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Thread: Heliographica Press

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Heliographica Press

    Hi, I'm new to this board. Last year I published my novel, The Silver Wheel, with Heliographica Press. Yes, they are POD, I know I was a jerk. I had no help in proofing or editting from them. But they did place my novel on Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles.com. as they promised. They also have me on their own website. I know that people have bought my book since publication in September of '04. Several friends ordered it from book stores and online. I see that on Amazon.com some book dealers are reselling it, which means they must have bought it. Also, one woman in NH ordered it from their website and never got it, although they charged her credit card. They did not answer her email. I wound up selling her one of my authors' copies.
    I have not received any tally of how many books I have sold, nor have I gotten a royalty report or check. I emailed the editor and he said that they do not send out sales tallies. Next September I plan on taking back my rights when the contract expires but in the meantime, what else can I do?
    Ellen

  2. #2
    Will write for peace of mind Kevin Yarbrough's Avatar
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    Have the woman contact the credit card company and let them know that they are charging for products not delivered. Maybe let the FTC know about it as well.
    The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma.




  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Trapped in amber's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting your experience with this company. So you haven't recieved any information about how many copies sold, or any royalties? Bad bad bad. You might like to contact Victoria Strauss and Anne Crispin of Writer Beware and Dave Kuzminski of Preditors and Editors.
    Other than that, if you need to take legal action, it would probably be best to talk to a lawyer who knows about literary law, it's a specialised field.
    I hope your next experience of publishing is more positive.

    www.sfwa.org/beware/ - Writer Beware
    www.anotherealm.com/prededitors - P&E
    Last edited by Trapped in amber; 06-16-2005 at 08:38 PM.
    Please feel free to correct my spelling, punctuation and grammar if the urge takes you. I'm trying to improve.

  4. #4
    Nearing the end of an era sgtsdaughter's Avatar
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    Yes, do get the law on your side, and also contact victoria and dave. They are both members here.

    And . . .you are not a jerk for going POD. Everyone has blunders--just chalk it up to experience. The next time you go out you will be that much more prepared.

    A.
    "You and I are both fetishes--just ask your partner."

    And we already know that I can't spell. Stop your snickering now.

  5. #5
    heliographica
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    Thumbs up Finding out royalty info

    Hi there! This is Heliographica and while we rarely are on online forums we wanted to send a reply

    Any author can email us to get a full listing of any sales and in Sept we are having all of our royalty info go online for authors to check. Checks get mailed when $25 in royalty is reached and our royalty data is audited every quarter.

    Drop us a note with any questions if you are a new author: www.heliographica.com

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Heliographica

    Then why don't you give me any information? I have tried several times.

  7. #7
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Writer Beware has recently received two separate complaints about Heliographica that are very similar to Ellen's.

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi. I have never received a statement or a royalty payment from Heliographica and my book has been in print for almost a year. I have requested a statement and never received a response. This is in addition to a slew of other questions and complaints which have never been addressed over a period of several months.


    I am also aware of several other Heliographica authors who have never received statements or royalties, or even a response, some with their books in print for over a year, in spite of repeated requests.


    Cricket

  9. #9
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Things aren't looking so good for Heliographica. Will the person wearing their mantle attempt to defend it with increasingly lengthy, yet empty, messages? Will the messages become ever more hostile? Or will he or she see opposing forces amassing, demanding justice, and run? Tune in tomorrow...

    Maryn, who will prepare enough popcorn for the crowd
    "I've never had to fake sarcasm."

    Brick by Brick, a ménage à trois novel (soon to be re-released)
    Taming the Wilde, FemDom spotted--and striped--in the wild
    Men in Love, anthology about--hey, you're already there, aren't you?
    Maryn Says, an irregular blog almost never about writing
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  10. #10
    iwrite4u
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    Angry warning about Heliographica

    I signed up with Heliographica last year and have lived to regret it. They charged too much, barely understood layout, shipped books late, and damaged over a hundred in shipping. The customer service was the worst it could be—they don’t send out books to people who pay for them—this is the story for quite a few authors. One of the con games was to take $350 of our money for the top level of Baker and Taylor distribution, tell us our book “should” be listed –for months and months, but no one could EVER order it—and it was always—“we’ll check on that and get back to you.” But the bookstores showed the books out of stock the whole time—the books were never in stock. Through person-to-person contact with B&T I found out that the program we paid for was not what we were getting—books in the free program had to be back ordered, but not the Partners program. Questions about this discrepancy were never answered by the owner. They took the money and did not deliver the services.

