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Thread: Damnation Books

  1. #276
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Well, this screams author mill from the start because of the extensive marketing plan required and the number of their authors which is about 200. They have sold 1825 e-books to date, which I assume means series books and trilogies. I don't think the paperbacks have made a dent, otherwise it would listed with their amounts.

    Do the math and see how many books (on wide average) each author is selling. Could it be (on average) that the authors are selling about nine or so books apiece? It is rather pitiful but absolutely accurate in the performance of most small presses out there today. I believe most Small Presses have taken a horrific dump in the past three years--of course, that is my experience, but I've seen dozens of other authors going through the same sales slump. I have a rock solid reason why this is happening, but I think I'll use it as a blog topic.

    tri
    Last edited by triceretops; 05-01-2015 at 02:56 AM.

  2. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    Well, this screams author mill from the start because of the extensive marketing plan required and the number of their authors which is about 200. They have sold 1825 e-books to date, which I assume means series books and trilogies. I don't think the paperbacks have made a dent, otherwise it would listed with their amounts.

    Do the math and see how many books (on wide average) each author is selling. Could it be (on average) that the authors are selling about nine or so books apiece? It is rather pitiful but absolutely accurate in the performance of most small presses out there today. I believe most Small Presses have taken a horrific dump in the past three years--of course, that is my experience, but I've seen dozens of other authors going through the same sales slump. I have a rock solid reason why this is happening, but I think I'll use it as a blog topic.

    tri
    How did you manage to get the number of books sold?

  3. #278
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Their home page, very bottom right side. You'll see that number. I'm guessing that is a tote of their books. Now, it could be all of their paperbacks or e-books. But I wondered why they would even list that specific book tally for whatever reason.

    NEWS FLASH: Okay, it now looks like I've goofed. Here is the exact words:

    1831 eBooks Sold
    from this website


    "this website" is the give away. However, I hand-counted the author list, so I know that's accurate. It's still author millish to me. And they seemed to eager with me.

    Tri

    ETA: What about a comparative analysis on the number of books sold from their website for as long as they've been in business (years). Is it high, low or pretty much average? I would assume their other Internet retailers, individually or combined, would top that number easily. So why is that number not claimed?
    Last edited by triceretops; 05-01-2015 at 11:53 PM.

  4. #279
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    I wonder if it includes e books sold on third party vendor sites or just their own website? If it does include all sites then it isn't good. Speaking for myself as an author most of my sales come from third party vendors.
    Last edited by brainstorm77; 05-01-2015 at 11:56 PM.

  5. #280
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    Yeah.

    Sales from a publishers' own website are always pitiful. Very few people actually go to a publishers' website to look for books, even if the publisher offers incentives such as a free book for creating an account.
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  6. #281
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Which begs the question of why they are advertising it.
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  7. #282
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NinjaFingers View Post
    Yeah.

    Sales from a publishers' own website are always pitiful. Very few people actually go to a publishers' website to look for books, even if the publisher offers incentives such as a free book for creating an account.
    This is so damn true.

    My first thought was: God that number is awfully high for a publisher's website. They are usually the last place anybody buys a book. Why not list amazon or any of their retailers combined to boost that number?

    Now, if that number is representative of purchasers who have clicked on the retail links from that website, those numbers are incredibly dismal.

    I've seen the Big Five throw out some sales numbers, rightly so with their breakouts and bestsellers and sales to foreign countries. But WHY would a small press do such a thing?

    tri

  8. #283
    If you don't try, you can't fail AnneGlynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    I believe most Small Presses have taken a horrific dump in the past three years--of course, that is my experience, but I've seen dozens of other authors going through the same sales slump. I have a rock solid reason why this is happening, but I think I'll use it as a blog topic.

    tri
    Tri, if you don't want to share your suspicions here, will you post when your blog is up -- or PM me, when the blog is up? I'm curious!
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  9. #284
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I'd love to read it, too. I have my own barely-educated, anecdotally-based suspicions.

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  10. #285
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I'll give it a try. I don't want to offend anyone. And I don't think my opinion is written on gold tablets and from upon high.

    I truly believe, after exhausted investigation of my gradual sales slump to nothing, and given the fact that I am a relentless and heavy promoter (for all my books) who belongs to nearly 30 sites and writing groups, it is my opinion that the readership or fan base has switched in a huge way from small press to self-publishing.

