Friday, September 03, 2010

Red Rose Publishing: Alert

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

Dear Author has a post detailing internal problems at Red Rose Publishing:
Authors are reportedly not getting their work published within a specified time. If rights are requested to be reverted because of this breach, the publisher is reportedly sending the authors bills for cover art and editing for those books. Notices of editors and cover artists that they are quitting are reportedly being ignored...Statements were not being sent out and emails to the publisher went unanswered.
Other complaints reportedly include publishing books without contracts.

When a few Red Rose authors posted about non-payment in the Red Rose author loop, Red Rose's owner went ballistic, accusing the authors of whining and being unprofessional, and trotting out the kinds of excuses you so often see when small presses have difficulties: family problems, an audit.

This is such a sadly familiar story.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would just correct one thing. The authors posted about royalties on the READER loop, not the author loop.

Not that I think her response was justified, but...

JS said...

I never understand the "Oh, I am grateful to my publisher for getting me published" attitude, especially when the publisher is behaving unprofessionally.

Publishers would not be in business without writers. When a publisher acquires your work for publication, it can be an exciting professional opportunity, but it's not a personal favor.

And when a publisher doesn't send you your royalties, that's like a supermarket chain not sending payment to a cereal company for the cereal it has stocked and sold. It's not something to be grateful for; it's your contractual right to receive full compensation for sales of the product you made.

Kat said...

As the one who's blog post was used on Dear Author, I can say without a doubt that Red Rose is not only having trouble now, but the problems began way back. And obviously by the rant that was released, continued after I got out.

Oh, and to anyone who thinks I am responsible for this ending up on Writer Beware, I'm not. I only just found out about it at 6:34 am when I checked my Twitter.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a complaint, it was a question and not whiny or nasty. Just a simple did anyone know when they were getting statements. Then a couple other authors said they didn't get theirs yet either. Not at all nasty. The first person who did it apologized for it. So murder someone who asks a simple question. I read the letter the owner wrote complaining about it on Dear Author. Talk about nasty. That publisher needs a lesson in tact.

christine tripp said...

This sounds just like my Publisher, statements always 6 months late, no cheque to cover royalties owed, childish answers back from the publisher to the authors and illustrators that complain accusing the creatives of being GREEDY.
Yet, the Publisher continues to receive Canadian Government grants (these are large amounts of money too) to keep on going.
Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think if a writer is broke, it's because he or she chooses to be broke. RRP may prove a classic example.

For those of you at Red Rose waiting for your contracts to expire, you might reconsider. Right now, e-books are selling. There are many authors moving over 10,000 books a month and receiving checks.

I don't care who you are or who publishes you. If a publisher doesn’t pay, get out and find someone who will.

The e-book market is profitable.
Some e-book authors earn over 40K every quarter, and you’re hanging on to RRP for what, a few dollars you may never see?

This is Mardi Gras Press all over again.

Gennita said...

Last Anonymous. I'm curious: can you give names of these authors who are selling 10,000 books A MONTH? That's 120,000 a year. I'd like to contact these authors for a workshop. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Start with the 100K club at Siren Publishing. Several authors over there and at other e-pubs rake in large incomes but they aren't flamboyant about their paycheck amounts. These authors have more than one book selling well, some have more than one publisher, many use more than one pen name and all sell at several locations. Some authors might provide proof for a workshop invitation. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

There's a big difference between the implication that many authors with an epublisher are able to "move 10K books a month" and the reality of one author with that publisher whose ten (or more?) books have sold a total of 100K copies over the course of many months (to say nothing of the time required to write those ten books).

Still a major accomplishment, but that means an average of 10K (or fewer) copies of each book, total, not per month, unless she's writing a book a month.

Anonymous said...

Good point.

There's something to be learned here. Authors are making a comfortable income. They deserve payment. Even if authors only 'moved' 2500 books a month look at the income they'd lose if they signed with a publisher unwilling to honor their contracts and pay in a timely manner. Several EC authors sell over 2500 a month but that's print and e combined. They also have books at other e-publishers.

Stewart Sternberg said...

