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Thread: Damnation Books

  1. #101
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    She may, and if she wins she may get her legal costs paid for.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainstorm77 View Post
    She may, and if she wins she may get her legal costs paid for.
    But how would she explain the kill fee attempt -- 800 big ones -- with no contract clause to back it up? This was attempted extortion. I think she's much more likely to end up in the slammer than to win and get her costs paid for.
    Last edited by Kensington; 05-06-2010 at 04:04 AM.

  3. #103
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    IANAL (but I have watched a few episodes of Law & Order: Lurid Sex Crimes Division) but the way I understand it, the legality of the kill fee doesn't automatically render the contract null and void or if Alex's signed a contract with the amendment or not. He's contractually bound to a publisher for them to publish his book. Full stop. He legally cannot take that book to another publisher nor can he self-publish it.

    I'm thinking people are letting the issue of the kill fee cloud their posts. Yes, suddenly getting socked with a kill fee from a potentially bogus contract is a shitty thing to happen. But there is an original contract out there that Alex has signed that says "Damnation Books can publish my novel". That is the one that can be legally enforced and a judge won't give a flying fig about kill fees or fake amendments or whatever. Again, in my view, there are two things going on here and they need to remain separate.
    Last edited by BenPanced; 05-06-2010 at 04:16 AM.

  4. #104
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    Is she takes him to court they are going to look at how he violated that contract by publishing his own version of same said book. And I can tell you, she will win that one.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kensington View Post
    But how would she explain the kill fee attempt -- 800 big ones -- with no contract clause to back it up? This was attempted extortion. I think she's much more likely to end up in the slammer than to win and get her costs paid for.
    Yeah and she ain't ending up in the 'slammer' over that anyway. No matter which way it would go. All I got to say to it is then SUE. If it's that big of an issue, then go to court and settle it.

  6. #106
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Here's my free advice, and worth all you paid for it:


    Alex should write a new, different, better book and sell it to someone else.

  7. #107
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvreading View Post
    I can't see Damnation scaring up enough cash to push this in court. And even if they did, the court would be likely to take a dim view of the kill fee attempt, considering Alex's contract does not contain such a clause.
    And you don't think the court would take a dim view of him publishing and selling the other version of the book on Amazon considering he has no right to do so because he assigned the right to Damnation?

    Kim would have to explain herself, as to why she tried to wring money out of an author like that. This is one unscrupulous lady.
    If she is, the court will see that and rule accordingly. But until then, Alex needs to comply with the terms and agreements of the contract.

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  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Here's my free advice, and worth all you paid for it:


    Alex should write a new, different, better book and sell it to someone else.
    He probably already has one in the works. Still, it would be hard to simply write off the Damnation novel, and that's what he'd have to do, for a minimum of 5 years. I doubt, however, that Damnation will remain in business for too long. (Better hang onto that day job, Kim :-) The bottom line is, can they sell books, other than to their authors? Take a look at the website. What do you think?

    http://www.damnationbooks.com/

    The only problem when they go belly up is that they'll try and sell the contracts to another scammer. And should they succeed, the poor authors will be caught in the same bind. Multiple contracts, some which cross international lines, and amendments, and then amendments to amendments, etc. etc. ad infinitum. And all to try and wrench some unearned, undeserved cash from a poor struggling author. Shame on you, Kim.

  9. #109
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kensington View Post
    He probably already has one in the works. Still, it would be hard to simply write off the Damnation novel, and that's what he'd have to do, for a minimum of 5 years. I doubt, however, that Damnation will remain in business for too long. (Better hang onto that day job, Kim :-) The bottom line is, can they sell books, other than to their authors? Take a look at the website. What do you think?

    http://www.damnationbooks.com/

    The only problem when they go belly up is that they'll try and sell the contracts to another scammer. And should they succeed, the poor authors will be caught in the same bind. Multiple contracts, some which cross international lines, and amendments, and then amendments to amendments, etc. etc. ad infinitum. And all to try and wrench some unearned, undeserved cash from a poor struggling author. Shame on you, Kim.
    Can I ask what you have vested in EP or DB? Are you one of their authors?

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainstorm77 View Post
    Can I ask what you have vested in EP or DB? Are you one of their authors?
    Fortunately, no. But I do know one of the EP authors from another publishing house we're both with. The sales can be counted on the fingers of one hand. She wants out. They're demanding a kill fee. Yet there's no such clause in the contract. Much the same situation as Alex finds himself in.

    I had a similar experience with a publisher demanding kill fees that makes me particularly empathetic. That one ended well, when the authors ganged together and simply barraged her until she gave in. We got our rights back with not a penny spent.
    Last edited by Kensington; 05-10-2010 at 11:00 AM.

