Here's some links and quotes to get you started (bolding mine):


The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author's observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

"A US court case in 2003, Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corporation, provides and develops the relationship between thumbnails, inline linking and fair use...Arriba Soft was found to have violated copyright without a fair use defense in the use of thumbnail pictures and inline linking from Kelly's website in Arriba's image search engine. That decision was appealed and contested by Internet rights activists such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who argued that it is clearly covered under fair use.

On appeal, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of the defendant. In reaching its decision, the court utilized the above-mentioned four-factor analysis. First, it found the purpose of creating the thumbnail images as previews to be sufficiently transformative, noting that they were not meant to be viewed at high resolution like the original artwork was. Second, the fact that the photographs had already been published diminished the significance of their nature as creative works. Third, although normally making a "full" replication of a copyrighted work may appear to violate copyright, here it was found to be reasonable and necessary in light of the intended use. Lastly, the court found that the market for the original photographs would not be substantially diminished by the creation of the thumbnails. To the contrary, the thumbnail searches could increase exposure of the originals. In looking at all these factors as a whole, the court found that the thumbnails were fair use and remanded the case to the lower court for trial after issuing a revised opinion on July 7, 2003."

"In August of 2008 U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose, California ruled that copyright holders cannot order a deletion of an online file without determining whether that posting reflected "fair use" of the copyrighted material."

Wow! DCL's lack of knowledge of the law, their threats, and the utter stupidity of whining about someone getting information incorrect when that information is AN EXACT COPY OF WHAT THEY THEMSELVES HAVE POSTED PUBLICLY make me think so much more of the company than I did before. They're obviously totally professional.

Perhaps, instead of repeatedly insisting you've sent Emily an email, you could just post the correct information here in the comment thread? It makes sense to me, but then, perhaps I'm just too sane and reasonable.

Hot Sauce Reviews said...

I can count with one hand the number of people supposedly involved in the running of an epublishing company who can behave with some semblance of professionalism.

DCL, unfortunately, isn't one of them.

Bella G. said...

I am glad someone published the fair use information. I was sooo confused..not.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, guide-to-castles-of-europe: you're threatening to bring legal action against this blogger because she posted covers, yet DCL posted misinformation about their own books? Sounds rather petty to the readers who visit this blog. If you want my patronage get real and get over it instead of acting like a bully.

Anonymous said...

ALL of the authors who were published elsewhere before DCL---anywhere else--who were involved in the Sins anthology have pulled their stories.

If you'll notice, a lot of the same photos are used over and over again on the covers of DCL books. Not the models, but the stock photos like castles and oceans and women.

Anonymous said...

Let me know if any DCL author is making money. Its a lie that the authors are not paying for their covers. The only one benefiting from DCL are the models. The authors are not making enough money on their books to pay for the covers. The authors were also asked at their company retreat to pay $50 for each photos they take with the models. That was posted on their public group as well. I don't know who in their right mind would pay for that but again, its DCL we are talking about here.

I ask how much their authors have spent on the company when the DCL should have fork the money for their covers not the authors. I also want to ask the artist if she is even getting paid. Seems like a lot of traveling and photo shoots going on for their covers. Who's paying for those expenses? The authors? The artist? Why not concentrate on their books and just buy stock photos that look more professional? The models are blurred to death in their covers anyway. I bet the editors are not even getting paid either. I wont be surprised if the authors end up paying for those as well.

Who's funding this so called movie? I've seen Pamela Seres' writing and I have to tell you, I would be very shocked if someone even get pass the first paragraph without getting confused or popping a dozen Tylenol and a bottle of Pepto-Bismol from the edits. If her writing is ever good, it was probably COPIED and PASTED from someone else. Maybe from another author. Its also evident here the owner and 'claiming to be author' has no clue what copyright is. She really shouldn't talk as she is guilty and should be prosecuted for the same infringement she is trying to throw in this thread! She's used photos without permission and post them on her groups! I'm sure if we glorified her covers and books here she'd be all over the praise but sorry to say, nothing good comes out of DCL. A lot of authors pulled out of that company from lack of professionalism and underhanded company activities. One even posted they create drama on purpose so they can get attention! Sad how they throw threats all the time when people should go after this company for their illegal practices. Nuff said!

Denise Knight (not related to DCL author's pseudo name Serena Knight. Thank god!)

veinglory said...

Just a reminder, although what a person or company *does* is fair game remember not to comment on people in a way that is insulting. It is important to keep the focus on player as a part of the inductry (which is is our subject) and not make it personal.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

A lot of authors pay the models for use of pictures on bookcovers. If you are lucky enough to be friendly with a particular model they might let you use a picture for free. I don't understand how the authors think that this is ok. It is not the norm in publishing at all. An author should not have to pay for any aspect of their cover AT ALL. And I am willing to bet that an author who spends 200.00 to 400.00 for use of a photo is ever going to make that back in sales.

Anonymous said...

Here is a snippet of an online article Pamela Seres gave false information to as well. I did a search on her name and this is another one that caught my attention.

So Pamela got down to writing the first of six novels “Dark Castle Lord’s” which has proved popular in her on line sales, she then asked Ray to find a venue to film it in his native Lancashire. A movie trailer would be made firstly so that capital can be raised amongst the Hollywood financial sector, then the movie would be made, the other five would be funded from the profits of the first film.

