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Thread: Crystal Dreams Press (formerly Crystal Dreams Publishing)

  1. #1
    Paperback Writer
    Guest

    Crystal Dreams Press (formerly Crystal Dreams Publishing)

    Does anyone out there know anything about Crystal Dreams Publishing? They're offering a really good deal and it sounds too good to be true.

  2. #2
    Victoria
    Guest

    Crystal Dreams

    Writer Beware has gotten complaints about Crystal Dreams from writers who found them generally unprofessional, both before and after the company got into financial trouble and was sold to a new owner last year. The most recent complaint is from an author who says the company is still selling his books after the expiration of the publishing contract, and has been unresponsive to his requests to cease and desist.

    Crystal Dreams' contract, which I've seen, is not very author-friendly. The royalty breakdowns are confusing and unclear, and there are a number of nonstandard clauses--for instance, if the author terminates the contract before the specified contract period is up, Crystal Dreams claims the right to sell off remaining inventory without making any royalty payments to the author, unless the author agrees to purchase the books him/herself.

    - Victoria
    Writer Beware
    www.sfwa.org/beware

  3. #3
    Paperback Writer
    Guest

    Thanks for the heads up

    Thank you for the warning! Since I've posted the original question I had one of their current authors contact me and tell me some horror stories. They're supposed to get their royalty checks at the end of each quarter, but they've been waiting 2 months to receive their royalties!!!!!

  4. #4
    Sylence C
    Guest

    Crystal Dreams

    Actually....I am an author with Crystal Dreams Publications and this is entirely incorrect.
    The ONLY reason the royalty checks were late and NOT by months either, is because the head publisher was attending the funeral of his FATHER.

    Crystal Dreams is a fabulous publishing company. Some of the staff were attending Dragon Con this weekend and I was able to sit in on some of the daily meetings and met the head publisher.
    Truly wonderful people.

  5. #5
    capitalistwriter
    Guest

    yeah, sure...

    So, as an author you have an omniscient knowledge of how every other author has been treated by Crystal Dreams?? Give me a break!

    You only know how YOU were treated and why YOUR checks were late. You cannot possibly know how other authors were treated unless someone at Crystal Dreams has been discussing the details of their payments to others with you. If they have, that is highly unethical and for that reason alone I would avoid them.

    A more likely explanation is...

    "Sylence C" is one of the principals at Crystal Dreams and is trying to sell us on what a "fabulous publishing company" this is by POSING as an author who was treated well.

  6. #6
    Sylence C
    Guest

    Crystal Dreams

    Bitter much are we?

    I dont pose as anything. I am in fact an author published by Crystal Dreams.
    The website is
    www.crystaldreamspub.com
    look under staff. Im not listed.
    Im an Author.

    And how exactly are -YOU- involved in Crystal Dreams Publishing? Crystal Dreams has been very professional, it has been growing rapidly and ironing out its bugs.
    If you dont want to publish there. Dont. So far what im seeing on this board is people asking questions about Crystal Dreams Publishing and the only replies have been hearsay. Therefor, Im posting as an actual published author there.
    Im not interested in Slamfests. If someone doesnt want to publish there. Go elsewhere. I dont care.
    Anyone else ever met the head publisher of Crystal Dreams?
    I was able to meet him this weekend at Dragon Con where he is a guest speaker.
    He was very kind, and the only author that was encouraging to the room full of prospective authors. And he took extra time to talk to us afterwards about any questions we had.
    That is my first hand expiriance. Not hearsay.

    I find it very disturbing that writers, or potential writers are so vicious to each other on this board. Im sorry i joined it actually. For the person that started this discussion. If you have any questions about CDP and its practices I know some of the former authors of CDP and I can see if they would be willing to talk to you about it.

  7. #7
    SRHowen
    Guest

    One way to stop a slam fest--

    put up the name of your book and your name. Yes it is the Internet--but you are a published author and I would think it is best to put your credentials where your mouth is-- so to speak.

    Book Name

    Author's Name

    I don't know why so many people act like that is some big secret when they have a book out there or an agent--it's not. And we really are not in competition with each other--the story and writing sells, it's not a contest.