    I paid the same amount for 500 books that I am paying for 2000 now, and they told me/us prices are higher because of distribution costs and publicity—but as I said, they didn’t do either one. Lots of con, lots of promises, and no delivery. They work apparently on the edges of the law, just covering themselves in the "contract" so no one can touch them legally--they think.

    I use the term “we” several times because I know several authors who have complaints, some were asked to sign a statement agreeing not to post anything negative, and others have never been paid their royalty checks for over a year, despite the website info and posts on this forum. According to Amazon ranking, books for these authors are being sold, some with very high successful rankings, so something is very fishy. Not paying royalties after the authors have worked hard to sell books is a terrible, dishonest thing to do, if not illegal. And discouraging to authors who themselves are honest and trusting.

    Further dishonesty is about the “address:” a PO Box in San Francisco, but authors from out of town have been told there IS a real office; the owner was offended when the author doubted this. Some of us have seen the office address, and have seen the PO Box and the owner getting mail from it, but why disseminate that lie and be found out? When several lies are found out, trust is lost and authors bail.

    Another new company has been created by the same people now for distribution: www.activeimprint.com. Watch out for them too. Writers—be careful of who you give your books to, and who has the ISBN for your books. There are a lot of scary folks out there. I created my own company finally—having had two unpleasant, to say the least, and dishonest, publishers. I, and others, have lost a lot of money. There are a few honest companies, but many are nothing like they want you to believe. They know writers are very eager to hold their own books, and many writers are naïve about how it really works. The cons and scammers will take your money, leaving you with buckets of misery and empty pockets.
    Many Helio authors are leaving in droves. The jury is out about any legal actions.

  11. #11
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Wow. Quite the eye opener, iwrite. Thanks for sharing that here. You have probably saved your fellow writers a lot of stress and money.

    Hey, is your publishing company looking for submissions? <big old wink>

    Maryn, glad to meet you
    "I've never had to fake sarcasm."

    Brick by Brick, a ménage à trois novel (soon to be re-released)
    Taming the Wilde, FemDom spotted--and striped--in the wild
    Men in Love, anthology about--hey, you're already there, aren't you?
    Maryn Says, an irregular blog almost never about writing
    The Occasional Tweet

  12. #12
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Rather than start your own publishing company (which is a road filled with landmines), you might consider legitimate publishers. How can you tell which ones they are? Go to a bookstore and look on the shelves. Your legitimate publishers are the ones who can get books placed there.

    If you've never seen a book from a particular company, and your friends have never seen a book from a particular company -- be careful. That company may not have the ability to sell books.

  13. #13
    iwrite4u
    Guest

    Lightbulb traditional vs. own pub company

    I would think that most people who have the nerve, or the time, patience and know how to start their own publishing company have been around the block a while already, and have learned about the publishing business. In my experience most people who have self-published have already spent years making the rounds with traditional publishing, have had some almosts happen in New York, but it is a whole other ball game there--you have to convince them, a group of 24 year olds in the editing and marketing dept., that your books will be a best seller. Honestly, how many of us can do that.
    Creating a "good" self-published book, along industry standards, dealing with Baker and Taylor and the other isses around distribution and such is a way to get a well written book out into the world. The self-published stigma can be removed, and is by many, many people.
    So let's keep a positive attitude and cheer on the entreprenurial spirit.

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Helio Distribution

    Hi, and thanks for sharing all this information. I have, sadly, heard many similar complaints against Heliographica. I wonder if, now that the one year mark is coming up for many of their authors, or has just been passed, the you-know-what is starting to hit the fan and that is the reason for the new company, Active Imprint.