We live in hard times for writers and publishers. I keep abreast of the developments in the industry and the number of print books and magazines keep dropping.

I won't mention names but one author recently went from mass market, which doesn't pay all that well, to a publisher who does POD and ebooks. It's a big jump from Barnes and Noble to Kindle only.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Gennita, when you look at the number of books being published per year, anonymous' statements become a little hard to swallow. I don't know about Siren, I'll have to check the Nielsen ratings.

As for the statement "Even if authors only 'moved' 2500 books a month, look at the income they'd lose if they signed with a publisher unwilling to honor their contracts.."

that made me choke. This sounds like a person with an issue with publishers, and perhaps they might have more credibility if they weren't anonymous.

JS said...

Stewart Sternberg, I think that the "100,000 Club" is folks who have lifetime e-book sales of 100,000 with that publisher over all titles, not per title. (And kudos to them, because it's a great achievement even over several titles!)

Bookscan isn't totally accurate about e-book sales, though, so those authors' Bookscan numbers may well be lower than the sales figures they get from their publishers.

In any case, I think we can all agree that writers have the right to expect timely and well-accounted-for royalty payments, and that continuing in a business relationship with a publisher who isn't providing those is not doing your work a service.

Lin said...

Please keep in mind the author that posted to the Readers group did so because it is known Ms. Felter does not respond to queries in the authors group, off-list e-mails and/or voice mails. How are her auhtors supposed to get her attentions? It took my daughetr Kat, her editor, AND the head of the art department two full months to get her to respond despite their repeated requests when they were directed to begin edits on a manuscript that had no contract. Ms. Felter ignores the business of business.

Victoria Strauss said...

The drama continues: Red Rose Publishing threatens Dear Author's Jane Litte with legal action, and sends a letter demanding a retraction.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden said...

Gennita, I don't know who Anonymous is, but his advice isn't good.

What I do know is which authors are racking up big numbers with ebook sales: the same authors who are selling big in the bookstores.

Ebook sales really have shot up -- that part is correct -- but those sales are distributed along the same old curves.

Rebecca duBois-Guilbert said...

Quite frankly, brouhahas like make me tired. I have been with Red Rose almost since the beginning and have never been treated with anything but courtesy and professionalism.

I hate to see a decent company pilloried like this by a couple of snide malcontents. Of course, good news doesn't sell papers as the old saying goes, so those of us who are happy and I fully believe in the majority are discounted and ignored by those who prefer sensationalism which is quite possibly biased.

Franny Armstrong said...

Rumors and gossip hurt people, innocent people. There are over 200 authors at Red Rose Publishing who don't have a problem with it.

When a few disgruntled EX authors stir up trouble, the waves of harm travel far. Please consider that in continuing the negative attacks from others, innocent authors are harmed. WE did nothing wrong yet must suffer because of a few nasty comments from others.

Red Rose Publishing has provided the services it stated in my contracts and I have no problems.

Please, think about the others who are harmed by the gossip of disgruntled writers who didn't follow rules or had issues with the publisher because of that.

I have been personally attacked by the people who began this entire garbage because I stand up for myself and my fellow authors.

At least, being a writer, I can have my say and continue to write with my head held high. Integrity is important in this business.

Thank you for letting me comment.

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

I'm a RRP author as well and I so agree with Fran. I haven't had any problems at RRP and the terms of my contract are being met, and I feel all the negative comments (justified or not) are hurting those of us who aren't having any issues. Since that incident over a month ago, the problems have seemed to correct themselves. Now that everyone involved has said what they had to say, please let it drop for the sake of us authors who are only trying to push the sales of their books.

KSM said...

ROFL. A 'few disgruntled EX authors'?

A few ... if almost 10% of the close to 300 authors on RRP rolls can be considered a few

EX...until the contract is terminated, the rights reverted, and all royalties paid, these authors are anything but EX

disgruntled...I think that's the only correct thing about this statement. We are displeased and dissatisfied about the services we've received, the treatment we are getting, and the unprofessionalism of tirade made to ALL authors instead of the seven (7) authors who made the simple inquiry as to if their emails had bounced their royalty statements.

