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heatheringemar
07-08-2007, 06:30 PM
Has anyone heard of them? Had any dealings with them?
http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/

They aren't listed yet on P&E, so I'm guessing that they're pretty new.

veinglory
07-08-2007, 09:28 PM
On the scale of romance e-publishers, not all that new. They are a small e-publisher with no problems that I am aware of.

ColoradoGuy
07-08-2007, 11:27 PM
For what it's worth, Whois gives an address in down-scale Aurora, Colorado, not in uber-up-scale Aspen.

Carmy
07-09-2007, 06:16 AM
Looks like their books are listed here: http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/AspenMountainPressAuthorseBooks.htm

They have an author webring here: http://f.webring.com/t/Aspen-Mountain-Press-Authors so perhaps you could contact one or two of them to see what they think of the publisher.

Looks like an interesting site for e-book publishing.

veinglory
07-09-2007, 06:26 AM
I am one of their authors in one anthology and another under submission.

heatheringemar
09-27-2007, 07:29 PM
How do you like them so far, Veinglory? Is their contract pretty fair? Are they pretty nice to deal with?

I noticed they are also looking to expand into non-romance fiction. :)

Dave.C.Robinson
09-27-2007, 09:15 PM
I believe MsCelina had something published through them recently. I know I've seen her book on Fictionwise.

Soccer Mom
09-27-2007, 09:18 PM
Celina does have a book out with them. I've bought things from Aspen's website and it's very user friendly. I see their books advertised around. Just adding in my $.02

mscelina
09-27-2007, 09:31 PM
Yep. AMP is a very professional outfit to work with. The EIC is an established author with a loooooooooooooooong list of professional credits. The editing staff is extremely thorough (as those of you who listen to my comma bewailings know) and the standards are high. The publishing house itself is a little over a year old and publishes everything from erotica to mainstream. Several Aspen books are on Fictionwise bestseller lists.

The contract is verra nice. I've dealt with several other e-pub houses and I can reassure you that the royalty rates are high-end and fair.

The great thing about AMP is that they don't accept 'just anything.' No Poser covers ( I like my cover art a LOT), no excuses on deadlines, and not just any kind of manuscript is accepted. They also tend to lean toward longer works which I find refreshing. Prices are on target for the reading audience.

Royalty checks and reports come right on time. The EIC is being extremely careful not to build the house too quickly. She doesn't want it to fall into the same trap as some other well-known e-pubs that have folded lately by trying for too much too quickly. She's still in the process of building her core of authors so she's open to a lot of different writing styles. My novel is non-romance straight up hard core fantasy.

Hope that answers your question. :)

heatheringemar
09-27-2007, 11:13 PM
Wow, thanks!

I think I might submit to them... :)

veinglory
09-28-2007, 03:18 AM
I find AMP business-like, their contract is reasonable and payment prompt. I would still suggest that if you are looking at e-publishers, there are a lot to look at before making a choice, e.g.: http://www.erecsite.com/PLIST.html

JulesJones
12-03-2007, 02:14 PM
Whatever else they may be, they're spammers. I didn't ask to be subscribed to their newsletter, and having a nice discreet opt-out link at the bottom of their newsletter does not magically make their unsolicited commercial/bulk email not-spam.

The Boulder Pledge:

"Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the result of an unsolicited e-mail message. Nor will I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings, or virus warnings to large numbers of others. This is my contribution to the survival of the online community."

shaldna
04-06-2010, 02:41 PM
Aspen don't appear to supply to the uk, is that right? I can't find any of their books on amazon.co.uk

Does anyone know if they have plans to make them available here?

para
04-06-2010, 03:29 PM
From the submission guidelines.

Aspen Mountain Press is an e-book, royalty paying publisher. We do not charge fees for set up, or charge for editing your story once it has been accepted for publication. Our contracts request rights to the contracted work, including digital and print formats as we will provide some of our titles in print later this year.

Aspen Mountain Press are currently only an ebook publisher, you will only find their books on Amazon if they have a Kindle edition. When the print editions come out later in the year, you will probably find these on Amazon but as they will be POD or Trade Paperback they will be much more expensive than normal paperback books.

JL_Benet
05-07-2010, 07:12 PM
I don't see where their website tells the potential reader the length of the works. I understand that with different formats giving an exact page count would be problematic, but a simple short story/novella/novel/collection designation would be helpful. (Unless it's there and I'm just not seeing it)

JL_Benet
05-10-2010, 11:49 PM
There was talk about this publisher moving some of their books into print in the coming year. Does anyone have any more information on that?