  11. #111
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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.

  12. #112
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    You know I really am inclined to be sympathetic to authors, but the repeated crude personal insults and an unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of the law are starting to get tiresome. Kim herslef only replied once or twice and left it at that. These threads are more useful if people only add to them when they have actual new information.
    Emily Veinglory

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    You know I really am inclined to be sympathetic to authors, but the repeated crude personal insults and an unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of the law are starting to get tiresome. Kim herslef only replied once or twice and left it at that. These threads are more useful if people only add to them when they have actual new information.
    Quoted for truth.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    You know I really am inclined to be sympathetic to authors, but the repeated crude personal insults and an unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of the law are starting to get tiresome. Kim herslef only replied once or twice and left it at that. These threads are more useful if people only add to them when they have actual new information.
    And bronzed for posterity.

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    A new update about Eternal Press/Damnation Books from the Piers Anthony site:
    http://www.hipiers.com/publishing.html

    "ETERNAL PRESS - www.eternalpress.biz/. New Australian publisher. They have all subgenres of Romance, Westerns, Sci-fi, Paranormal, Historical, Suspense, Horror, Mystery, Gay, Erotica, Romantic Suspense, Women's Fiction, Self Help, Cookbooks. No poetry or Young adult. 65,000 to 105,000 words, and stories 5,000-6,500 words. They are electronic, but later may do POD with a one time printer set-up fee. Royalties 35% for ebook, 10% POD. I have a favorable report on them. April 2008 update: They are remodeling and moving, but remain in business. April 2009 update: Server Not Found. August 2009 update: they were bought, and moved to Canada. Terms for author contracts remain the same. They now offer all their books in ebook and print through Amazon and ebook through Fictionwise, All Romance Ebooks, etc. January 2010 update: sales seem to be low to nonexistent. March 2010 update: an author wanted out, but they insist on being paid off. April 2010 update: their contract termination fee is about $150. They seem to be poor at selling books, assuming their statements are accurate. I have learned of royalties under $5 for a year. It makes me wonder whether they are making money from termination fees instead of by selling books. There is also a question whether sales are honestly reported. And I heard from the publisher, unpleased with aspects of this listing. Royalties are now 40% for ebook, 25% for POD. They are now an American company. They are accepting submissions for novellas and full length manuscripts from 20,000 to 140,000 words. They make a reasonable case for the kill fee; it's fair if it is in the contract the author signs. I did not see an explanation for the low sales. May 2010 update: One author has verified that more people have bought copies than are reflected in the sales reports. There is also a question whether they have a business license. They were bought by Damnation Press, and I heard from their CEO, who says an author has a campaign against them, that her words have been abusive and hurtful, and that she is the only one out of 250 authors they have to complain, and they would like their good name restored. They wrote a similar message to PREDITORS AND EDITORS. But I have to say the case remains dubious. Remember, I got condemned and blacklisted when I protested getting cheated by a publisher, early in my career, though I had the right of the case, as I freely bruit about now; there is a similar smell here."

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    You know I really am inclined to be sympathetic to authors, but the repeated crude personal insults and an unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of the law are starting to get tiresome. Kim herslef only replied once or twice and left it at that. These threads are more useful if people only add to them when they have actual new information.
    I agree. State the facts and stop the personal insults. It was the personal insults that got the EP thread closed for a period of time.

  17. #117
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    luvreading:
    if the authors refused to sign this, what would the legal position be?
    As others have said, it is not possible to give you a definitive answer on the legal position (or even to offer guidance on what the legal position would be) because we do not know the terms of the original contract that was signed with Damnation.

    My very general comment therefore (which is not a substitute for individual authors seeking their own further legal advice) is exactly the same as it was for the same document that was posted to the Eternal Press thread:

    Check what your contract said about the ability to assign and amend the terms.

    It sounds to me that Damnation still exists as a company. If that is the case, then your contract remains with Damnation.

    If the assignment clause in your original contract says that the contract cannot be amended or assigned without your consent, then it cannot be amended or assigned without your consent. Any attempt by Damnation to refuse to pay royalties would be an arguable breach of contract.

    The amendment agreement is not binding unless and until it is signed.

    Sugertime:
    Hence the need for court, and a Judge to decide. But even then there are appeals...
    For the love of God.

    Go and speak to a lawyer. Yes legal opinions differ, but a qualified lawyer competent in the area of law you are asking about will be able to give you an answer and be able to prepare correspondence on your behalf.

    Not everything ends in a court case. Not everything goes to appeal.

