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David McAfee
03-11-2010, 01:44 AM
I'm not certain I am allowed to do this, so Mods, please, if I violate some rule or law please pull this post.

This is a transcript of a recent conversation I just had with Neil Jackson, owner and operator of Ghostwriter Publications, a small press in the UK. Please note that Neil has been selling my work in one form or another since June 2009 and to date has failed to pay any royalties. I usually ask him about once a month and he either changes the subject or becaomes abrasive and rude, as seen below.

The conversation starts off with me asking about breaks for a project called GRUBS, which I wrote specifically for Ghostwriter in August 2009 at Neil's request. He has been promising to provide the break points to turn GRUBS into a serialized chapbook since November of last year:

David

howdy Neil
3:13pmNeil (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=788512064)

'ello
3:13pmDavid

did you ever get to those breaks for GRUBS?
3:14pmNeil (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=788512064)

Yes...but I'm working at the moment on work for others. Later, dude.
3:15pmDavid

What about royalties? Do I have any?
3:17pmNeil (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=788512064)

David...sorry bud...but I'm working. I can't just break off to deal with your stuff...you're being a bit selfish.
3:20pmDavid

Um...selfish? Neil, I have waited patiently for several months (MONTHS!) to get my first royalty payment from you and have not hounded you about it at all. How is that selfish?
3:21pmNeil (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=788512064)

BECAUSE I AM WORKING!!! Now go and bother someone else. I'm done. Expect a cheque soon.
3:22pmDavid

I've heard that one before. Very well, Neil. I won't take up any more of your time.
3:24pmNeil (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=788512064)

Because YOU are bored doing your job...and can drop things at a stroke...not all of us can. I am fucking seething here...if you were here you'd be wearing a crowbar. I was just in the middle of something and now lost my thread. You selfish prick.
3:26pmDavid

By all means, get back to your work, Neil. I'm just glad I had the presence of mind to record this entire conversation.


Needless to say, I have terminated my relationship with Neil and GWP. Probably should have done it sooner (he has been like this for months!), but I was hoping things would improve. Sadly, they did not. Submit to GWP at your own risk.

Thanks for letting me vent.

brainstorm77
03-11-2010, 01:48 AM
WOW! That is nuts. I wonder if others are having issues like this?

David McAfee
03-11-2010, 01:52 AM
Several other writers have stated they left GWP for reasons like this, but that is for them to elaborate on. Still others have stayed. He is not like this with all his writers. Our own Willie Meikle seems to do quite well with GWP. I am only commenting on my personal experiences, here.

David McAfee
03-11-2010, 01:53 AM
Oh, and yes, I have emailed actual screen shots of this exchange to Dave at P&E.

brainstorm77
03-11-2010, 01:53 AM
Several other writers have stated they left GWP for reasons like this, but that is for them to elaborate on. Still others have stayed. He is not like this with all his writers. Our own Willie Meikle seems to do quite well with GWP. I am only commenting on my personal experiences, here.

There is no reason for that idiot and I will use that term to be acting like that. He needs to take lessons in how to act professional.

David McAfee
03-11-2010, 01:57 AM
There is no reason for that idiot and I will use that term to be acting like that. He needs to take lessons in how to act professional.


Yeah, that was my thought, as well. Thanks for agreeing, though. I was actually worried for a little while that maybe I was in the wrong.

brianm
03-11-2010, 02:06 AM
Yeah, that was my thought, as well. Thanks for agreeing, though. I was actually worried for a little while that maybe I was in the wrong.

You in the wrong? Absolutely not.

True professionals, no matter how busy they are, never let a client think they are anything but their number one concern. Period. His demeanor and language are inexcuseable.

The man deserves a year of hard labor under Miranda at PA for this kind of behavior.

~brianm~

profen4
03-11-2010, 02:09 AM
Yikes---I won't need to be reminded to steer clear of that outfit.

Bubastes
03-11-2010, 02:12 AM
True professionals, no matter how busy they are, never let a client think they are anything but their number one concern. Period. His demeanor and language are inexcuseable.


This.

