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Thread: Damnation Books

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
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    Damnation Books

    http://www.damnationbooks.com/

    Very new press opened beginning of Sept. According to the bottom of the main page they've sold 363 books, and have 26 books for sale. That is about 13 copies per book. But they've been doing that increase pricing/variable thing so that can't have made any money.

    There seems to be a lot of authors who are editing staff. You're not given very much info about their editing experience.


  2. #2
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    The variable pricing thing makes me very uncomfortable, as does the owner's rather passive view on its success. It doesn't appear to be in favor of writers at all.
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  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I believe they are going into print next month, as far as the novels are concerned.

  4. #4
    I noticed that authors weren't earning that much, and voiced my concerns very briefly to the publisher in this thread:

    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...amnation+books

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees a potential problem with this. If they're really going to print, then either they have a lot of money, or they are going to raise the price of books-and soon.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Well, for every sale, an ebook novel goes up five cents, an tops out at $5.95; so after 119 sales it stays at top price. I think most people, if your book is good enough, should bump up there pretty quick.

  6. #6
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    But how is that fair to the authors? What if the book doesn't sell that many copies? And how do they plan to attract the kind of readership they would need? It's bad idea all around, the only ones who benefit are the readers - which isn't bad within itself, but shouldn't be at the expense of the writers. It's not competitive with other publishers who have advances and/or a set royalty amount.
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  7. #7
    Exactly. My book is already set at 5.50 to begin with-I shouldn't have to sell about two years of work for pennies-literally! Plus, how much of that is the publisher taking away?

  8. #8
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz044 View Post
    Exactly. My book is already set at 5.50 to begin with-I shouldn't have to sell about two years of work for pennies-literally! Plus, how much of that is the publisher taking away?
    Bingo, and good question. I'd want to know that myself.
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  9. #9
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Very flaky. I'd avoid it.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Let's be frank about this people. You WILL get extra readers buying your books thanks to the cheaper, initial, pricing. So if your cut is 40%, it's still going to be 40%. Maybe they are trying to stir interest by having a cult following jumping on thier site every 3 months to get some cheap, quality horror? I dunno, just a thought.

  11. #11
    Who says it's quality? If anything, the publisher is trying to prove the opposite by marking down a price from, say $4.50 to $.55. To the uninformed eye, that means the book is being discontinued because it's not selling that well.

    Look, I'd love to be proven wrong and this plan is in fact beneficial to the author-honestly I would. But I would not submit any of my books to this website. I shouldn't have to work to earn what 99% per cent of authors already get as soon as they're published-a decent book price.
    Last edited by Topaz044; 09-21-2009 at 07:12 AM.

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I can see that is *might* be a good gimmick--but more so for the publisher than the author. A small press book like this is likely to only sell an average of a few hundred copies in the first year, most of them in the first few months. So that effectively means a substantial pay cut when compare to a flat price publisher even if it garners 50-100 more sales per title.
    Last edited by veinglory; 09-21-2009 at 06:42 PM.
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  13. #13
    Cinnamon, sit. Bad fish! C.M. Daniels's Avatar
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    Sounds like one to avoid.
    Published Shorts:
    Imagining Cape Henlopen-- Transcendent Visions 2007
    Tendril of the Mind-- Trail of Indiscretion #9 May 2008
    Recall the Executioner--Abaculus Anthology 2008, reprint--Aoife's Kiss, forthcoming September 2010
    Life After--Golden Visions, April 2010
    Milking the Station--Ghostlight #1 Fall 2009
    Learning Curve--Kasma Magazine, Spring 2010

  14. #14
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Step back and see if they're still in business a year from now.

    And if their writers are actually making money.

    What puts me off is that they are not paying advances at this time. Maybe that's normal for e-books, but I'd rather get paid for all my hard work.


    In the meantime, submit to bigger publishers with a longer track record.

    Publishing is weird--you start at the top and work your way down. Find the biggest house or agent on the block and submit to them first, then work your way down.