Nya RAyne
07-04-2010, 01:55 AM
I just recieved an offer for publication for my Futuristic Romance.

mscelina
07-04-2010, 02:10 AM
I don't see where their website tells the potential reader the length of the works. I understand that with different formats giving an exact page count would be problematic, but a simple short story/novella/novel/collection designation would be helpful. (Unless it's there and I'm just not seeing it)

Aspen Mountain publishes works of any length, from novella to epic. We do publish some shorter length works in our PBW line--usually around 15k. We also have a couple of a short story collections.


There was talk about this publisher moving some of their books into print in the coming year. Does anyone have any more information on that?

AMP's first print title is out with others coming by the end of the year.


I just recieved an offer for publication for my Futuristic Romance.

Congratulations!

JL_Benet
07-11-2010, 08:40 PM
Aspen Mountain on Market Scoops:
http://marketscoops.blogspot.com/2010/06/market-publisher-aspen-mountain-press.html

veinglory
07-11-2010, 08:54 PM
I am a great supporter of AMP and very happy with them. But I must say I did not experienced the intensive editing mentioned in that interview.

That said, if you are looking for a mid-list epublisher who is on the way up, AMP would be it.

Soccer Mom
07-11-2010, 10:24 PM
The book shown in my signature line is from AMP and specifically the new Aurora Regency line mentioned in the interview. I did receive intensive editing, but that may be more line specific than publisher specific. So far, I've been quite happy.

Jersey Chick
07-11-2010, 10:29 PM
I've got a book coming out with AMP/Arurora Regency Historicals and my edits were pretty intensive as well. And time well spent, IMHO. :D

mscelina
07-11-2010, 11:10 PM
That because both of you were edited by the intensive editor who was interviewed by Snell and that editor was me.

Editing as a whole is a top priority at Aspen Mountain Press, but the editing at the Aurora/Aurora Regency imprint is tougher due to the historical accuracy requirement of the line. My editor at AMP is a very intensive editor--and a jackbooted AW member. The main focus of the interview was the new imprint and my own, specific editorial preferences.

Nya RAyne
07-22-2010, 06:10 AM
You guys have helped me make my decision. Thanks!!

Nya RAyne
07-23-2010, 04:44 AM
There are alot of you out there that have sang the praises of AMP. What I want to know is have any of you dealt with Sandra? What's you're feel for her?

If you don't want to post here, please PM me?

I'm only asking because, well, I want to know. :)

veinglory
07-23-2010, 05:50 AM
AMP pretty much *is* Sandra--so I think what is said of one is said of the other.

jennontheisland
07-23-2010, 06:02 AM
There's no sales data for AMP listed on the EREC site, but they do seem to have somewhat of a focus on romance and erotic romance. Can anyone comment on the absence of data?

veinglory
07-23-2010, 06:31 PM
If no one sends data, I don't have data. There are more epublishers absent from EREC's data set than represented in it.

Fallen
08-08-2010, 04:25 PM
I hope you don't mind if I ask this here first, then if the problem seems it's coming from my end, I'll ask over in the techincal section.

All the links given to Aspen take me to nothing but a blank page. I'd like to have a nose round Aspen but I can't get access to the site. It's the only one I have problems with (I can check out Samhain, Loose id, even VeinG's list of epublishers, etc). Even Jersey Chick's novel, and going via google itself, take me to a blank page.

I can't say it's down to the web filter on my computer. I've gone via net intellienge and added Aspen's address to allow access.

Can I ask if anyone else is having a problem? If no one is bar me, I'll ask over on the tech thread.

Thank you.

Fallen: seriously frustrated.

Stacia Kane
08-08-2010, 06:13 PM
I got on just fine, so either it's back up or it's just you, or maybe it's just working for me.

Erin
08-08-2010, 06:25 PM
I hope you don't mind if I ask this here first, then if the problem seems it's coming from my end, I'll ask over in the techincal section.

All the links given to Aspen take me to nothing but a blank page. I'd like to have a nose round Aspen but I can't get access to the site. It's the only one I have problems with (I can check out Samhain, Loose id, even VeinG's list of epublishers, etc). Even Jersey Chick's novel, and going via google itself, take me to a blank page.

I can't say it's down to the web filter on my computer. I've gone via net intellienge and added Aspen's address to allow access.

Can I ask if anyone else is having a problem? If no one is bar me, I'll ask over on the tech thread.

Thank you.

Fallen: seriously frustrated.

I have no problem seeing their site. Delete your internet cache (temp files), close the program, reopen it and try again. See if that works.

Bufty
08-08-2010, 06:29 PM
The site's okay for me, too.

Fallen
08-08-2010, 10:57 PM
Deleting temp files worked beautifully, thank you, Erin. And thank you to Bufty and Stacia too ;) I can nose now...

Erin
08-09-2010, 04:01 AM
Deleting temp files worked beautifully, thank you, Erin. And thank you to Bufty and Stacia too ;) I can nose now...