    Speaking about distribution, my Helio book has never been made available to Baker & Taylor or B&N. I have personally spoken to bookstores who had sizeable orders for my book and have never been able to obtain them. Repeated requests to Heliographica to make the book available have been ignored.

    As to the background and credibility of the company itself, many authors, including myself, were originally led to believe that Heliographica was the offshoot of a large and viable marketing corporation. As it turns out, it seems we are dealing with the smoke and mirrors of anonymous mailboxes and we have been denied any direct way to contact this company.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with any legal action that may be initiated.

    Good luck with your ventures!

    Cricket




    Quote Originally Posted by iwrite4u
    I signed up with Heliographica last year and have lived to regret it. They charged too much, barely understood layout, shipped books late, and damaged over a hundred in shipping. The customer service was the worst it could be—they don’t send out books to people who pay for them—this is the story for quite a few authors. One of the con games was to take $350 of our money for the top level of Baker and Taylor distribution, tell us our book “should” be listed –for months and months, but no one could EVER order it—and it was always—“we’ll check on that and get back to you.” But the bookstores showed the books out of stock the whole time—the books were never in stock. Through person-to-person contact with B&T I found out that the program we paid for was not what we were getting—books in the free program had to be back ordered, but not the Partners program. Questions about this discrepancy were never answered by the owner. They took the money and did not deliver the services.

    I paid the same amount for 500 books that I am paying for 2000 now, and they told me/us prices are higher because of distribution costs and publicity—but as I said, they didn’t do either one. Lots of con, lots of promises, and no delivery. They work apparently on the edges of the law, just covering themselves in the "contract" so no one can touch them legally--they think.

    I use the term “we” several times because I know several authors who have complaints, some were asked to sign a statement agreeing not to post anything negative, and others have never been paid their royalty checks for over a year, despite the website info and posts on this forum. According to Amazon ranking, books for these authors are being sold, some with very high successful rankings, so something is very fishy. Not paying royalties after the authors have worked hard to sell books is a terrible, dishonest thing to do, if not illegal. And discouraging to authors who themselves are honest and trusting.

    Further dishonesty is about the “address:” a PO Box in San Francisco, but authors from out of town have been told there IS a real office; the owner was offended when the author doubted this. Some of us have seen the office address, and have seen the PO Box and the owner getting mail from it, but why disseminate that lie and be found out? When several lies are found out, trust is lost and authors bail.

    Another new company has been created by the same people now for distribution: www.activeimprint.com. Watch out for them too. Writers—be careful of who you give your books to, and who has the ISBN for your books. There are a lot of scary folks out there. I created my own company finally—having had two unpleasant, to say the least, and dishonest, publishers. I, and others, have lost a lot of money. There are a few honest companies, but many are nothing like they want you to believe. They know writers are very eager to hold their own books, and many writers are naïve about how it really works. The cons and scammers will take your money, leaving you with buckets of misery and empty pockets.
    Many Helio authors are leaving in droves. The jury is out about any legal actions.

  15. #15
    heliographica
    Guest

    Exclamation Could you contact us?

    Cricket- I'm not sure which author you are as we don't show a cricket in our records. Could you contact us directly at info@heliographica.com or through our website at: http://heliographica.com/question.cfm

    We work hard to get everything resolved for our authors.

    Some examples of ways we have gone the extra mile for authors.
    - We are up front that we are POD.
    - When an author has had books printed with errors they did not catch we have printed them at no extra cost to the author.
    - We launched a free press release service for any author.
    - Our fees are almost always under $300 and include custom cover design.

    If anyone is unhappy you can email us directly and we will work with you to resolve the manner.

    Thanks.

  16. #16
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Heliographica, can you speak to the multiple author allegations of non-payment of royalties?