    So no we won't find you under staff--but who knows you may make a few sales and prove your point.

    Shawn

  8. #8
    Vauren Davidson
    Guest

    Crystal Dreams

    Good afternoon everyone. I have been watching the posts to this board all day today and have decided to add my input to it. I am the Marketing Manager for Crystal Dreams Publications. Whether or not you decide to believe what I'm about to say is up to you. Honestly though, what reason would I have to lie to any of you? Crystal Dreams is not a scam. If what we offer seems to be too good to be true, consider this. It is a publishing company composed entirely of writers. Knowing what it can be like to try to break into the publishing world, Head Publisher, TW Miller, has made it as easy as possible for a new author to get their work of art out there. However it is not a "vanity press". We don't just stop with publishing your book, we continue to assist authors in marketing their book to not only make them published authors, but successful authors. Publishing is only the first step, it's selling your book that is the true battle. I too was at Dragon Con this weekend with Mr. Miller, and we spent a great amount of time discussing the future of Crystal Dreams and how we can make it an even better organization than it already is. Just like every book can get one bad review, every company can have one bad critic. You never know the whole story when hearing it retold though, so don't believe everything you read. However, the best information about a company will usually come from someone who knows about it from the inside. Please check out our website, www.crystaldreamspub.com and feel free to direct any further questions to the contact information provided there. We are not out to "get" you and have been honest in all dealings with our authors.

  9. #9
    capitalistwriter
    Guest

    very good

    Thank you, Vauren. That's much more useful information than Sylence C assuming that he/she knows what experience EVERY writer has had with your company.

    And no, Sylence, I'm not bitter. I just reject the notion that you know how every other author has been treated by Crystal Dreams, how late their checks were, or why. If you want to defend Crystal Dreams, great, do so. Tell us what a wonderful experience YOU had with them. That's valuable input. When you attempt to extrapolate your experience to every other author, though, you make yourself look foolish (or like an imposter).

  10. #10
    SteveS
    Guest

    Hmmm

    If things are so reasonable with CD I wonder why TW Miller regularly sends out emails blaming the poor state of the company on the writers and vents frustration so unprofessionally? Equally I wonder why as a reviewer when contacted by one of CD's authors a year ago to arrange an interview and review copies Mark H. (the corporate rep) instead send pdf's of his own book and promoted himself over the author who had made the contact? None of this is hearsay. Why may I ask did at least one author not get royalties for sales before Miller's take over despite Sarah's promise that it was a condition of the sale? Why do you have such an author unfriendly contract? You want to treated as a serious professional publishing outfit? You out to edit your mailings list messages that verge on the ludicrous at times.

    I will state here, I am NOT published by CD. I am outside of this though I WAS approached as a reviewer/interviewer and am close friends with more than one CD author who I have stood by and watched be treated like dirt by this company.

    I for one am glad to see this come out because companies like this prey on the inexperienced. Go on, print your biolerplate contract here, explain how friendly your terms are to the publisher as opposed to the author. Share some of the messages Miller has sent to his authors threatening to close down, maligning his own authors as liars, even suggesting that the bookstore reports from the bookstores themselves are lies. This is all real stuff so share it please.


    Steve S.

  11. #11
    Phillip Beebe
    Guest

    Crystal Dreams Publishing

    I am part of the management team and the remarks by those attempting to run this company down are mistaken.

    I, not only as part of the management team am an author that has been with Cd since the day it was born.

    At no time have I been cheated out of any monies that were owed me for book sales or for the part that I'm paid for doing the job that I was hired for.

    If the royalties are late this month, so what. If it was your father or mother that passed away, I'm sure you would be the first to cry. Instead of expressing you sorrow for TW's loss, all you have done is show just how much a coward that you really are.

    <hr />

    TW may state the sad state of affairs with the company, but if you understood anything about negative marking, you would realize that it a way to spark people that take pride and are professionals into trying harder, but it is apparent that you simply don't understand marketing.

    You said that you are not published by CD, which is a good thing, as your book isn't anything that we would publish.

    Why am I responding to your unfounded claims? Simple---you're not worthy enough to be a pimple on my ass let along claim to be a man.