Glad it worked for you!

TezMillerOz
08-26-2010, 02:35 PM
Am concerned for a friend:

I just received an email from Aspen Mountain Press and they want to publish my story...

This doesn't sound bad, until you read what she later noted:

I didn't even submit to this publisher but somehow they got my story. I sent it to three other places. Is it possible one of them sent it on to them? Has anyone heard of this before?

This doesn't sound right to me, so I'm concerned. For the time being, I told my friend not to sign anything yet, and hope that she didn't just sign straight away. Any info you can share on Aspen Mountain Press would be most appreciated, please.

Thanks for everything, and have a lovely day! :)

veinglory
08-26-2010, 05:52 PM
If that is really what happened (instead of a lapse of memory or something) somebody did something they shouldn't have. I would suggest that you friend just politely ask AMP where they acquired the manuscript.

Stacia Kane
08-26-2010, 09:16 PM
Dittoing that, Tez. I'd have her hunt through her old emails as well, on a search for "Aspen" or "Mountain" or something, to see if maybe she did correspond with them before and forgot or made a mistake.

TezMillerOz
08-27-2010, 08:14 AM
Thanks, veinglory & Stacia.

Have heard back from my friend:

It's actually 'Night to Dawn', a magazine. It's in the U.S. and they are part of a larger company 'Aspen', which publishes novels. I even did a check on the woman who emailed me just to be sure and she actually posted in Writer Beware and it was a very good article on scam artists in the publishing industry.

So it's good news - the company is legitimate after all, and my friend is very pleased.

Thanks for everything, and have a lovely day! :)

veinglory
08-27-2010, 06:08 PM
Okay, so for clarification, is the offer from Aspen Mountain Press? p.s. I have some work published in N2D albeit a few years back. Keep in mind that this is a respectable but very small press magazine. And I assume your friend did in fact deliberately submit to them? Because I am not clear how this really answers the question.

eqb
08-27-2010, 06:39 PM
It's actually 'Night to Dawn', a magazine. It's in the U.S. and they are part of a larger company 'Aspen', which publishes novels.

Odd. Googling shows me this magazine (http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/) called Night to Dawn, run by Barbara Custer, but it's not part of a larger company named Aspen.

Bubastes
08-27-2010, 06:44 PM
Strange. Barbara Custer is an AMP author (http://bloodredshadow.com/about/biography/). That's the only connection I can see between the two.

CaoPaux
08-27-2010, 06:47 PM
Yeah, Barbara has books published by Aspen, but I'm not finding any formal connection between the companies. If there is, it needs to be disclosed, because if they're sharing submissions that opens a nice big can of ethical and/or legal worms.

TezMillerOz
08-27-2010, 07:23 PM
Oh dear...Thanks for your research, everyone. I've passed your comments onto my friend, and have asked her to come here directly to share her experience so far, as I've shared only what she's shared to our writing group. Hopefully we can clarify this issue - good thing I'm not trying to get short fiction published; this is doing a number on me.

TezMillerOz
08-28-2010, 09:24 AM
Okay, I see where the confusion started now. Barbara Custer's email signature mentioned Aspen Mountain Press, but apparently that's just for Ms Custer's authorial work, rather than editorial. Seems a bit gauche to promote her writing in an editorial letter, but I have terrible manners, so I don't know for sure ;-)

Anyhoo, my friend understands that she submitted to Night to Day, and will be published by Night to Day.

And as far as I can tell, Ms Custer should probably have separate email accounts: one specifically for writing, and one for editing, and with clear-cut email signatures. But I'm a little idealistic ;-)

mscelina
08-28-2010, 10:16 AM
The only place that might 'share' submissions with AMP is Aurora Regency, the AMP historical romance imprint. The only person that would do that would be me--and that would be a redirect to the author with a heads up to the submissions editor at AMP. AMP isn't involved with any other publishing entities.

veinglory
08-28-2010, 07:45 PM
If we are talking long format books is the work being condidred by "Night to Dawn Books" rather than the magazine. In which case it might be worth cautioning your friend to check that this press will meet their bottom line expectations. This is a press that does not even have its own stand alone website and I can work out how the books are printed (Lulu?)

Stacia Kane
12-23-2010, 10:45 PM
I've seen several reports recently of issues with releases at this press; books taking months to be put on Kindle, authors being promised their books will be on Amazon and then not being, author emails being ignored...


Just FYI. :(

michael_b
12-24-2010, 12:09 AM
From a publisher's standpoint you don't always want to put your books up immediately at 3rd party sites since the author and publisher both make more money on sales from their own sites.