    Sometimes a strongly worded letter from a good lawyer can get you the remedy you want.

    The important thing though is to get the advice from a lawyer competent and qualified in the relevant area of law.

    It's not difficult. It's just that it might involve you spending some cash up front or doing the research to find a free legal centre willing to look at it for you. If you don't want to do either, then you'll have to put up and shut up.

    pagerette:
    Damnation is strictly nickel and dime stuff. Alex did the right thing. He didn't agonize over contracts, he simply published his book elsewhere. I hope it's a great success.
    No Alex did not do the right thing.

    A number of us have told you why it is not a good thing, but to reiterate - he is in breach of contract and therefore open to a claim for damages.

    What part of that do you fail to understand?

    You might not like it, but that is the position and stating otherwise just proves that you have absolutely no grasp of the potential legal problems that can exist for writers like Alex. His own lawyer told him that his original contract was legally binding.

    Kensington:
    But in the case of Damnation there seems to be so much confusion with a contract crossing international boundaries three times, etc.
    Just because you seem to be confused by the very simple explanations given on this thread, does not mean that the legal position is confusing.

    In fact to me (and subject to authors getting their own legal advice) the position seems remarkably simple - Damnation appears to still be in existence as a company, therefore that underlying contract remains valid and in place.

    Kensington:
    There's got to be a legal clinic or something where an author can simply email all the documents involved, without having to pay an arm and a leg for the advice.
    Look in your local Yellow Pages or directory or check the local university.

    Sugertime:
    Let's try: Kim should be charged with attempted extortion.
    Yeah. Good luck with that.

    What part of "Alex's lawyer told him his contract was legally binding" are you failing to understand?

    Kensington:
    This is the contract Alex signed with Damnation Books. I have his okay to post it here. As you can see there is no termination fee clause:
    Kensington
    , Alex has already taken legal advice on all this and been told his original contract is binding.

    What do you hope to achieve by reposting the documents here? What do you think we will be able to say that's different to what Alex's own lawyer has told him?

    Ravenwing:
    She's just a greedy opportunist, who saw a chance to buy up contracts from the bankrupt Canadian publisher, and sell them back to the authors who wanted out.
    Do you have evidence that the original publisher was bankrupt or is it just a guess? Because unless you have the evidence, you shouldn't be throwing out statements like that.

    Every piece of documentation shared on these companies suggests that the original companies remain in existence.

    If they were bankrupt, then they would be (presumably) wound up and cease to be in existence.

    luvreading:
    And even if they did, the court would be likely to take a dim view of the kill fee attempt, considering Alex's contract does not contain such a clause.
    Bollocks.

    See every single post telling you otherwise and explaining why.

    luvreading:
    But how would she explain the kill fee attempt -- 800 big ones -- with no contract clause to back it up? This was attempted extortion.
    Bollocks.

    See every single post telling you otherwise and explaining why.

    veinglory:
    You know I really am inclined to be sympathetic to authors, but the repeated crude personal insults and an unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of the law are starting to get tiresome.
    Yes - this exactly.

    I'm finding it really difficult to sympathise with people who are showing absolutely no willingness to deal with the reality of the situation and making up their own law as they go along to justify their outrage.

    MM

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenwing View Post
    She's just a greedy opportunist, who saw a chance to buy up contracts from the bankrupt Canadian publisher, and sell them back to the authors who wanted out. The fact that these contracts did not contain termination fee clauses didn't stop her demanding kill fees anyway. (amateur night) She issues amendments, then when they're not signed, says it doesn't make any difference, because she doesn't need them anyway. (Hello!) Then why ask for them to be signed in the first place? This is a mickey mouse outfit out to scam writers, but it doesn't even do that well.
    I'm commenting because this bothers me to no end. Do you know this? You're making personal attacks on someone based on the fact that they charge a kill fee. Yes, I think it's sleazy, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she intentionally went in and bought a company with the intention of making a profit off the unhappy authors.

    Might she have? Yes, it's possible. It's a horrible idea to go with this, yes, obviously. There is potential that the current clauses are essentially blackmail, and at the very least she doesn't do a good service to the writers. We know this. But to start calling names and making assumptions like this, based on the evidence I've seen (I've read the whole thread) is jumping to conclusions farther than seem appropriate.

    The other press she owns has kill fees. I seem to remember another conversation a few weeks ago, perhaps in that thread, in which someone had said that not having it written in the contract did not necessarily preempt a company from having them. Is it a particularly nice thing to do? No, not really. As far as I can tell, she brought over the business model from the other company.

