Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Victoria Strauss -- Another New Alert on Writer Beware

Writer Beware has added an Alert on Quiet Storm Publishing to its Alerts for Writers page.

Quiet Storm and its owner, Clint Gaige, are the focus of complaints of publication delays, nonpayment of royalties, poor quality product, and nonresponsiveness to authors' questions and concerns. Members of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime are seeking restitution through the West Virginia courts for $3,000 owed to members by the publisher.

4 comments:

Dhewco said...

That's sad. I know an author with this publisher. Pretty good one, too. The publisher came to our online critique group and talked to us...seemed like a decent guy. It's a shame it's turned out this way.


David

sailingphool said...

I wonder if your friend is still with Quiet Storm, or if s/he has asked for his or her rights back, as did more than twenty of the authors who originally signed up with this guy. The tragedy is that he started out well, signed up really good authors, was on the way to being a high quality small press, got on the Mystery Writers of America "approved" list even, and then it all went to hell in a handbasket. First came the lying and the coverups. Then the non-communication. Then the blowing off of certified letters and registered mail (refusing some of them!) from authors and from their attorneys. When he blew off the grievance committee of the MWA, too, that was the beginning of the end. Probably would have come to an end much later -- he's silvery tongued and oh-so-convincing -- but his authors, including a friend of mine, started comparing notes. My friend tells me that Quiet Storm is still trying to sign up authors. If so, run away run away!!

Jim Winter said...

All I can say to those wanting to leave Quiet Storm is rattle those sabers loudly, the louder, the better.

Get EVERYTHING in writing. In fact, write your own release agreement. That way, you control the exit. Make sure he signs it, and make your you return a copy with some form of confirmation. (Priority Mail works nicely.)

Do not be afraid to use the services of an attorney (I am now barred by my otherwise favorable release agreement), or to call small claims court, or to contact the county prosecutor for Martinsburg, WV, or the IRS.

I would also consider offering a waiver of royalties as it's not bloody likely you'll ever see a dime at this point. Not an option if you never made it to press, but right now, your rights are more valuable than moneys owed.

In short, leave the gloves off. This is why my second book is being shopped around instead of rotting on my hard drive.

Dhewco said...

As far as I know, Michael is no longer with him...but I haven't talked to him in a long time. He left AOL and I've gotten a job that apparently isn't in sync with his. He told me about some of his problems with the publisher the last time we talked. The man kept delaying the publication of his most recent novel.

David