That being said, Amazon may also be the culprit in delays in books being added to the Kindle site. I've been hearing about a lot of delays on publisher only groups regarding very slow uploading to Kindle via Amazon. The publishers don't have direct control--as far as I've heard--at Amazon.

Emails may not be getting ignored, they may be getting 'spam filtered' by their service provider. Shadowfire Press has had some issues with Yahoo and Gmail account holders emails not reaching us at so if you don't hear from any publisher--not just Aspen Mountain--then email again. It may not be their fault, it might be their hosting service. It happens.

mlhernandez
12-24-2010, 02:04 AM
I'm hearing the same things as Stacia. And it's not likely a spam issue. We're talking months and months of silence despite multiple attempts to contact. The Amazon thing isn't a delay of, say, two or three or four weeks after uploading. It's months of delays despite promises the books are in the Amazon pipeline.

Even if it was a spam or filter issue, the publisher should send out a notice on their author loop to let authors know emails are bouncing, etc. When emails bounce in my EC editor's loop, she always makes sure we know there are problems and gives us alternate contacts because she's, you know, a professional.

michael_b
12-24-2010, 02:51 AM
I'm hearing the same things as Stacia. And it's not likely a spam issue. We're talking months and months of silence despite multiple attempts to contact. The Amazon thing isn't a delay of, say, two or three or four weeks after uploading. It's months of delays despite promises the books are in the Amazon pipeline.

Even if it was a spam or filter issue, the publisher should send out a notice on their author loop to let authors know emails are bouncing, etc. When emails bounce in my EC editor's loop, she always makes sure we know there are problems and gives us alternate contacts because she's, you know, a professional.

The last I heard on the publisher's list is that Amazon was taking 'months' to get things uploaded. I suspect they give priority to the big publishers rather than the smaller ones, so that one may not be their fault. I'm not making excuses for Aspen Mountain, but I have heard complaints from other publishers about Amazon being glacially slow getting books up for Kindle sales.

When we were having trouble with receiving emails from yahoo and gmail I posted the info to our closed author list and gave everyone two alternate emails to use to contact me at that time, one on gmail and one on yahoo. I don't know anything about the internal workings of Aspen Mountain as I'm not with them in any capacity. This is the first thing I'm hearing about problems there, and I wasn't aware that their email issues weren't recent. I do know authors with them and haven't heard anything negative about Aspen Mountain from them.

Soccer Mom
12-24-2010, 03:32 AM
Yikes! I hate hearing that about any publisher. I do have books with them and haven't experienced the same problems. However, I write for their Aurora Regency imprint and so only deal with the editors for that line.

jennontheisland
12-24-2010, 03:44 AM
How have your sales been?

priceless1
12-24-2010, 03:54 AM
We've had no issues with Kindle uploads whatsoever. They're usually up in a couple days after uploading. So maybe Aspen is having other troubles. Hope they iron them out, for their authors' sake.

Stacia Kane
12-24-2010, 03:56 AM
I'm also hearing about late payments, unfortunately, but it seems that's a more recent issue.

michael_b
12-24-2010, 06:01 AM
Wow, I hope this isn't going to be another publisher implosion. Like I said I know authors with them and none of them have said anything negative about Aspen Mountain. In fact they were recently recommended to me as a good publisher to try by one of my friends who's with them.

mlhernandez
12-24-2010, 06:53 AM
Wow, I hope this isn't going to be another publisher implosion. Like I said I know authors with them and none of them have said anything negative about Aspen Mountain. In fact they were recently recommended to me as a good publisher to try by one of my friends who's with them.

It took me by surprise too. I've enjoyed some Aspen Mountain books. I've always considered them to be a small but totally legit and respectable epress so who knows. I hope it's just a small hiccup.

Stacia Kane
12-24-2010, 07:05 AM
It didn't necessarily surprise me, but I certainly hope it's just a temporary hiccup and not an indicator that this house is CTD.

michael_b
12-25-2010, 12:49 AM
It didn't necessarily surprise me, but I certainly hope it's just a temporary hiccup and not an indicator that this house is CTD.

Seriously. I mean they have a huge number of books under contract and if they go belly up that means a lot of orphaned titles/series which I would hate to see having been there myself.

Erastes
12-28-2010, 01:44 PM
I have to be honest that I've had no real problems with AMP, I've had to email twice to get an answer, but I got a swift reply to my second mail. It's the sales that have been depressing, and why I'll be pulling my one novella with them when the rights expire in January 2011 and offering it to Carina or perhaps making it into a novel. It was my first experience with ebook only, and makes me wonder whether historical readers prefer print or something.