Calla Lily
03-11-2010, 03:25 AM
Oh, David. :( :Hug2:

Adam
03-11-2010, 04:29 AM
Bloody hell! I submitted my book to them at the same time as I did to Lyrical. I'm glad Lyrical said yes instead! :eek:

David McAfee
03-11-2010, 05:36 AM
Thanks for the support, everyone. I feel better. I'm not normally whiny. Every once in a while, maybe, but this REALLY frazzled me. Thanks again for letting me vent. I notice P&E has changed the entry for Ghostwriter Publications to Not Recommended. Thanks, Dave!

crimsonspirit
03-11-2010, 01:50 PM
I was the first to withdraw my work from GWP over a year ago, and spent ages warning people about the company (man), but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. There are a number of authors that have now withdrawn their work. The truth will out.

David McAfee
03-11-2010, 05:09 PM
Didn't stop there, either. He emailed me threatening to contact my employer and get me fired because I emailed him from work. Learned my lesson. No more emails from work.

Calla Lily
03-11-2010, 05:14 PM
:eek:

Adam
03-11-2010, 06:25 PM
Yeesh, what a lovely man. :rolleyes:

Little1
03-11-2010, 06:40 PM
OCH :S I will def not send my book to him. Thanks for the heads up.



Didn't stop there, either. He emailed me threatening to contact my employer and get me fired because I emailed him from work. Learned my lesson. No more emails from work.


WOW, I can't believe he would do something so low!

brianm
03-11-2010, 09:01 PM
Didn't stop there, either. He emailed me threatening to contact my employer and get me fired because I emailed him from work. Learned my lesson. No more emails from work.

This person has threatened physical violence with a crowbar and now threatens to get you fired from your job? I recommend you have no further personal contact with him and that you advise your legal counsel to deal with him or investigate hiring the services of legal counsel to deal with him, if you do not have legal counsel who represents you.

This person is out of control and your contacting him directly will only serve to further aggravate him. IMO, you need big, pointy teeth at this point and a good attorney will know what to do to get him to comply with contractual obligations, as well as set him straight on his threats.

~brianm~

brainstorm77
03-11-2010, 10:01 PM
Yeah I would contact a lawyer. This guy appears to be psycho and had gone way limit here.

dgrintalis
03-11-2010, 10:02 PM
Wow, that's just crazy, David.

agentpaper
03-11-2010, 10:03 PM
Wow. Unbelivable. Absolutely consult an attorney. That's very disturbing that he's threatened you twice now.

Krowbar
03-12-2010, 08:28 AM
Hi David.
As Neil is so fond of crowbars I thought I'd borrow from that.
Your transcript made me laugh.
I wish Jackson had threatened me. I'd have been round his place knocking on the door the next day.
Silly sod must really be losing it.

Anyway Shaun is correct.
Go to Goggle and type in Neil Jackson Ghostwriter Publications and start trolling through different links and you will discover a number of writers have blogged or posted in public about Jackson's habit of not paying his writers.
You will also discover Jackson used to own some sort of film production company in Canada, some years ago. That went badly for his associates also.

A much better idea than to pop round Jackson's place and give him a good kicking, although the idea does bring a smile to my face, is for all the writers he's ripped off to get together and take out a class legal action against him,
Another writer who has issues with Jackson mentioned this recently.
Like yourself, David, and others, I'm owed payment for my work by Ghostwriter Publications.
At the very least we should do our best to make sure Jackson doesn't take advantage of any more authors. Especially new writers, who are so keen to get into print that they may be attracted to Jackson's speil.
Having Ghostwriter Publications blacklisted on Preditors and Editors is a good start.
I have been wondering if there is some legal organisation in the UK that Ghostwriter Publications can be reported to?
Apart from the Fraud Squad of course.
You should copy and post this thread on the UK Horror Association website. Shocklines forum, the Vault of Evil fourm and the Guy N. Smith forum.
Many people, especially the writers, will be interested to see it.

William Meikle does seem to be doing well with Ghostwriter Productions, yet I wonder if Bill is being paid as he should?
I hope so. I guess if he's not we'll find out about it eventually. You can't keep anything quiet on the Net these days.