When your cell phone provider drops calls and doesn't have cell services in areas you frequent, you change your cell provider and tell your friends about the poor service that provider gave you.

If your employer doesn't pay your salary, you find another job and let the labor department know so you can get the money owed.

These authors did nothing but stand up for their rights when they felt they were being wronged. And the important thing here is "THEY FELT". Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. It is not rumor, nor gossip, when it can be backed up with evidence...not just from these authors but from the publisher herself...and cannot be considered just a one time event when history of malcontent with this publisher extends over a period of several years.

Anonymous said...

So why doesn't she just cut her losses, give back the rights to those that requested them, and move on? Why does she continue to ignore emails, and kick authors off the authors loop? Now I see anything posted to the reader's loop has to be okayed, what kind of way is that to run a business? That's professional? I don't think so. Where's the respect, honesty, and integrity that rrp boasts about on their home page?

Anonymous said...

Go read the owner's letter to authors who mistakenly posted on the wrong RRP loop(it is posted at Dear Author) and see if you want to do business with that type of company. Complain and name call about the authors who want out all you want--the owner of RRP wrote that crap! To authors who made a simple mistake.

No one deserves to be treated like that, and if you think those authors deserved it I feel sorry for you.

The owner does conduct her business on that same level, authors with issues are not 'malcontents' for no reason.

If Ms Felter was smart she would release all the contracts of those that want out. She is not doing that--people request them but it takes her months of repeated requests(with absolutely no communication from her) to release these authors.

Since she is stalling on reverting rights, she is just making it worse for herself in the long run. She should be polite, let them go, and filter her actions knowing anything outrageous will not be protected by her gag order any longer.

You authors who choose to stay at RRP should thank the 'malcontents'--because thanks to them Wendi might treat her authors better.

The internet epublishing community is watching RRP now. RWA has been notified. Epub 'beware' sites have picked this up. It can't be tucked back into the dark place.

Catherine Bybee said...

Oh dear... Franny, we aren't talking a few authors here! I didn't deserve the boot and I got it.

Catherine Bybee said...

To all the Happy Authors at RRP -

Use your voice to push Wendi to let go and give back all the rights to the authors who want out. Use your voice to encourage Wendi to keep her rants to herself. Use your voice tell Wendi to pay the authors their due... to get the statements out on time... the 1099's...

But please, don't ask hard working authors who have been kicked to go away and 'forget their hard work, their babies' and hide and don't say any more. I realize this is hurting authors at RRP who have YET to get on Wendi's bad side. For that I am very sorry. But you know what? This is RRP's doing. Wendi's doing! Put the blame where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

To Franny, Rebecca and Vanessa,

Since you are happy with RRP and apparently can still communicate with Wendi, perhaps you could gently suggest that if she wants this to die down she should just quickly release the unhappy authors(with a professional reversion of rights letter) and get us out of y'all's hair.

That way you can all put your efforts into your publishing venture, and we unhappy authors can resubmit to epubs we like better and wipe the dust of RRP off our feet.

We notice that Wendi is taking the books of unhappy author's down from 3rd party sites(where they actually sell) but leaving them up on the RRP bookstore. With no communication at all to the authors--how professional is that? Looks to me like she is just rying to hurt those author;'s as much as possible.

~Unable to sign name due to RRP NDA and retaliation practices.

KSM said...

Oh, yes. The issues of a month ago have 'seemed to correct themselves' then I daresay there are no authors out there who have terminated their contracts and have not gotten their rights back? WRONG

There are no authors out there seeking legal representation because their books have been removed from sales for over a month (some several months) but they still have not received as much as a BOO from the owner. WRONG

There are no authors out there that have not seeked to terminate their contract but are still unable to join, read, or respond to posts on the new author loop "RRPToBeAddress". WRONG

Perhaps the 'appearance' is that everything has returned to 'normal' because the owner has limited those with issue to responding in an open forum such as this.

Perhaps if the owner of RRP would acknowledge the authors, editors, and cover artists who have issues and respond to them in a timely manner, they wouldn't have to take their complaints elsewhere.