Hedgetrimmer
12-28-2010, 04:36 PM
AP offered me a contract a few months ago but in the email cited someone else's title. My title appeared in the contract, but the clause stipulating "manuscript delivery date" was for a date that had already passed. I got the impression they use a boilerplate contract but forgot to change the specific details. I sent an email noting the problem. They apologized for the mistake and said they would send another contract back out. After waiting three weeks, I began to feel uneasy working with them, wondering if maybe I would encounter bigger problems down the line. I subsequently withdrew the manuscript.

michael_b
12-28-2010, 11:33 PM
I have to be honest that I've had no real problems with AMP, I've had to email twice to get an answer, but I got a swift reply to my second mail. It's the sales that have been depressing, and why I'll be pulling my one novella with them when the rights expire in January 2011 and offering it to Carina or perhaps making it into a novel. It was my first experience with ebook only, and makes me wonder whether historical readers prefer print or something.

I knew you were with them--we've discussed Aspen Mountain before--and not happy with the sales. I think you might be right about readers of historic m/m preferring print.

That being said, I'm wondering what's going on at Aspen Mountain. All the reports I've heard from the other authors who are with them were good, but they seem to be starting the long swirl down the toilet, which is going to be a terrible shame should that happen.

(As an aside, they are the publisher running 1 Romance eBooks (http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/blog/2010/07/15/happy-birthday-1-romance-ebooks/). Which makes me wonder if there's a connection between the boondoggles at Aspen and the ebook distribution site. Could they be overextended? I know 1 Romance eBooks changed their name after they were sued by All Romance eBooks, but can't remember what they changed their name to, and there is no redirect from the old URL.)

CaoPaux
12-28-2010, 11:38 PM
I knew you were with them--we've discussed Aspen Mountain before--and not happy with the sales. I think you might be right about readers of historic m/m preferring print.

That being said, I'm wondering what's going on at Aspen Mountain. All the reports I've heard from the other authors who are with them were good, but they seem to be starting the long swirl down the toilet, which is going to be a terrible shame should that happen.

(As an aside, they are the publisher running 1 Romance eBooks (http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/blog/2010/07/15/happy-birthday-1-romance-ebooks/). Which makes me wonder if there's a connection between the boondoggles at Aspen and the ebook distribution site. Could they be overextended? I know 1 Romance eBooks changed their name after they were sued by All Romance eBooks, but can't remember what they changed their name to, and there is no redirect from the old URL.)http://1placeforromance.com/ :)

michael_b
12-29-2010, 12:39 AM
http://1placeforromance.com/ :)

Thanks!

You'd think they'd have set up a redirect for their customers, and people who couldn't remember their new name, like me, for instance.

veinglory
12-29-2010, 12:42 AM
If they dropped the name for trademark infringement reasons that might not be allowed.

Birol
12-29-2010, 12:47 AM
Aspen Mountain Press was not running 1 Romance ebooks. That's inaccurate. Aspen Mountain Press is owned and operated by Sandra Hicks. 1 Romance Ebooks was operated by Sandra's ex-husband. That is the only connection between the two.

michael_b
12-29-2010, 02:37 AM
Aspen Mountain Press was not running 1 Romance ebooks. That's inaccurate. Aspen Mountain Press is owned and operated by Sandra Hicks. 1 Romance Ebooks was operated by Sandra's ex-husband. That is the only connection between the two.

Blog posts that were made at Aspen Mountain over the summer sort of blurred the lines. Also, the guy running 1 Place for Romance--formerly 1 Romance eBooks--used the connection to encourage us at Shadowfire Press to trust them--1 Place--with distribution. Their claim was that they were a stable and trustworthy company because Aspen Mountain had a good reputation. So if my perceptions don't match yours, I'd say it's understandable.

veinglory
12-29-2010, 02:47 AM
They are companies owned by two people who were, for most of the existence of both of those companies, married to each other and apparently in the same household: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/blog/2010/07/15/happy-birthday-1-romance-ebooks/

So, separate but not entirely unassociated. As I recall Sandra was named in the suit by oneromancebooks, but they could well have been in error in naming her.

Birol
12-29-2010, 02:49 AM
Blog posts that were made at Aspen Mountain over the summer sort of blurred the lines. Also, the guy running 1 Place for Romance--formerly 1 Romance eBooks--used the connection to encourage us at Shadowfire Press to trust them--1 Place--with distribution. Their claim was that they were a stable and trustworthy company because Aspen Mountain had a good reputation. So if my perceptions don't match yours, I'd say it's understandable.

I've worked with AMP as a freelance editor. My "perceptions" come straight from the editor-in-chief. The guy running 1 Place for Romance, formerly 1 Romance eBooks, is the ex-husband.


So, separate but not entirely unassociated. As I recall Sandra was named in the suit by oneromancebooks, but they could well have been in error in naming her.

It was in error and, as I understand it, largely due to the the (former) marital relationship between the two.