    The self--pubbed author population is incredibly huge now and growing by leaps and bounds every day. They are close-knit--almost a rebel faction. They loyally support each other. They make many, if not most, book purchases withing their own group: It would not surprise me that the majority of them buy from each other exclusively. I'm a self-published author BTW, and it allowed me to tune in on all discussions at the most exclusive self-publishing sites. And I'm rather proud of my tiny self-publishing company!

    Back to bidness...

    Just one example of their camaraderie: Look no further than the Kindle Boards to see a massive population of self-published authors who are making fairly decent wages across the board for dozens of non-fiction books--shorts, poetry, novellas and novels. Most of their sales numbers hose the average small press right out of contention because their royalties are so much higher than what a small press could offer.

    They have a vested interest in promotion and marketing because everything falls on their shoulders. They are damn good at selling their brands. They discuss various and unique tactics for selling books (ways you've never heard of before) and gathering more readers than any other group of authors I've ever seen.

    Is it at all possible that self-publishing has affected commercial publishing? This could be a tie-in factor. Well, the Big Five juggernauts simple try to buy up the most popular self-published authors who have best selling status and miraculous breakouts. They watch Wattpad, Booksie and other display sites for huge page views and followers. Both of these (share your writing) sites are responsible for launching some ginormous best sellers that have gone on to hit the wide screen.

    Twilight, The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades really stood out as success stories. Where are the small press movie contracts? What can we boast about? Selling 75 to 150 copies in the lifetime of the book? I do believe all of these movie deals came from self-published authors in some form or another. I could be wrong, and then I could be leaving many others out too.

    Small press does not have the financial means to pull in a best-selling self-published author. And many, if not most, self-published authors view small press contracts as a joke. I'm talking about the diehards here. BTW, this faction includes hybrid authors who publish in both venues--they are, for the most part, neutral in their views but very supportive of self-publishing. However, the big money motivates and dominates because the self-published sales figures that I've see don't lie. The line between the best-selling outliers and the medium to heavy sellers is starting to blur.

    I can't say that I blame them at all. Many of them view commercial publishing as biased and unfair. Many of them have suffered years and years of writing with no recognition/contracts from agents or publishers. Zip. I know that feeling. Been there done that with nearly 4,000 rejections spanning 27 years.

    I've heard the term "The "O-niners" bandied about in the self publishing forums. It appears as 09ers as well. In 2009 self publishing really started to make a huge impact on the industry. It started to come on really strong, and those that got in on it at that time are sitting very pretty right now. Really, some astonishing sales numbers! Their worst writers and tepid sellers smoke my book sales. They've also blown away to shreds my grand prize winner. And I've been told by dozens of people that I have one of the most beautiful covers in the industry.

    The self-published motto is write one book after another 'til hell won't have it, and when you're done with that, write more books and stories, only faster.

    When media or publishing professionals say the industry has changed or is rapidly transitioning, they primarily mean the e-book phenomenon. But right on its tail is the ravenous self-publishing trend and there are not too many commercial publishers willing to admit that they have taken some lumps because of it.

    It was less than a year ago when I saw all my books and shorts slump and go to zero. I had been selling 2--3 books or stories a week for a very long time. I've also seen this with other small press authors who wrote fantastic books and wonderful series.

    Don't get me wrong, we do have some very successful small presses and independents out there that have dug in their heels and come out shinning. Entangled, Bookatour, Poisen Pen, Story Plant and many more notables. Start up small presses today are nearly obliged to suffer doom if they don't have pro experience and don't know what they're doing.

    Anyway, there might be a number of other factions that have slowed comercial sales in the past few years. And combined with self-publishing and its popularity, it could account for this slump that I see. If someone were to tell me that this was a flash-in-the-pan or a temporary trend, I would ask them where the upswing was.

    I'm not blaming small press for all of this. I just think is has had an enormous influence. Phuck, I admire the hell out of them. I think they are going to gain more and more ground and swing additional readership in their direction.

    Now, take this overview with a case of salt. It might help if anyone were to reveal that their sales have mysteriously slowed or stalled out. Not holding my breath, because such admittance is rather embarrassing. But if you have, then investigate and see what you come up with. I would be glad to hear any other theories. I don't mind trying to answer further questions on the matter.