  12. #12
    roolmarty
    Guest

    Re: Crystal Dreams Publishing

    I, not only as part of the management team am an author that has been with Cd since the day it was born.

    At no time have I been cheated out of any monies that were owed me for book sales or for the part that I'm paid for doing the job that I was hired for.
    Sorry? So.. you're part of the management team. So, does being part of the management team mean you don't get cheated out of monies?

    Why am I responding to your unfounded claims? Simple---you're not worthy enough to be a pimple on my ass let along claim to be a man.
    You are responding because (whomever you are replying too) is not worthy enough to be a pimple on your ass. You therefore respond only to those less than or equal to being pimples? "Let along" those claiming to be men. Okay. I see.

    Have a nice day then...

    :lol

  13. #13
    Dave Kuzminski
    Guest

    Rating criteria

    At this rate, I'll have to add a new criteria to the P&E rating guidelines concerning inept and obnoxious management teams. However, I recognize that not everyone is capable of anger management, so I'm not going to rush into developing that particular criteria based upon what I've seen here so far. Still, I'm fast approaching the conclusion that there is a problem with Crystal Dreams Publishing. I will express my sympathy for the loss of a family member experienced by a key staff member, but it doesn't hold much water with me in light of the fact that there are other management members available to carry the load.

    In regards to the carefully thought out statements made by Mr. Beebe, since when has management ever stiffed itself? With that in mind, your objections are invalid since you are naturally biased toward the "dark side" of publishing. Personally, I would like to hear additional information from more of the authors who may have comments to make. If this alleged problem is widespread, then perhaps Crystal Dreams Publishing should be "not recommended."

  14. #14
    awritermom
    Guest

    Crystal Dreams Publications

    I am a published author with Crystal Dreams. I have been with them almost since the beginning. While there have been problems, I trust TW Miller and the staff of Crystal Dreams. I believe they are honest and are trying to create an author-friendly company. It is a learning process.

    It may not be perfectly smooth in execution, but I believe the intent is honest. Crystal Dreams does not charge authors to read or publish their books. They do not charge for editing or other publishing services. I have been paid royalties for the books sold through Crystal Dreams.

    I have never been, and am not now, a part of the staff or management at Crystal Dreams Publications. I am just an author.

    --Andrea Bikfalvy
    Author of THE JUNKYARD CLUB

    "A delightful rite of life tale"
    "A journey for anyone who opens its cover."
    "Andrea has captured the elements that enthrall..."

    bikfalvy.tripod.com

  15. #15
    Sylence C
    Guest

    assumptions

    I never once said that I knew what every author expirianced. I have given MY expiriance as an author published there.

    I answered the question why the checks were late this quarter.
    I dont speak for other people.
    *lol*

  16. #16
    SRHowen
    Guest

    At least some people

    are willing to let us know where we can find their books--and I am glad you have had a positive experience.

    Sylence C--what name do you publish under and what is the name of your book?

    Shawn

  17. #17
    SteveS
    Guest

    Pimple on the ass

    Philip Beebe wrote: "I, not only as part of the management team am an author that has been with Cd since the day it was born. At no time have I been cheated out of any monies that were owed me for book sales or for the part that I'm paid for doing the job that I was hired for."


    This in and of its self is a pretty interesting statement, to echo what others have said so eloquently, why would you stiff yourself? Equally, that Crystal Dreams (I refuse to use the CD epitaph as CD in my mind represents the very honourable Cemetery Dance run by Richard Chizmar) publishes so many of its management team smacks of one big slice of vanity - and having read some of the questionable work of the management team I am not inclined to change that opinion but it is only my opinion, and not gospel. I am however glad that you recieve money for your efforts even if TW Miller reportssomething like 10 sales for a six month period across ALL of the Crystal Dreams writers in his Hard Decision mailing and claims in the same mail that the bookstores lie when reporting sales. Yet contradicts himself when quoting the sales of an individual Crystal Dreams author in what is a grossly unprofessional massmailing, claiming zero sales for a period when in a previous mailing on the 28th of May he'd reported sales of that very book :eek Seems to me that if it isn't a case of misrepresentation then it is a no more forgivable example of gross incompetence.