What popular online sales? Does this woman have any proof of any claims she makes? Is there any truth to anything she says? If she could explain I would be very glad to listen. As an aspiring author myself, I am furious and frustrated at people taking advantage of me and my work! I don't like seeing others fall because they made unwise decisions. Do your research and eliminate the bad publishers. All you'll end up is getting frustrated and maybe your life's work taken from you and get published under a pseudo name without you knowing it.


veinglory said...

I note the DCL message archive has now (in the last few hours) been set to members only so the links above will no longer function.

Anonymous said...

I guess they don't like having their own words used against them.

Oh well, I will spend my reader dollars elsewhere and I will tell anyone who listens about what I've seen here too. I thought authors behaving badly was bad, it's worse when it's the people running the publishing house.

Anonymous said...

Well, I certainly hope the authors signed up with them are waking up and the ones looking into signing with them got the chance to learn more about who they are. Let me tell you, that company had zero or close to zero capital. It only ran by using people who thought they were getting connections and paid to get the covers. In other words, milking them for money and taking advantage of them. I wonder who they got the money from to go on print. Maybe the authors themselves who are willing to pay to go on print. Won't surprise me a bit.

That's not surprising to me either they made their DCL message board private. They have a lot of false claim in there. One might even be able to sue them for slander if they want. I see DCL more of a model agency than a publisher. Their favorite models must be making a lot from them while the authors haven't seen a penny of profit. The authors doesn't think they are being used but they are. Might as well get themselves published on their own. Hire an artist, editor and go to lulu or amazon. They probably will make more from that or maybe go to a legit publishing company. I just don't think they should be paying for their covers. Their editors are not certified either. Maybe school teachers who doesn't have the time to fully devote in editing, especially when they are not getting paid. That's the reason why they are giving the publisher their share/cut. The authors can simple get the editors and pay them a little since they are not getting paid by DCL anyways. Seriously, its a no brainer. People are probably going to purchase their books if they are not with DCL.

veinglory said...

They were certainly making some colorful statements about me in there. But you can't take that sort of thing personally. It is just what some people do when they don't agree with criticism of a publisher they believe in.

But it is the line I try to draw here. State opinions, sure. But keep it focussed on business practices, not disparaging people. It is natural to make that leap but it distracts from a discussion of the facts.

None of us are perfect but the goal here is to discuss the ebook publishing indistry and events/new/issues relating to it.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work you do Emily, putting out the information aspiring authors need to hear about so they can make an informed decision about where they submit their books to.

It is a wonderful service you do and I don't think you get credited enough.

So thank you

Anonymous said...

A little quote from that 'interview' with Ms. Seres: "But, really I always thought gay men couldn’t be handsome…"

What? No, really, what?

And in the bit you copy and pasted from their group, Emily, am I the only one who wants to club the person who spelled 'phase' faze?

Anonymous said...

DCL has two cover artists. One supposedly gets paid upwards of $50 for each cover she does.

The other author gets an extremely small fraction of that amount--and her covers are so much better than the ones by Ann Marshall.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the ghost of Joe McCarthy is smiling broadly knowing that that his spirit is ably represented by this blog.

Anonymous said...

...pardon mhy ignorance (actually probably my youth LOL) but who is Joe McCarthy and why is his spirit represented? LOL

Anonymous said...

He was a US Senator who would make accusations of a unsubstantiated nature on the floor of the Senate. Several actors, actresses and writers were blacklisted in the 50s due to these unsubstantiated ravings of a corrupt politician. The old saying "people who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" holds true here. Look up McCarthyism.

Anonymous said...

Ah. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong but I don't see any unsubstantiated ravings here.

There are comments made from personal experiences (albeit anonomously and who can blame them if the bullying tactics used on strangers is also used to keep anyone within the company in line) and others that quote from sources found on the net unless I missed something. Anything else is opinion which last I heard was one person's take on what they've read, which by definition cannot be substantiated as it is opinion.

All that aside, I am glad for the opportunity to read and see for myself how publishers in general and this one in particular handles criticism. A lot can be told by how well they can handle it.

Thank You Emily for this site.

DCL Publications said...

I wanted to thank Emily for correcting the DCL print infomation as I have asked.

I have given her permission to post any updates we have with the covers.

She also took down plenty of personal slander against me. Thank you for that too Emily.

We have had a few past DCL authors that were unhappy. I didn't mind in the least to let them out of their contract.

DCL now has over 30 happy authors and we can't wait to get our first print run together.

Come by and check us out!

Pamela Seres

Anonymous said...

Something every publisher should know: Falsely written statements are considered libel--not slander.

And the best defense for anyone charged with libel is proof that the written statements called into question are TRUE.

Anonymous said...

Is it my imagination, or is a total of 30 authors suppose to be good for a publisher that's been in business for two years already?

I must be too new at this.

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that a lot of the authors there aren't published with anyone else. If DCL is their first publisher, they might think paying for covers, etc is the norm.

Anonymous said...

That's because DCL will accept anyone in hopes they will get one really good writer who will make a lot of money for them. Its also about volume. The more writer they sign the more money they get and maybe their own authors will buy each other's book to show support. I never went to any of their author chats or interviews but I believe the one who joins their chats are their own authors. No readers or fan. If anyone attends the chat its probably because she was promised a "certain" model will be attending the chat. I doubt the models do but I know for sure that is what the DCL owner, Pamela Seres, tells a lot of people so they'll join the chat or what ever activity she has going on. She would always throw a name at people to convince them to do her bidding. Sad really because people do fall for it.