    Tri

    ETA, Summation: Self-publishing has taken, and will take a huge amount of market share without doing it vindictively. Many of the self-published authors are teenagers or NAs, and they're like kids in a candy store.

    Ya know, I wish I felt that way.
    Last edited by triceretops; 05-03-2015 at 09:13 AM.

  11. #286
    Now is the winter of my discontent. haunted's Avatar
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    Tri, I have not had the same conclusion...I've self pubbed and also have two publishers. If anyone would ask me about self pubbing, I'd have to tell them it is extremely difficult, and no matter how much you spend, next to impossible to get sales. Even when the book is pro edited, pro cover etc etc etc. And even when the book gets mostly 4 and 5 star ratings. People that read the book, love it. But getting them to read it is the problem. Yet my 3 books with publishers, released from 2013 to 2015 are selling-the latest has hit bestseller list (top 100) in 3 countries with a small press. I don't know what the answer is, but it sure ain't self publishing in my case. I don't know if there is an answer. I think it's the luck of the draw at this point.
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  12. #287
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    If you are a self-publisher with a popular take or topic, and you're naturally gregarious, then I think there's a natural advantage to your path. It can be scary hard work, but as Tri said, the royalties are so much higher that you'll earn more when you get even a little fan base.

    Looking only at the vanity publishing arena (of which I have three years of depressing familiarity) I suspect that many of the most notorious vanity-pubs are losing victims to self-publishing. AmericaStar (once PublishAmerica) has had to direct much of its newer victim-trolling to Africa, India, and other overseas markets full of hopeful and ignorant authors. Tate Publishing, after outsourcing most of its staff overseas, now appears to be in real financial trouble. Once authors become even a little informed about self-publishing, vanity packages lose their allure (except to the most hapless customers.)

    For better or worse, the days of the forever-trunked novel (whether it was a hidden gem or an unmitigated disaster) are probably gone for good. Now, a disillusioned author probably *won't* spend more years honing the story to a finer luster, or shop it to an expensive vanity - they'll just self-publish cheaply, often well before the book is ready. Some really great stuff happens because of that, but it's still lost in a sea of mediocrity.

    I've noticed the incredible loyalty of self-pub authors to each other, and I respect it. I'm planning on self-publishing some work myself, in the future. I'm also very aware that solidarity and social 'tribal' affiliations can blind readers/authors to some very real quality issues that might have been addressed by a commercial agent or publisher.

    If the market can find more effective solutions to the quality and visibility issues, I expect self-publishing and subscription reading services to become even stronger.
    Last edited by Filigree; 05-03-2015 at 09:47 AM.

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  13. #288
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haunted View Post
    Tri, I have not had the same conclusion...I've self pubbed and also have two publishers. If anyone would ask me about self pubbing, I'd have to tell them it is extremely difficult, and no matter how much you spend, next to impossible to get sales. Even when the book is pro edited, pro cover etc etc etc. And even when the book gets mostly 4 and 5 star ratings. People that read the book, love it. But getting them to read it is the problem. Yet my 3 books with publishers, released from 2013 to 2015 are selling-the latest has hit bestseller list (top 100) in 3 countries with a small press. I don't know what the answer is, but it sure ain't self publishing in my case. I don't know if there is an answer. I think it's the luck of the draw at this point.
    I appreciate what you're saying. It's damn difficult, but there are inroads coming that favor self-publishing exclusively. It's become more and more recognized and legitimate.

    How many self-published books do you have out? Are many of them short stories? I rarely see any self-pubbers with less than two books out unless they're new writers. I'm talking about these numbers: 10--12--15--20 books/shorts/novellas listed on all or most of the retail sites. Believe me, a self-pubbed author can hit all of the Internet retail sites they want. Commercial small Press? Shist, you'd be lucky if you get three listings. Book tours, reviews, guest articles, ads and banner ads are almost non-existent with small press unless they really know what they're doing.

    Commercial small press will give the book the biggest launch they can, then they cool off because more books are coming through the pipeline. Self-pubbers promote AND market their books and stories for years, with no letup. They arrange there own book signings, sometimes multiple times for a title. For them,it's a labor of love to find readers and push their titles.

    My self-published book was a back list reprint on a title that I received reversion rights. I changed the title and cover art. That book bombed so bad, I seriously thought about never going that route again. My small press sales slaughtered it. So I know exactly what you're talking about in that regard.