Nya RAyne
12-29-2010, 11:08 PM
I don’t necessarily mean to sound disgruntle, but I signed with AMP at the end of July, 2010. After the initial chit-chat dealing with contract negotiations were over, I heard nothing from them until the first week of November. In-between July and November I did attempt to contact the company via email to request a status update on my ms, i.e, release date, but my emails went unanswered.

Anyway, the email I received in November introduced me to my editor. Finally, work was going to be done on my ms! Yay!!

“Not!!”

A week later I received an email from the editor-in-chief letting me know that my editor quit without notice, thereby pushing my ms to the bottom of the pile on another editor’s desk. I have since heard nothing from anyone at the company.

As a new author, I have to admit I find this experience disheartening and the silence rather loud. It wouldn’t be so bad if I were being kept in the loop. I have no clue where I stand with this company or what I should be expecting. Am I asking too much to know where I stand? Is the wait time between contract acceptance and editing usually longer than my 6 months wait time?

Blah!! I just wanted to share!! Hopefully I’m not shooting myself in the foot by posting this.

And yes, I did research them before accepting their offer.

Adobedragon
12-30-2010, 10:23 PM
As a new author, I have to admit I find this experience disheartening and the silence rather loud. It wouldn’t be so bad if I were being kept in the loop. I have no clue where I stand with this company or what I should be expecting. Am I asking too much to know where I stand? Is the wait time between contract acceptance and editing usually longer than my 6 months wait time?.

As a new author myself, I don't have a lot of experience to draw on. My current publisher started the editing process about a month after the contract was signed (September), and we've had several back-and-forth iterations since. I've been given regular status updates.

What I'd find most worrying would the the lack of response to inquiries and general sense of disorder that you've encountered. Previously, I dealt with a publisher who exhibited the same pattern...and soon after went out of business.

I really hope this isn't the case with Aspen, for your sake and all those with the company.

Nya RAyne
12-31-2010, 12:13 AM
As a new author myself, I don't have a lot of experience to draw on. My current publisher started the editing process about a month after the contract was signed (September), and we've had several back-and-forth iterations since. I've been given regular status updates.

What I'd find most worrying would the the lack of response to inquiries and general sense of disorder that you've encountered. Previously, I dealt with a publisher who exhibited the same pattern...and soon after went out of business.

I really hope this isn't the case with Aspen, for your sake and all those with the company.

I really hope it doesn't come to that, but then that would be my sucky luck!!

Stacia Kane
12-31-2010, 01:51 AM
Have you emailed the EIC again?

I'd send her an email. CC the Publisher. Tell them the date you signed the contract and that you would like to know what the status of your ms is. Tell them the delay is interfering with your ability to effectively promote the work.

Check your contract; is there a date by which the book has to be published?

Or of course...contact them and ask for your rights back, since they obviously don't plan to use them, and you shouldn't be sitting on your thumbs for months waiting.

Nya RAyne
12-31-2010, 02:25 AM
Have you emailed the EIC again?

I'd send her an email. CC the Publisher. Tell them the date you signed the contract and that you would like to know what the status of your ms is. Tell them the delay is interfering with your ability to effectively promote the work.

Check your contract; is there a date by which the book has to be published?

Or of course...contact them and ask for your rights back, since they obviously don't plan to use them, and you shouldn't be sitting on your thumbs for months waiting.

Thanks so much for the advice, Stacia. I'll definitely email the EIC again, but how do I find out who the publisher is? Or is that a stupid question? It was my belief that they were one and the same.

Stacia Kane
12-31-2010, 04:27 AM
Thanks so much for the advice, Stacia. I'll definitely email the EIC again, but how do I find out who the publisher is? Or is that a stupid question? It was my belief that they were one and the same.


The Publisher and EIC are usually different people. :) The name(s) should be on your contract, or available in the author loop as some sort of staff list or something. Most epublishers seem to have those.

Nya RAyne
12-31-2010, 07:03 AM
The Publisher and EIC are usually different people. :) The name(s) should be on your contract, or available in the author loop as some sort of staff list or something. Most epublishers seem to have those.

Thanks, I'll do some research and send out the email. Thanks again!!

kitzheng
01-18-2011, 07:02 AM
Nya, did you ever find an alternate person to write to? I had a story contracted by AMP around two years ago, but my editor left the company before we got very far, and my story has ended up orphaned. I was told I had been reassigned to a new editor, but never found out who; since then I've been trying to get updates from the EIC, or ask for my story back, but it's been quite a while since I've received any reply, and I'm not sure who I should try next. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'm very eager for them. :) Thanks in advance?