  15. #15
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Founder Kim Richards, former editor at Eternal Press, acquired EP in December. Nothing on the EP site about it, though.
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  16. #16
    Literary Laureate Sn00py's Avatar
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    Any updated insights into this publisher?

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sn00py View Post
    Any updated insights into this publisher?
    Read the Eternal Press thread for some info on the owner.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainstorm77 View Post
    Read the Eternal Press thread for some info on the owner.
    Here's the link:

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...=eternal+press

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sn00py View Post
    Any updated insights into this publisher?
    Yes, and as you can see, it's all bad. Take a look at their website. A grade 6 student could do a better job. It's designed to be scary, but it's so amateurish and tacky, it's hilarious.

    Kim Richard Gilchrist is a failed author turned "publisher," in September of last year. She accepts anything at all, and makes her money from illegal kill fees. And yes, kill fees are illegal, unless the author has signed a contract agreeing to them. And even if he has, they won't stand up in court.

    http://www.damnationbooks.com/
    Last edited by pagerette; 05-01-2010 at 01:58 AM.

  20. #20
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by pagerette View Post
    Yes, and as you can see, it's all bad. Take a look at their website. A grade 6 student could do a better job. It's designed to be scary, but it's so amateurish and tacky, it's hilarious.

    Kim Richard Gilchrist is a failed author turned "publisher," in September of last year. She accepts anything at all, and makes her money from illegal kill fees. And yes, kill fees are illegal, unless the author has signed a contract agreeing to them. And even if he has, they won't stand up in court.

    http://www.damnationbooks.com/
    A little birdy told me Kim knows about this thread, but is too chicken shit to come on here and explain herself. Caw, caw, caw, caw caw. (LOL) Seriously though what a rotten way for an author turned publisher to treat other authors. Shame on ya, Kim, shame, shame, shame, you money hustling shyster. You PA wannabe.
    Last edited by luvreading; 05-02-2010 at 03:25 AM.

  21. #21
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    "Overall my experience with Damnation was quite pleasant, until we disagreed on the design of the cover. They were unwilling to negotiate, so I asked to be released from my contract. At this time, they sent me a letter charging me a $800+ “termination agreement.” This letter included an itemized list of expenses—and as a publisher myself I know how exorbitant and ridiculous these charges are.

    Further, there was no mention of a termination fee in the contract I originally signed. I spoke to a woman name Victoria Strauss, who wrote a fascinating blog post on the subject of kill fees (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/0...s-and-why.html). She explained that a kill fee is used to blackmail an unhappy author into getting back in line. She said this example of a kill fee was especially “sleazy” because there was no mention of it in the original contract. When I refused to pay the fee, Kim Gilchrist told me that unless I paid it they would go on and publish the book without my support.

    Believe me—I tried everything to negotiate—I even offered to PAY some of the legitimate fees in order to see a new cover designed for the book—but they refused. It was either, “Pay us 800 or shut up and sit down.” I also spoke to a lawyer—he agreed with Ms. Strauss in myself: Damnation Books would never get away with a kill fee in court, but they did have the rights to publish the work. So as of now, despite my pleas, Damnation will be publishing “The Berserk” in March (you can find it on damnation’s website).

    I am writing this in hopes that you will alert your readership of Damnation’s hidden fees. They are unlawful, unethical and, for a small independent publisher who should be out there championing small artists—this kind of cutthroat publishing behavior is unconscionable. There are other publishers who do this. According to Ms. Strauss’ blog, writers should beware of this type of bullying, and keep an eye out for it in their contracts (and NEVER sign a contract that includes a kill fee) but Damnation does not state it in their contract.

    Feel free to publicize this email and the contracts I’ve included as you wish.

    I believe I’ve said enough—I am more than willing to answer any other questions regarding this incident, or fill in any details you may need.

    Thank you in advance for any consciousness-raising you do on the issue.