    Philip Beebe went on to say: "If the royalties are late this month, so what. If it was your father or mother that passed away, I'm sure you would be the first to cry. Instead of expressing you sorrow for TW's loss, all you have done is show just how much a coward that you really are."


    You are a business, you have a management team. That Mr Miller's father died so close to the birth of his son and other events is indeed sad, and for that I do feel an element of sympathy. When he posts to his authors sorry things are late, my father died I'll make sure it doesn't happen again, I stop feeling sympathy with the glibness of his tone and wonder at the fact that such a huge management team who can ably leap in here to put two feet in their mouths are unable to help calculate the monies owed to authors on what Miller himself reports as around 10 books, total. This is not an excuse. If TW Miller was alone then indeed, time to recuperate and consolidate is expected, indeed needed. But then Mark H. should be carrying the ball - after all you said yourself you get PAID for what you do in a timely fashion. Shouldn't the people who facilitate this be treated likewise.

    Philip started getting rather funny when he got to: "TW may state the sad state of affairs with the company, but if you understood anything about negative marking, you would realize that it a way to spark people that take pride and are professionals into trying harder, but it is apparent that you simply don't understand marketing."


    Ah yes, the power of negative publicity which is going to draw young innocent hopefuls to Crystal Dreams door in droves now. You know, all the people who are so desperate to be published they are happy that the publishing team blame everyone else but themselves for failures - including that one authors books weren't removed from the web because of a database glitch, yet the Crystal Dreams website is a static one. The task hadn't been done and Crystal Dreams were selling books that they did not possess a legal contract for. I also like that Miller claims to give the author a way out of the contract if he or she is unhappy with Crystal Dreams - you can buy all of your own books off them, I believe at cover price, though I cannot remember 100%, perhaps you do get a slight discount. Instead of saying ahhh, perhaps our contracts need improving but it was my first go, considering he already had a contract to use as a boilerplate, he should have looked at any of the many available on the web, including the SFWA ones or even those put up by John Betancourt at Wildside. Ignorance is a poor excuse when it so obviously punnishes the writer in favour of the publisher.

    Philip Beebe made me smile with this one: "You said that you are not published by CD, which is a good thing, as your book isn't anything that we would publish."

    Oh that is priceless - read it have you? Know anything about me? For instance that for my last two projects I was represented by Richard Curtis Associates? The books? The Black Gondolier and Other Stories and Smoke Ghost and Other Stories, definitive collections of Fritz Leiber's horror stories edited on behalf of the Grand Master's esate. Both books have sold out in hardcover. That the latest massmarkert project I was part of just went through a 50,000 print run and on its official release this month goes straight into the Supermarket Bestsellers list at #2, that's across all of the US, at every check out... That my first massmarket foreign language edition comes out in 2 months in Sweden? Hmmm, maybe it is because I am a professional writer and editor and in turn expect to be paid in a timely and professional manner with an honest representation of my sales.


    And Philip Beebe ended up looking like a complete arse when he closed with this devastating riposte: "Why am I responding to your unfounded claims? Simple---you're not worthy enough to be a pimple on my ass let along claim to be a man."


    You waste your time on things not worthy to be a pimple on your backside? Highly professional attitude. Speaks volumes about the incompetence of Crystal Dreams - by the way, Crystal Dreams *sounds* very fragile to me - I am not sure I would want to be the pimple on the backside of a man who makes sure he is paid on time and yet doesn't make the effort to respect the people who make that possible. An old addage that people should remember: MONEY FLOWS TOWARD THE WRITER - not toward the management team. Without the creators of the art the bankers and marketers are, well, talentless. Even those who self publish.

    David I think hit it right on the head, it may not be a grand conspiracy, you may all just be inept bumbling fools, in which case that new category sounds like a winner to me.

  18. #18
    A Cd Author
    Guest

    Words of Wisdom?

    A few quotes... can you guess who from?

    "Our sales at a minimum have sucked. We have sold maybe 10 books and these are to authors. I have had nothing but numerous emails of how, this isn't right, this is wrong and how horrible the state of CDP is.
    This includes the problems of our books going to the printer and being still screwed up. Our artwork not making the author happy. The editing non
    existent and management not following through."