Nya RAyne
01-18-2011, 07:38 AM
Nya, did you ever find an alternate person to write to? I had a story contracted by AMP around two years ago, but my editor left the company before we got very far, and my story has ended up orphaned. I was told I had been reassigned to a new editor, but never found out who; since then I've been trying to get updates from the EIC, or ask for my story back, but it's been quite a while since I've received any reply, and I'm not sure who I should try next. So if anyone has any suggestions, I'm very eager for them. :) Thanks in advance?

You've been waiting two yeasr? Wow and OMG!! I'll definitely PM you her email address.

To everyone else (Ms. Kane), I want to let you know that I sent my email as advised and was rewarded five days later with an introduction to my new editor. Since then we've started working on the edits, I've learned my definite release date (April 11th), and we've started working on the cover art.

So far everything is going great.

Thanks for the advice guys and gals. I'll keep you all informed.

Stacia Kane
01-18-2011, 08:32 AM
Glad to hear it, Nya, that's great news! Good luck!

Birol
01-18-2011, 08:59 AM
Actually, Nya, the assignment to a new editor had nothing to do with any e-mail you may have sent. I never saw it and I am the individual who, through the end of this month anyway, assigns editors. As I told you originally, all the editors had full plates at the time your original editor resigned her position. As soon as there was an availability, which included hiring and training replacement editors, I assigned your manuscript. It was as simple as that. I also never received any follow-up e-mails from you.

Nya RAyne
01-18-2011, 06:14 PM
Actually, Nya, the assignment to a new editor had nothing to do with any e-mail you may have sent. I never saw it and I am the individual who, through the end of this month anyway, assigns editors. As I told you originally, all the editors had full plates at the time your original editor resigned her position. As soon as there was an availability, which included hiring and training replacement editors, I assigned your manuscript. It was as simple as that. I also never received any follow-up e-mails from you.

Birol, I assure you I did send the email a week or so ago and a few months ago to the 'blahblah'@aspenmountain.com address. If you didn't get it then that explains alot...lol. Anyway, that's neither here nor there; I'm just happy to be moving forward with this project.

Thanks for stepping in and letting us know how it works.

:snoopy:

Nya RAyne
01-18-2011, 06:17 PM
Glad to hear it, Nya, that's great news! Good luck!


Thanks, Stacia.

Birol
01-18-2011, 06:53 PM
Birol, I assure you I did send the email a week or so ago and a few months ago to the 'blahblah'@aspenmountain.com address. If you didn't get it then that explains alot...lol. Anyway, that's neither here nor there; I'm just happy to be moving forward with this project.

Thanks for stepping in and letting us know how it works.

:snoopy:

Well, it is sort of here and there. You've publicly registered a complaint about lack of communication, which in the publishing world can be a very big deal. You came to one of the premier watchdogs and said, "This publisher is a bad idea and here is why."

You probably did send an e-mail to the EIC. I can neither confirm nor deny if she received it because I'm not the EIC, nor do I have access to her e-mail account.

What I'm saying is, you did not send the e-mail to the person who was coordinating your submission and whose e-mail address you did have. If you had done so, you would have received a response.

I don't know what happened to your e-mail to the EIC, but I know outside freelancing, I've worked with several executives who, if they received an e-mail related to someone else's duties, they would ignore that e-mail because they would assume their subordinate was handling the matter. I thought I had handled the matter by letting you know the assigned editor had resigned and that I would assign you another when one became available. I was not aware of your additional concerns because at no point did I receive communication about them.

veinglory
01-18-2011, 07:26 PM
Well, it is sort of here and there. You've publicly registered a complaint about lack of communication, which in the publishing world can be a very big deal.

She described an experience, apparently accurately. That is kind of what we encourage around here. I am generally happy with my experience as one of their authors and very happy with their sales (much higher than from similar sized/aged epresses). But there have been organisational issues and my coauthor is following up with them on a paperwork issue (lapsed contract). This is part of the overall story and IMHO doesn't need to be swept under the rug, just put in perspective.

Birol
01-18-2011, 07:58 PM
She described an experience, apparently accurately. That is kind of what we encourage around here. I am generally happy with my experience as one of their authors and very happy with their sales (much higher than from similar sized/aged epresses). But there have been organisational issues and my coauthor is following up with them on a paperwork issue (lapsed contract). This is part of the overall story and IMHO doesn't need to be swept under the rug, just put in perspective.

I know, which is why I haven't been weighing in. I'm not asking for anything to be swept under the rug, but in Nya's case, I did feel there was more to the story. The other side, if you will, which is something else AW has also encouraged in order to provide the fullest picture.

It's an awkward position, to be both a long-term, presumably respected moderator here, while watching a thread evolve in B&BC about a publisher I've been freelancing editing for. Which, again, is why I have not been commenting, but there is that perspective thing.