    We also have the huge celebrity authors who have gone straight to self-publishing. Many of them have blogs and explain why they did it, and all the benefits they've garnered. This enforces and validates the decision, and many, many new writers are swayed by these hot topics. I'm sure you know who these big authors are. They carry some weight in the industry, I can tell you.

    Self-pubbers can change their cover art, text and prices at will. They can go "free" as much as they like. SPers can and do build and feature books or story collections on separate websites. Most small press houses don't really have time to make these kinds of adjustments--they are pretty much happy with the status quo. You'll get some sporatic coverage, just enough to make you happy.

    Like I said, there are other factors too, and I'm sure you've explored those. But they don't account for all 10 of my titles hitting the dumpster. Nor the decline of dozens of books written by personal friends.

    I've worn myself out on FB and Twitter--I'm surprised I'm not banned. I've switched to Goodreads for a limited time. My marketing manager flogged us every day for two months until it became intolerable. She did nothing but tell us what to do and warned us about slacking off. We got in her face--the ravenous marketing emails stopped.

    Self-publication cannot compete with small press in the editing department. I can't count how many wretched "Look Insides" I've read and come away shaking my head. Oh, what a mess. Yet those books are still gobbled up even thought they are not getting Alpha editing. I seriously conclude that most self-pubbers do not hire professional editors. It's cost prohibitive.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. I've seen a direct correlation with the progressive rise of self-publishing and the decline of my sales. I have no other explanation for it.

    Cheers,

    Chris
    Last edited by triceretops; 05-04-2015 at 01:19 AM.

  14. #289
    If you don't try, you can't fail AnneGlynn's Avatar
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    Tri, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I'd say more but this thread is at risk of being derailed (and I blame me, for being so curious after you posted). For the sake of those authors researching Damnation Books, I'll leave it at that.
    Last edited by AnneGlynn; 05-04-2015 at 03:08 AM. Reason: Clarification, my friends
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  15. #290
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Thanks. Oh, and exactly. I took it off the tracks, but I think Damnation Books qualifies as one of the lesser prepared publishers who I've mentioned in the post. I want to go and google a couple of their authors.

    tri

  16. #291
    practical experience, FTW Treehouseman's Avatar
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    Same old tricks reported for Damnation Books, I've received word from an author on another site that their books aren't being released from contract.

    "Please wait until after my vacation."
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    Entering Damnation Books site. Pressing "top selling books". Looking them up on Amazon.

    The Tormentors: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,711 Paid in Kindle Store
    Corrupts absolutely: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,714 Paid in Kindle Store However, listed in Amazon as by Ragnarok Publications. Damnation imprint?
    The Zombie Cookbook: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,595,633 Paid in Kindle Store
    Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,781 Paid in Kindle Store
    Behind Bars: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,191,922 Paid in Kindle Store

    ...Like Musa, Damnation looked like they could really pull it off, for a while. Until issues began to accumulate. A real shame. I would much rather live in a world with a successful Damnation Books, and a successful Musa (and Zumaya, Zharmae, Museitup, Mundania, and whatnot). Fortunately for horror writers, in the last 2-3 years Darkfuse and Samhain's horror line took over to great success, and there are other solid alternatives, like Necro Press, Dark Regions, and others.
    Last edited by dondomat; 06-04-2015 at 09:59 AM.

  18. #293
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
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    I always thought that the only people who buy from publisher websites were the authors themselves. I must be wrong.

  19. #294
    practical experience, FTW Lordofthehunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondomat View Post
    Entering Damnation Books site. Pressing "top selling books". Looking them up on Amazon.


    Corrupts absolutely: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,714 Paid in Kindle Store However, listed in Amazon as by Ragnarok Publications. Damnation imprint?

    ...Like Musa, Damnation looked like they could really pull it off, for a while. Until issues began to accumulate. A real shame. I would much rather live in a world with a successful Damnation Books, and a successful Musa (and Zumaya, Zharmae, Museitup, Mundania, and whatnot). Fortunately for horror writers, in the last 2-3 years Darkfuse and Samhain's horror line took over to great success, and there are other solid alternatives, like Necro Press, Dark Regions, and others.
    Ragnarok Publications is my publishing house and is absolutely NOT affiliated with Damnation Books. We published a new version of Corrupts Absolutely? once the contract ended with DB but DB continues to sell the old copy despite being in violation of copyright. We had their version removed from Amazon yet they insist they have the rights to the book, which is total BS. It just isn't worth suing them over since it's not earning them anything and shows just how shady they are.