Krowbar
03-13-2010, 12:40 PM
Scroll down to the comments section.

http://authorbobfreeman.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/the-author-spotlight-shines-on-neil-jackson/#comment-1043

crimsonspirit
03-13-2010, 01:49 PM
It's not just in the publishing world that the owner has upset people. There are four pages to trawl through, but it gives an overall impression of a film school he ran: http://www.filmmaker.com/node/13231

para
03-13-2010, 01:50 PM
I have been wondering if there is some legal organisation in the UK that Ghostwriter Publications can be reported to?
Apart from the Fraud Squad of course.


Trading Standards might be interested: http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/. If they can't help they might be able to point you in the right direction.

shaldna
03-13-2010, 04:28 PM
That's pretty scary. Not to mention unprofessional.

And if you haven't recieved any royalities then I would sue.

Krowbar
03-13-2010, 06:06 PM
In reality Shaldna for a single author to sue it would not be worth his time and money, as the royalties up to this point in time would be all but insignificent.
The expenditure would be more than the money recovered.
However...should Ghostwriter Publications continue to publish works by the writers mentioned here, and others, then indeed legal action by a single author could, eventually be cost effective.
This early in the saga it's more the principal of the thing.
A class action by a number of writers would be a more affordable endeavour.

Talking about suing people is easy to say; Lawyers love to sue, because it's they who profit the most from it, hence their advice always being to do so.

If you've ever attempted to sue someone, the reality is often not what one would expect it to be.
It's neither as easy or sure as many people think.

I don't believe that Ghostwriter Publication has sold many copies of anything, maybe a few of the cheap chapbooks.
And they are not, as far as I am aware, selling to brick and mortar bookshops. In the UK or anywhere else.

But if you are an author who has had dealings with GP then make it a point to check their websites to make sure you know what they are publishing and where.

HapiSofi
03-13-2010, 11:40 PM
David, I'm sorry this creep has been mistreating you. There's no cause, ever, for publishers to talk to their authors that way. At most they should (on appropriate occasions) be bracingly blunt, but it should be for informational purposes only, and then only for cause.

I'd be immediately concerned about someone who uses language as abusively as Neil Jackson does because that style of speech is so common among con artists. It's one of the ways they get their marks to go away afterward.

Not everyone who's verbally abusive is a con artist, and not all con artists are verbally abusive, but it's surprising how often the two are linked.

HapiSofi
03-14-2010, 12:17 AM
I have now read the Nanaimo Film School thread, and followed the other links from this thread. Let me be punctilious about this: I'm not asserting of my own sure and certain knowledge that Neil Jackson is a con artist. I'm saying that this information sure as heck makes him look like a con artist.

A distinction in my terminology: a scammer is someone who, for whatever reasons, happens to be running a scam. Some of them mean well, or are confused, or have fallen into bad company.

A con artist is a professional who knows that they're a professional. They don't fall into scams and cons; they set them up. They know how to string things along, and when to bail out. When one con ends, they break all their ties to it and go start a new con somewhere else.

And by golly, Neil Jackson certainly does give the appearance of being a con artist.

shaldna
03-14-2010, 02:07 AM
In reality Shaldna for a single author to sue it would not be worth his time and money, as the royalties up to this point in time would be all but insignificent.
The expenditure would be more than the money recovered.
.


I don;t know about the US, but here you could take them through the small claims court, the plus side of that would be that you woudl also be able to void your contract with them,

Krowbar
03-14-2010, 02:51 AM
I don;t know about the US, but here you could take them through the small claims court, the plus side of that would be that you woudl also be able to void your contract with them,

Shaldna has raised a good point here, something I had not considered before.
If Ghostwriter Publications have not, within a defined period of time, held to their end of whatever publishing contract an author agreed to, then it goes without saying that said contract is null and void.

A quick visit to a local court house and a chat with a legal advisor will probably confirm this.

The small claims court could be an option for some individual authors.
But I honestly believe that the amount we're talking authors are owed is so small as to be hardly worth wasting the time of day for it.

As I said before, it's more the principal of the thing and the fact that we must not let others fall into the same trap we did with this person or company.

brainstorm77
03-14-2010, 02:45 PM
I'm glad to be warned about them. Thanks David.