    Sincerely,

    Alex Smith

    UPDATE March 10th, 2010

    Damnation Books officially violated their own contract when they made substantial changes to my text without my approval, including the re-naming of chapters and inappropriate additions to the copyright page. Further, Damnation published the book on Amazon as The Berserk by Alex Smith, April Duncan, and Matt Truiano. The latter two are editor and cover designer, respectively. It is outrageous that they would attribute the creation and writing of the novel to two people who, however talented and deserving of praise in their own right, had worked on the book for a month, where I had worked on it for two years. As such, I have decided to publish a “perfect version” entitled Berserk on Amazon. Damnation are welcome to try to sue me if they so chose."
    http://reimagineritual.wordpress.com...s/#comment-650

    P.S. Just to clarify here, as there's been some confusion, I'm not Alex Smith.
    Last edited by showme; 05-03-2010 at 02:52 AM.

  22. #22
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    This is an Open letter written by author, Alex Smith, to Damnation Publishing. I am not Alex Smith. It is an open letter and Alex has indicated (see below) that it is intended for distribution. Here is the link to Alex's blog where the letter can be found:

    http://reimagineritual.wordpress.com...s/#comment-650


    "Overall my experience with Damnation was quite pleasant, until we disagreed on the design of the cover. They were unwilling to negotiate, so I asked to be released from my contract. At this time, they sent me a letter charging me a $800+ “termination agreement.” This letter included an itemized list of expenses—and as a publisher myself I know how exorbitant and ridiculous these charges are.

    Further, there was no mention of a termination fee in the contract I originally signed. I spoke to a woman name Victoria Strauss, who wrote a fascinating blog post on the subject of kill fees (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/0...s-and-why.html). She explained that a kill fee is used to blackmail an unhappy author into getting back in line. She said this example of a kill fee was especially “sleazy” because there was no mention of it in the original contract. When I refused to pay the fee, Kim Gilchrist told me that unless I paid it they would go on and publish the book without my support.

    Believe me—I tried everything to negotiate—I even offered to PAY some of the legitimate fees in order to see a new cover designed for the book—but they refused. It was either, “Pay us 800 or shut up and sit down.” I also spoke to a lawyer—he agreed with Ms. Strauss in myself: Damnation Books would never get away with a kill fee in court, but they did have the rights to publish the work. So as of now, despite my pleas, Damnation will be publishing “The Berserk” in March (you can find it on damnation’s website).

    I am writing this in hopes that you will alert your readership of Damnation’s hidden fees. They are unlawful, unethical and, for a small independent publisher who should be out there championing small artists—this kind of cutthroat publishing behavior is unconscionable. There are other publishers who do this. According to Ms. Strauss’ blog, writers should beware of this type of bullying, and keep an eye out for it in their contracts (and NEVER sign a contract that includes a kill fee) but Damnation does not state it in their contract.

    Feel free to publicize this email and the contracts I’ve included as you wish.

    I believe I’ve said enough—I am more than willing to answer any other questions regarding this incident, or fill in any details you may need.

    Thank you in advance for any consciousness-raising you do on the issue.

    Sincerely,

    Alex Smith

    UPDATE March 10th, 2010

    Damnation Books officially violated their own contract when they made substantial changes to my text without my approval, including the re-naming of chapters and inappropriate additions to the copyright page. Further, Damnation published the book on Amazon as The Berserk by Alex Smith, April Duncan, and Matt Truiano. The latter two are editor and cover designer, respectively. It is outrageous that they would attribute the creation and writing of the novel to two people who, however talented and deserving of praise in their own right, had worked on the book for a month, where I had worked on it for two years. As such, I have decided to publish a “perfect version” entitled Berserk on Amazon. Damnation are welcome to try to sue me if they so chose."
    Last edited by showme; 05-04-2010 at 02:27 AM.

  23. #23
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by showme View Post
    This is an Open letter written by author, Alex Smith, to Damnation Publishing. I am not Alex Smith. It is an open letter and Alex has indicated (see below) that it is intended for distribution. Here is the link to Alex's blog where the letter can be found:

    http://reimagineritual.wordpress.com...s/#comment-650
    Thanks for this, showme.