Perhaps if the owner of RRP would acknowledge those authors wanting to terminate contracts and revert their rights to them as quickly as she responds to removing the books from sales, she could get back to work with those authors who are happy and this whole thing could be pushed under the rug.

Unfortunately, it is the owner's lack of TIMELY response to these authors that has brought this on RRP and its other authors.

KSM said...

An excellent example of how the owner of RRP brings this upon herself.

http://www.bbb.org/upstate-new-york/business-reviews/publishers-book/red-rose-publishing-in-forestport-ny-235960458/

If the issue is just a bunch of malcontents and liars, shouldn't RRP be able to prove this? Instead, the owner is more than satisfied with ignoring the BBB inquiries, just as the owner has the authors who complain.

Melisse Aires said...

I've been kicked off all the authors loops, have had my books taken off third party sites and Wendi will not answer emails. I have no idea if she is going to release my rights since she will not communicate.

Other publishers send a letter of reversion of rights so you can take your work elsewhere if you want. THAT is the professional way to handle reversion of rights.

Blaming the authors that spoke up is skewed. Wendi is the one who needs to do the right things. People SHOULD speak up when they are not treated right-- not just take it like they deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, RRP has done this from the beginning in the beginning, especially if the authro in question has a good track record at other publishers for selling books. She romances (sort of) and makes the author feel important (by calling every other day, bragging about how she has the "in's" in the business on her speed dial, how she speeks to the president of Wal-Mart regularly to get her books in WM stores all across the country. Hell, to hear her tell it, she takes her vacations at Camp David with the president himself!)

The reality is, authors who sell exceptionally well at other publishers dont' sell well on her site, though still do wonderfully off site... until Wendi gets mad and takes down the title. normallly, this wouldn't make a whole lot of sense, but, you see, Wendi pays everyone on "commission." basically, authors, editors, and artist get paid depending on how well the book sells. she can take down a book and not be out the cost of the book. she might not make a whole lot of money herself, but she's not loosing money.

lets just think about that for a minute...

Kimberly Ivey said...

Sorry that I'm chiming in so late, but, I, too have had many problems with Red Rose Publishing. First of all, my book was contracted for both e-book and print back in 2009. The infamous get your book in print "once sales reach 100" clause did not apply in my case because that matter was negotiated with Wendi before I ever signed the contract.

I doubt I've been paid for all of my sales and she does some kind of funky math that should make the IRS sit up and take notice. I'm not getting my 40% royalties on the download price. No way in hell. The figures have all been wrong since day one. All of my statements are wrong and she owes me some bucks, which I doubt I'll ever see. My emails all go ignored, except for the ones she wants to answer.

She even got pissed when I told her that I didn't want to renew my contract upon its expiration because she had finally decided to take the book to print -- almost 3 years after it was supposed to BE in print.

Then, she became livid because I posted the RED ROSE PUBLISHING business address on the author loop! I had no choice but to post over there because she didn't sign for the certified letter that I sent her. She claimed it was her home address. Excuse me, but she IS operating a business, isn't she? Or is she using a different business address for different authors? All of my royalty statements, royalty checks, 1099's, and my contract have that same address on them! My most recent and incorrect royalty statement just arrived from that same address last week.

RED ROSE PUBLISHING has been one of the most disappointing publishing experiences of my life. I have been with and am still with another publisher and I have NEVER seen a publisher berate her authors, curse at them and treat them with such disrespect as I have at this particular publishing house. I cannot wait until my contract is over in January 2012 (although I COULD probably push for Breach of Contract for her not fulfilling her end of the contract and publishing my book in print within a 12 month period).

I'm so sorry that those who posted here before me had to go through such hell. I hope you're in better shape now than you were a year ago and that you have your rights to your books back and can move on.

I'm actually looking forward to taking my award winning book elsewhere and moving on,too, leaving my bad experience with RED ROSE PUBLISHING behind for GOOD.

Anonymous said...

I WAS published by Class Act Books. They didn't pay my editing royalties though I have a signed contract. I pulled my books from them.