Axler
03-14-2010, 06:18 PM
Heh. Sort of makes me nostalgic for the kind of exchanges I used to have with the former executive editor of Gold Eagle...

Momento Mori
03-14-2010, 07:31 PM
Krowbar:
In reality Shaldna for a single author to sue it would not be worth his time and money, as the royalties up to this point in time would be all but insignificent.
The expenditure would be more than the money recovered.
However...should Ghostwriter Publications continue to publish works by the writers mentioned here, and others, then indeed legal action by a single author could, eventually be cost effective.
This early in the saga it's more the principal of the thing.
A class action by a number of writers would be a more affordable endeavour.

It's very difficult to bring a class action within the English and Welsh courts and probably more expensive than pursuing an individual claim through the small claims court.


Krowbar:
Talking about suing people is easy to say; Lawyers love to sue, because it's they who profit the most from it, hence their advice always being to do so.

I don't know which lawyers you've been talking to, but most of the lawyers I know recommend that you don't sue and instead go to mediation or arbitration to resolve a dispute.


Krowbar:
If Ghostwriter Publications have not, within a defined period of time, held to their end of whatever publishing contract an author agreed to, then it goes without saying that said contract is null and void.

No it doesn't. If Ghostwriter haven't fulfilled their obligations, then they are in breach of contract, which would be actionable via a small claims court.

For the contract to be null and void, you'd have to prove that there was no intention to create legal relations to begin with (which there clearly was if one person supplied a manuscript and the other published it) or that there was a lack of consideration (which would be easily disproved if you entered into a deed or a contract with a nominal sum).

Without wishing to give legal advice here, I would suggest that the best recourse here is to terminate for breach in accordance with the relevant clauses of the contract and seek an immediate reversion of all publishing rights, together with accounting statements for whatever sales have been made to date.

It sounds as though we're not talking about Ghostwriter having made a lot of sales of these books. If you realistically think that royalties are likely to be less than 100, then I'd write it off to bad experience and move on. If you think that royalties are likely to be more than that, then check out the small claims court procedure. It's pretty straightforward, the filing fees are pretty low and you can represent yourself (with court officials being helpful in terms of process). It's a straightforward action for debt and breach and provided you're not seeking additional compensation, should be dealt with comparatively quickly as well.

MM

Krowbar
03-15-2010, 12:46 AM
Thanks for the advice MM.
Much obliged.
Not sure how those of us outside the UK would make a claim in the small claims court?
And I truly believe the amounts for us as individuals are under a hundred quid anyway.
I didn't sign a contract. So I don't have to worry about my rights being reverted to me.
Pretty sure Creature Feature was a POD produced novel anyway.
So the stories we had in the anthology can be removed pretty quickly.
Scuttlebutt now is that the few issues of CF that people actually did get were review or test copies. Possible there never was a print run at all.

Sydewinder
08-15-2010, 09:17 PM
has this guy improved his business practices? Any new information? I can't seem to find any info on if these guys have distribution. Their Amazon numbers don't suck, though, so I wonder if they're in stores.

KodyBoye
10-23-2010, 03:14 PM
Dunno if it's in bad taste to revive this thread, but I was recently contacted by Ghostwriter Publications (which is now under new management) and was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts about the new workings. I've been skeptical about it due to the practices that have went on beforehand, so I've been wary about dipping my feet in the waters, if you get what I mean.

Stacia Kane
10-23-2010, 11:21 PM
How/why did they contact you, do you know? Is the previous owner still involved with the company in any way?

KodyBoye
10-24-2010, 02:32 PM
How/why did they contact you, do you know? Is the previous owner still involved with the company in any way?

I was contacted in regards to my copyediting serves and discussed some writing-related stuff with them, though I don't feel that I should discuss the more intimate details.

As to whether or not the previous owner is still involved, I was told that Neil only receives his 10% from the company and that the rest of the managing/editing is being done by the new management and the funding is coming from an external source.

Stacia Kane
10-24-2010, 10:50 PM
I was contacted in regards to my copyediting serves and discussed some writing-related stuff with them, though I don't feel that I should discuss the more intimate details.