    - Victoria

  17. #17
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    Angry Heliographica Press - Step Up

    I published a book with Heliographica Press recently. I have not seen my authors copies arrive, nor is it listed anywhere they promised. Now that I see everyones postings, I am freaked out a little. What's the point of doing all the promo and having it available for sale if they won't ship the books? I wish I did not publish with them. The customer no-service from this company is unbelievable. I, as a business person who wrote a business book will make sure they pay for this. If I do not hear a response from them by Monday, October 31, 2005, I will report them to the Better Business Bureau and sue the daylights out of them for stealing money and not shipping out books to customers. As soon as it is available on BN (which I now doubt it ever will) I will place an order to see if they ship it. If they don't, they will be sorry they published my book. The design guy was extremely responsive up until I asked him about the shipment of my Author's copies, at which time he stopped responding all together. Their phone number has been removed and they have no system for calculating royalties. They said they would have a system in place where authors could view their royalties online. Where is it???

    Notice how they are on this discussion forum and do NOT acknowledge the questions of shipping and royalties. They just expect you to email them your complaints. Well Heliographica, this is not the way to conduct business and if you are in fact legitimate, put a phone number on your site and acknowledge these complaints! I found this forum by going to Google and typing in "Heliographica Press" and I was sorry to see I picked this company because they number 4 listing is a forum that states all of these horrible things.

  18. #18
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Don't worry about the BBB. It won't count with them because they will view it as a business to business problem. As a writer, you're considered as just another business, even if you ordered your own book. You still are looked at as a business. Your best bet is to get with a lawyer who knows intellectual property law.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  19. #19
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    Angry Heliographica Press

    The BBB has been helpful to me in the past. When they see the overwhelming amount of complaints, they are sure to react in some way. If I am the customer of the Publishing company, whom I have hired to publish my work, I am sure that the BBB has some kind of know how as to what to do about this kind of a company.

  20. #20
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    Reply

    Did you read Heliographica's first post? It states in September they will have an online way to have Authors see royalties. Well, here we are approaching November and nothing!

    Also, with regard to your second posting, I would love to contact you, and believe me, I have tried. But you do not reply. And what is the 888 number that you provided when you sent me a PayPal bill??? I called that and it is some other company. Something is extremely fishy about Heliographica, but I am determined tol get to the bottom of this company.

    It shows something when a "corporation" responds to customers via a chat forum rather than personal emails.

    Well, it's the end of the day and I told myself action would have to be taken if this was not resolved. The nationally syndicated Clark Howard Show is going to air it all on Monday.

  21. #21
    heliographica
    Guest

    We're Here To Help

    Neil1- could you email us directly at info@heliographica.com
    Without an ISBN or anyway to contact you there is no way for us to help you if indeed you are a real author of ours.

    Victoria- all of our authors have been paid royalties they have earned. In addition we will soon be one of the first self-publishing companies to allow authors to have a 3rd party audit of their royalty information.

  22. #22
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heliographica
    Victoria- all of our authors have been paid royalties they have earned.
    And yet I continue to receive unsolicited complaints from authors who say that they haven't been paid royalties by Heliographica. How do you explain the discrepancy between what they claim and your statement above?

    - Victoria

  23. #23
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    Real Author

    Would you like to know if I am a real author? My name is Neil Mirchandani and I am on your website. Have published Internet Marketing 101. I have written I do not know how many times to info@heliographica.com. Then I posted tons of messages on the heliographica.com/login board. I have given fair and ample time for you to ship my authors copies and this is the only interaction I have had. Why is the book not listed with Amazon or BN yet? Why is it that my emails have not been responded to? Why are my authors copies not here when I was told they would be shipped on the 15th? I am an author and scheduled conferences around this. I do not think you know what you have done for the initial marketing. Now can you please explain??? Pick any one of the plenty of emails I have written to respond to, call at the number I provided, or via the discussion board at heliographica.com/login.

    I am a real author, and I hope that's not your excuse for not responding to the email.
    ISBNS:
    1-933037-95-4
    1-933037-85-7

  24. #24
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    Hi Victoria:
    HarperCollins? Wow, what are you doing talking about this company? You seem to know what you are doing! Congrats, that is a wonderful publisher...and I believe they actually have a phone number to contact your personal rep. Am I correct?

  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Neil, while we wait with bated breath for a response, would you share with us how/why you chose Heliographica?

    p.s. Victoria is one of our guardian angels from Writer Beware. http://sfwa.org/beware/
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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