    Highly professional, as an author I'd love non-editing and management non-follow through. A new policy?

    Or how about:

    "I have a few of you saying you are owed royalties. They are not due to go out till today If you are owed royalties, then they will be sent."

    So, he has time to write an enormous mailing but not give people what they were owed in a timely fashion, shame on his priorities but that must be part of the new non-follow through clause.

    And then there is:

    "I have some of you who owe CDP lots of money, but I notice I'm expected to send royalties, but when a bill is owed by an author, its an Oh well, too bad how sad. Heck I would be happy with that, instead of the usual letter saying how well the sales will be next week, which of course never come."

    Remember these are all nice massmailing to Crystal Dreams people...

    And don't forget the classic:

    "I have authors who feel that they are above everyone." which isn't being to kind to any of the writers... or how about:


    "Now I have authors complaining that they have had sales to stores, but yet I have yet to see these sales, where are they, who is getting them? It sure isn't here, it sure hasn't been through this office, so who is getting them?"


    There are thousands of these... including the classic: I have news for you people.. the bookstores lie!

    Beautiful stuff. Long live publishers of this calibre!

  19. #19
    capitalistwriter
    Guest

    good job!

    Great job, Phillip! If I had any doubts before, you have removed them. Your obnoxious and unprofessional comments have absolutely convinced me that I would never want to do business with Crystal Dreams.

    I never cease to be amazed by the people who think coming onto a public forum and spewing pointless insults is a way to make their company look good. Sheesh!

  20. #20
    Anonymous
    Guest

    CURRENT CDP VICTIM

    I have been watching this situation from the message board side and an inside view to the company. I am a current writer with CDP and I am NOT part of the management team. I wish to remain anonymous though because I have seen and heard how the CDP group can turn ugly on one of their own that dares to speak up! Quite a few of the gripes listed above are true. Of course the management team doesn't have any gripes because they get their royalties and part of ALL OF OURS!!! I believe that my contract reads that the management get 10% of my book royalties.
    I agree with the person that stated that Mark Hauser the asst publisher....when he is supposed to be handling a bookstore contact that the writers themselves have established, he moves in with promoting himself and his books.
    We had a writer that had a book signing at a Barnes & Noble and that evening Mark Hauser proudly announced to the group list that the author had sold 11 copies that day and the very next week TW Miller was haranguing the group that no one had sold any books. I am sorry that TW has had so many difficulties in his personal life, but it has been one excuse after another and blaming everyone else for his screw ups. I even saw an e-mail from Mark Hauser where he said that he was getting tired of Mr. Miller's harassing of the writers and that he was acting like a spoiled child.
    Recently this has come up- I quote word for word "One large problem we have been having is a million e-mails from authors asking for things to be honest, I hate deleting e-mails but when I'm deluged with them I can't read them all..."
    We were told that it was ok to e-mail in a book order to the management and that way was preferred. I know of a writer that was just complaining because they had sent in several book orders by this method, then found out that the bookstores never received the books and Mr. Miller said "WHat orders, I never got any orders." Well if he was deleting e-mails I can see how that would happen. But how does that look to those bookstore managers that were expecting those books? It's our reputation as writers that is on the line also.
    Our contracts state that we will receive 40% of the books we sell. And like it's already been brought out it's only been averaging 11-12%
    And I am embarrassed that a rep of our company [Phillip Beebe] is making himself out to be such an a-hole. Oh nice professionalism Phillip!
    I have had several of CD's writers tell me that Mr. Beebe can't spell and screwed up their books and are still waiting for corrections.
    I know that some will reply to this and try to discredit and defend what I have said, but I just wanted everyone to know that not all of us at CDP have been treated perfectly.

  21. #21
    Dave Kuzminski
    Guest

    Regarding that Crystal Dreams contract

    Would one of the writers who has been offered a contract by Crystal Dreams share a copy with me by email at prededitors@att.net?

  22. #22
    Sirgtahc
    Guest

    Interesting Dialogue

    This is some of the most bizarre dialogue I think I've ever seen on a bulletin board. But at least folks are using this forum to tell their stories.