Ah, okay. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was being nosy/make you uncomfortable. I just wondered if, say, you were a writer and they'd seen a sample on your blog, or if you'd submitted something to them once, or whatever. You know? Were they running around the internet trying to find people to submit to them, or had you previously indicated interest.




As to whether or not the previous owner is still involved, I was told that Neil only receives his 10% from the company and that the rest of the managing/editing is being done by the new management and the funding is coming from an external source.


That's good to know. I guess when it comes to doing work for them--for any small press--there isn't quite the same risk involved as if you submit your work as a writer, but there are bound to be more knowledgeable people than me on that subject.

KodyBoye
10-26-2010, 12:31 AM
Ah, okay. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was being nosy/make you uncomfortable. I just wondered if, say, you were a writer and they'd seen a sample on your blog, or if you'd submitted something to them once, or whatever. You know? Were they running around the internet trying to find people to submit to them, or had you previously indicated interest.


I didn't think you were being nosy. I just didn't want to explicitly say what I had been contacted for in regards to the actual writing because I'd hate to be seen as one of those people that say 'I had a publisher offer me a bookdeal but nothing ever happened.'

But to answer your questions: Yes, I'm a writer; I'm not sure if they've seen samples of my fiction (although a decent amount of it is/has appeared in webzines); and no, I've never submitted to them. I'd wanted to, but that was back when Neil had owned the business and I had no interest in getting screwed over again (I lost money in the last publishing endeavor I made, but nothing to do with the publisher who currently has my work.)



That's good to know. I guess when it comes to doing work for them--for any small press--there isn't quite the same risk involved as if you submit your work as a writer, but there are bound to be more knowledgeable people than me on that subject.

Quite honestly, I'm of the opinion that if I get paid to copyedit/edit something for someone, I'm doing it because I'm getting paid (arrogance for the sake of profit) and as such, people can't necessarily look at my work as actual endorsement. However, I am of the opinion that blind arrogance in sending your work to a publisher who's known to have a reputation and endorsing them is not a good thing. That might just be my personal philosophy, but I'm not sure.

I'm trying to gauge my interests with certain people right now. I've had two other people contact me this year about possibly working for them (on the writing side of things,) but I got burned so bad that it scared me off of working with people without having a harsh contract drafted, signed and sealed.

brainstorm77
10-26-2010, 12:35 AM
Didn't they state how they had seen your work when they contacted you?

KodyBoye
10-26-2010, 01:38 AM
Didn't they state how they had seen your work when they contacted you?

I know the guy who contacted me. I just didn't know he had taken over the press.

Flapdoodle
10-31-2010, 07:45 PM
Interesting. I ordered one of Willie Meikle's chapbooks (Plus another one) about 3 months ago, and never received them. When I queried where they were, this Neil Jackson chap said he was repringing the Meikle book and would I like to wait for it? (It was an extended version). I said yes. Since then I dropped another e-mail his way and he made some excuse about someone else in the "office" staring at him for not sending orders out... I didn't believe it. Now it seems the company was a scam.

I doubt I'll ever see the cash or books if it's under new ownership. Their website doesn't even have any contact information, which is pretty bad.

CaoPaux
01-04-2012, 09:05 AM
http://www.ghostwriterpublications.com/


Brand new site under development.

Open for Business ~ 13 December, 2010

New Writers ~ New Books ~ New DirectionI'm guessing it ain't happening.

Krowbar
01-06-2012, 09:07 AM
There was an American chap who was going to start a Ghostwriter Publications ebook business in the USA.
Then he, like so many others, had issues with Neil Jackson and canned the idea.
In case anyone hasn't got it yet let me be perfectly clear about this...Neil Jackson is a con artist and Ghostwriter Publications is a complete sham.
David here knows this first hand, as do I. Well known UK authors such as Guy N Smith and Ramsey Campbell are also aware of Nefarious Neil and have commented about the situation on various websites and blogs.
Anthing good you read about Neil Jackson and Ghostwriter Publications within the last 2 years has probably been written by either Jackson himself or someone he knows / has conned.
If you have some spare time do a Google search for Neil Jackson Ghostwriter Publications and be prepared to be astounded that the man managed to con so many people.
His 'film school' in Canada was an earlier con, now he operates out of the UK.