    We can state the facts here without resorting to what is comes off to me as blanket name calling. Maybe it's just because I haven't been in the other thread lately and maybe I'm missing something, but to go so far as to state that her only reason for picking up the company was to screw authors with a contract fee? Seems to be going a bit far.

    Granted, I think I've said my peace on this one before in the other threads, and it still bothers me.

    And dude, guys. I know it's a bit old now, but no picking on Stacia for saying it's not right for a guy to be violating his contract. If you want to put yourself in harms way by doing something like that, fine, but don't recommend it to others. I don't care how scummy a company is, it still doesn't legally give you the right to do whatever you please.


  19. #119
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post

    I'm finding it really difficult to sympathise with people who are showing absolutely no willingness to deal with the reality of the situation and making up their own law as they go along to justify their outrage.

    MM
    You said this better than I did, so it warranted a quote.


  20. #120
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kensington View Post
    But how would she explain the kill fee attempt -- 800 big ones -- with no contract clause to back it up? This was attempted extortion. I think she's much more likely to end up in the slammer than to win and get her costs paid for.
    Dude. I SWEAR this was gone over back in March. I swear. Should I go dig up the posts? Because you commented saying the same things in that one as well, and I seem to remember the statement back then that not having a kill fee did not mean they couldn't do it as long as there wasn't a clause saying no money would be charged. Pretty certain on that. 90% certain as a matter of fact.

    I'll go dig them up if I have to. I am seriously getting beyond irritated at the complete disregard for what anyone else has said in the past. Just because you think it should be a certain way doesn't make you right.

    We keep having the same freaking conversation about the kill fees and every single time you ignore what everyone else around you is saying. Argh. I must go now and do something to get un-pissed.


  21. #121
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    I'm wondering even without a kill fee... If EP/DB wanted to get their money back for what they invested in the books, would a judge look at that and rule in their favor? Anyone?

  22. #122
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kensington View Post
    The only problem when they go belly up is that they'll try and sell the contracts to another scammer. And should they succeed, the poor authors will be caught in the same bind. Multiple contracts, some which cross international lines, and amendments, and then amendments to amendments, etc. etc. ad infinitum. And all to try and wrench some unearned, undeserved cash from a poor struggling author. Shame on you, Kim.
    Again, sheer speculation on your part, Kensington. You have NO IDEA if Damnation or Eternal or ANYBODY is going to fail/close/go belly up/tank/whatever. And even if they did, you have NO IDEA who will buy the contracts, if at all.

    You'd mentioned earlier that you were taken in by a crooked publishing contract and are trying to present Alex's case out of sympathy. That's too bad, but all your cheap shots, bad speculation, obvious lack of desire to read the thread, and sabre rattling aren't doing anything to help you or Alex. Step away from the keyboard for a couple days and take the chance to clear your head. We'll still be here, providing a mod doesn't get seriously cheesed off and locks this and any related threads. We're honestly trying to engage you in the discussion and provide the best answers we know, but if you're aren't willing to pick up on that, there's nothing else we can do.

  23. #123
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    The same folks having managed to get the EP thread locked, and clearly not having learned anything since then, and obviously disregarding the mods' incredibly clear warnings, shall we start a pool for how much longer until this thread is locked?
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  24. #124
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainstorm77 View Post
    I'm wondering even without a kill fee... If EP/DB wanted to get their money back for what they invested in the books, would a judge look at that and rule in their favor? Anyone?
    Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the judge will jump on his desk and give a rousing rendition of "I Want To Me" or dance a waltz with the bailiff.

    The point is none of us know how a judge would rule on a case because we do not have all of the information a judge would have before making a ruling. Just as we cannot and should not provide legal advice or opinion, because we do not have all of the information and because of so many other reasons already pointed out in this thread.

    Knowing that this publisher asks for early contract termination fees is interesting and provides some insight into how this publisher operates. Knowing this publisher is apparently unable to distribute and sell books is more interesting and provides more information as to how this publisher operates. And, imo, that is what we need to get back to in this thread. What is this publisher's business model and what can they provide their writers?

    That's something we can give advice and opinion on.

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  25. #125
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    brianm:
    Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the judge will jump on his desk and give a rousing rendition of "I Want To Me" or dance a waltz with the bailiff.

    The point is none of us know how a judge would rule on a case because we do not have all of the information a judge would have before making a ruling. Just as we cannot and should not provide legal advice or opinion, because we do not have all of the information and because of so many other reasons already pointed out in this thread.
    This.

    Unless anyone under contract with Damnation Books wants to take it to court, no one knows what a judge will decide.

    And I think we've established that no one under contract with Damnation has/wants to spend the cash to go to court. And some under contract with Damnation don't want to listen to what their lawyers have told them.

    MM

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