    My question: Why don't you folks just self publish. I published my first book (on periodical management) in 1996 and it has sold in 14 countries to date. Another one (on self publishing) is used in half a dozen publishing courses across the country. Just do it yourself; you'd be surprised how easy it is to get your own copyright and ISBN, and even to do the marketing, if you give it some serious thought.

    In any event, I feel for those of you who've been wronged. Just learn from it and move forward with your next project. And to those of you who want to set up a press to publish others' works: Be fair, honest, and kind.

    Gary Smith
    Chatgris Press

    P.S. I apologize if I've used this forum for anything other than its intended purpose.

  23. #23
    SSO
    Guest

    many disguises

    My name may be Sir States the Obvious, but it's easy to see that the negative posts on this topic are written by the same person. Capitalistwriter, Steve, SR, Marty and Dave have the same writing style, same attitude and same intimate knowledge of Crystal Dreams. Current events knowledge too, so "they" are still on the company's mailing list. No, I bet ya anything there's just one poor victim trying to exact vengence. Well, hey, thanks for the negative advertising.

    S S Obvious

  24. #24
    eraser
    Guest

    Re: many disguises

    I want some of what SSO is drinking.

  25. #25
    Dave Kuzminski
    Guest

    What's going on?

    Well, after reading numerous emails concerning Crystal Dreams Publishing, I honestly believe that this is a situation where tempers and emotions have ruled out of proportion to the problems.

    I've read the contract. It's not the best, but it does attempt to be fair. I can even see what the publisher was attempting to do (this is speculation on my part) by listing artists and editors in the profit split. In fact, I thought it was rather ingenious since it appears that they're probably doing their work for smaller up front payments than most would normally receive in hopes that each book will really sell well. That should give them an incentive to do good work, too. If I am wrong in my speculation here, then yell at me. The publisher did not offer this as information or buy me off.

    The publisher did offer me a copy of the existing contract which I will still evaluate against the copy that a writer furnished. He also offered a copy of the new contract that he designed using the template from SFWA. Hopefully, I will receive those soon and complete my evaluation of this. If so, I'll probably post more than what follows this paragraph at a later time.

    I am not stating that there are not some problems. What I am saying is that those appear to be blown up out of proportion. Lateness of royalties is fairly frequent within the industry, especially among the smaller publishers. One of my publishers was once two months late with royalties and one also once sent checks that bounced. There were valid reasons for both and in both situations, the publishers corrected their problems to the satisfaction of their writers. If this publisher isn't that far behind, then why not stand with him for a few days more?

    From what I understand in this situation, the royalty statements are or were only a few days late at most. If I am wrong, please correct me and I will re-evaluate my words on this situation. Also, a lot of publishers withhold payments when those are for two or fewer books so they can save on check fees. I do not know if that's the case here. A lot of businesses have to pay for each check they draw. You can't make a profit if you spend more on the check than the amount of the check you draw.

    From the publisher's standpoint, there is one thing that he can do more effectively than anyone else. He can limit what the staff states concerning business policies. I refer to statements such as Mr. Beebe gave. A business must have a consolidated face to give. It's more effective when each of the company members remembers that they represent the company when they speak and that they can't just blurt out emotional outbursts. They have to be professional. By the way, Mr. Miller's emails to me have been precisely that. So have the majority of the emails I've received from writers.

    One last thing that should be remembered is that very few small businesses make a profit in their first year. This goes for authors, too. As a point of illustration, my first book sold exactly one copy in the first year and a half it was out before it suddenly took off and made me proud. Now it regularly produces nice royalty checks. I may not be typical, but that is similar to what many other writers have noticed about their own books. Most of us are not big, well-known brand names. We have little to no marketing skills and books sales will represent that until we become known to the buying public. The publisher does his part by placing books with every possible distributor and book dealer possible. The writer does his part by lining up interviews and anything else that might make him better known such as writing articles or short stories that might get published in other venues to spread his name about. What I'm stating is that it's a cooperative venture.

    Tentatively, this does not appear to be entirely anyone's fault. I strongly recommend a calmer approach and reasoned negotiation so that both sides can be certain about what they want and make that clear to the other side.

    Like I said, I'll post more later.

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