    We get a lot of drive-by posters in this particular forum pretending to be someone they are not, so it's always best to be clear from the start what you are posting.

    By the by, welcome to AW.

    ~brianm~
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  24. #24
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    "At this time, they sent me a letter charging me a $800+ “termination agreement.” This letter included an itemized list of expenses—and as a publisher myself I know how exorbitant and ridiculous these charges are."

    The above is from Alex's open letter to Damnation Books. It endorses how thick Kim is. She doesn't know what reputable business practices means, and thinks she can do anything, even to demanding kill fees when they are not in the contract. She just takes a lunge at the largest dollar amount she can think up and goes with it. Incredible.

    This reminds me of her comment to authors who refused to sign her amendment. "It doesn't matter, I don't need it anyway. I still hold all the rights to your contracts..." blah, blah, blah... This woman could find herself in some seriously deep shit. You know, when you set out to rip a lot of folks off...it ain't gonna be pretty.

  25. #25
    soup
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    Quote Originally Posted by showme View Post
    "Overall my experience with Damnation was quite pleasant, until we disagreed on the design of the cover. They were unwilling to negotiate, so I asked to be released from my contract. At this time, they sent me a letter charging me a $800+ “termination agreement.” This letter included an itemized list of expenses—and as a publisher myself I know how exorbitant and ridiculous these charges are.

    Further, there was no mention of a termination fee in the contract I originally signed. I spoke to a woman name Victoria Strauss, who wrote a fascinating blog post on the subject of kill fees (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/0...s-and-why.html). She explained that a kill fee is used to blackmail an unhappy author into getting back in line. She said this example of a kill fee was especially “sleazy” because there was no mention of it in the original contract. When I refused to pay the fee, Kim Gilchrist told me that unless I paid it they would go on and publish the book without my support.

    Believe me—I tried everything to negotiate—I even offered to PAY some of the legitimate fees in order to see a new cover designed for the book—but they refused. It was either, “Pay us 800 or shut up and sit down.” I also spoke to a lawyer—he agreed with Ms. Strauss in myself: Damnation Books would never get away with a kill fee in court, but they did have the rights to publish the work. So as of now, despite my pleas, Damnation will be publishing “The Berserk” in March (you can find it on damnation’s website).

    I am writing this in hopes that you will alert your readership of Damnation’s hidden fees. They are unlawful, unethical and, for a small independent publisher who should be out there championing small artists—this kind of cutthroat publishing behavior is unconscionable. There are other publishers who do this. According to Ms. Strauss’ blog, writers should beware of this type of bullying, and keep an eye out for it in their contracts (and NEVER sign a contract that includes a kill fee) but Damnation does not state it in their contract.

    Feel free to publicize this email and the contracts I’ve included as you wish.

    I believe I’ve said enough—I am more than willing to answer any other questions regarding this incident, or fill in any details you may need.

    Thank you in advance for any consciousness-raising you do on the issue.

    Sincerely,

    Alex Smith

    UPDATE March 10th, 2010

    Damnation Books officially violated their own contract when they made substantial changes to my text without my approval, including the re-naming of chapters and inappropriate additions to the copyright page. Further, Damnation published the book on Amazon as The Berserk by Alex Smith, April Duncan, and Matt Truiano. The latter two are editor and cover designer, respectively. It is outrageous that they would attribute the creation and writing of the novel to two people who, however talented and deserving of praise in their own right, had worked on the book for a month, where I had worked on it for two years. As such, I have decided to publish a “perfect version” entitled Berserk on Amazon. Damnation are welcome to try to sue me if they so chose."
    http://reimagineritual.wordpress.com...s/#comment-650

    P.S. Just to clarify here, as there's been some confusion, I'm not Alex Smith.

    Holy shit.
    I mean, excuse my tone, but....
    Holy shit. Putting myself in this position, this is like one of the most terrible things I've read on here. I'd flippin cry if this happened to me.

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