  20. #295
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    So that's why the book appears to be selling actual copies. Good luck with Ragnarok Publications!
    Last edited by dondomat; 06-07-2015 at 02:57 PM.

  21. #296
    practical experience, FTW RKarina's Avatar
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    I've got a novella with Damnation - like many small presses, they're not the world's greatest, but they're not terrible either. Caveat: we'll see what I think of them after a year...

    Yes, they ask the author to be proactive in promoting their own material. And yes, I could have done a lot of the stuff they did for myself...

    I could have self edited, or paid an editor. Could have designed my own cover, or paid to have it done. Could have done all the formatting and layout, and uploading to various ebook formats, could have arranged for on-demand publishing in trade paperback style. I could have sent copies in for reviews, and submitted to Amazon, GoodReads, B&N, etc. Yep. I could have.

    And I'd be able to set my own prices. And I'd see "more" of the profits. And I'd need to subtract all of the time, effort, and resources I put into creating the book from those profits (something I've seen many self-published authors fail to do).

    Honestly, I wound up with Damnation because though I've been a writer and editor for many many years, it's been in newspapers and magazines, and I had no clue how to go about approaching book publishing. And no mentor to help me along the way. I made mistakes, stupid decisions, and tried to go too fast.

    The flip side is, Damnation (and sister press Eternal) have treated me well thus far. I'm happy with the books that have come out of it, though I wish the pubisher offered more support.

    Like many small indie presses, they have their drawbacks, and their advantages.

    Currently, I'm querying a third novel, hoping to get an agent and find a more mainstream, commercial publisher. Why? Not because Damnation was a bad experience, but because I want more than they are able to offer.

    I don't think there's any one "right" answer for a writer who wants to be published. Some go the "traditional" route, with an agent and a big pubishing house, others take to self-publishing, or even vanity presses, and others wind up at indie presses.

    Bottom line? Thus far, my experience with them has been no better nor worse than other writers I've spoken to who are with small, indie presses. The level of support, promotion, and work seems to be about the same. In the long run, it remains to be seen.

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  22. #297
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin WDusty's Avatar
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    Eternal Press / Damnation Books - Author Issues

    I am looking to contact authors or former authors with either Eternal Press or Damnation Books, who've run into problems with them, either from contract disputes or otherwise, as well as any issue with them not removing their books from retailers after their contract term expires.

    Please contact me at wdusty64 -at- gmail.com

    I am putting together a project and I'm looking to add other author experiences. Your story would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    - Bill

  23. #298
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Deadguy's Avatar
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    Damnation Books are the worst company I have ever dealt with. They were very slow to answer any emails, and just didn't bother to answer the questions they didn't like. They took forever to release my book, much longer than any other publisher I have had, and wouldn't even give me a possible release month. I have a specific clause in my contract enabling me to provide the cover art. They took my art and tried to have one of their very poor designers add all these extras to it. Kim, the publisher, told me that was the way it would go, and stopped answering emails. I managed to find her home number, and after she got over the shock, she agreed to let me provide the whole cover. Then she wanted to edit it. I told her I already paid serious money to have a profession editor, Karl Monger, to do the edit. She claimed she just needed to format the book. Months later, she sends me her edit with a slew of changes. I told her that was unacceptable. She said she was sorry it didn't work out, and would mail me the rights the next day. Permuted Press snapped it up, and I published that info on Instagram and Facebook. She read my Instagram post, flipped out, left me a whole stream of derogatory comments, and never mailed me the rights. Two months later, with the publisher for Permuted Press trying to get a hold of her nonstop, I hired a lawyer. He is giving Permuted Press an indemnity letter, and considering suing Damnation Books.
    Last edited by Deadguy; 07-22-2015 at 07:13 AM.
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  24. #299
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Damn. Sorry to hear this.

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  25. #300
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin WDusty's Avatar
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    There is a new booklet out on Damnation Books/Eternal Press, detailing their practices and habits. It's one author's ordeal, with a section that includes other authors' problems with the small press publisher.

    Available free on August 2nd & 3rd (2015):
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0135LYJJS

    This is Book One. I'm still receiving other complaints, so a "Book Two" could be in the works.

    Thanks

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