ETA: I'll go back to silent observing.

Nya RAyne
01-18-2011, 09:56 PM
For the record, my intention was never to wage a complaint against anyone, especially not the publisher of my first novel. I was simply looking for help and advice as to what to do next via a group of people whose advice I trust.

I was in no way telling anyone to use or not to use AMP, I was simply stating my experience with them thus far. And in keeping with that, I will go on record to say that since I've been working with my editor, the process has been smooth and swift. It almost makes the wait to get to this point, worth it. My particular editor seems knowledgable, enthusiastic, and more than willing to answer any questions I have.

So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

brianm
01-18-2011, 10:46 PM
Nya RAyne,

Could you use black instead of all the pretty colors because those light colors make reading your posts difficult. :)

~brianm~

mscelina
01-19-2011, 03:54 AM
For the record, my intention was never to wage a complaint against anyone, especially not the publisher of my first novel. I was simply looking for help and advice as to what to do next via a group of people whose advice I trust.

I was in no way telling anyone to use or not to use AMP, I was simply stating my experience with them thus far. And in keeping with that, I will go on record to say that since I've been working with my editor, the process has been smooth and swift. It almost makes the wait to get to this point, worth it. My particular editor seems knowledgable, enthusiastic, and more than willing to answer any questions I have.

So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)



No one's telling you not to 'stick' to your story. However, if you weren't directing your inquiries to the editor who was managing submissions and editorial assignments then it's not really surprising that you weren't getting a response.

I'm also a senior editor at AMP and the managing editor at the AMP historical imprint Aurora Regency/Aurora Regency Historicals. I also write for them and was one of the first non-romance writers signed by the company. The standard wait time for me between signing the contract and beginning edits has been in the vicinity of 6-8 months.

At Aurora, where we are building a stable of authors and are getting manuscripts released a little quicker than AMP, I'm still contracting manuscripts that won't make it to an editor for at least 5-6 months and won't get released for a minimum of 6. So your experience is pretty standard for our company at least.

JL_Benet
03-16-2011, 07:14 AM
There was some talk about Aspen Mountain starting to release some of their books as dead-tree books. What ever happened with that? I've searched through their books and I can't seem to find any that have been released in non-eBook format.

veinglory
03-16-2011, 06:56 PM
Where/when did you see that talk? In my experience they are an epublisher. That is what I sighed up for when I submitted to them.

CaoPaux
03-16-2011, 07:08 PM
From their submission guidelines, as of Sept '10:
Our contracts request rights to the contracted work, including digital and print formats as we will provide some of our titles in print later this year.

mscelina
06-23-2011, 10:57 PM
From their submission guidelines, as of Sept '10:

I believe that was from the Aurora Regency guidelines, which was intending to go into small print runs around the end of the year. That project has been slightly delayed for the following reason:

In the interests of transparency, I feel it is important to let B&BC know that the publisher for AMP is taking an leave of absence due to health and personal issues, and the senior staff at AMP (including myself) are assuming responsibility for the operations of the company. We have hired an office manager who will be addressing any and all inquiries regarding royalties. We expect a full audit of all royalties between 2009 and the present to be completed within a month or six weeks. We are also restoring full and immediate communications within the AMP publishing family. We have implemented a new structure within our organization, one based on frequent communication with our authors and staff--and when our publisher has sufficiently recovered her health and stamina, she will be concentrating in future upon the editorial side of the business, which is something she excels at and loves.

As the acting managing editor, I am willing to answer any and all questions about AMP that are asked in this forum, and if I don't know the answer I will find it. But as a longtime member of AW, I have no intention of repeating some of the fairly ridiculous errors of judgment that I've witnessed in regards to B&BC. I am currently addressing the backlog of contracted authors and building the release schedule, and I or other senior staff members are committed to not only addressing the concerns or our authors and staff, but to eradicating the communications issues of the past couple of years.

*whew*

Not easy to write this, but it has to be done. AMP authors, editors and staff received a special notice today, informing them of these changes, and for me the next logical step was to post those facts here.

IceCreamEmpress
06-24-2011, 12:25 AM
Thanks for the update, mscelina. Best of luck with resolving outstanding issues and moving forward.

michael_b
06-24-2011, 11:39 PM
In the interests of transparency, I feel it is important to let B&BC know that the publisher for AMP is taking an leave of absence due to health and personal issues, and the senior staff at AMP (including myself) are assuming responsibility for the operations of the company.

Thanks for letting us know what's happening and being perfectly upfront on detailing the issues and how AMP plans to address them.

mscelina
06-25-2011, 01:10 AM
The senior staff at AMP is committed to correcting the problems that we have identified within the company and getting the company moving forward. Our Aurora Regency imprint hasn't experienced the same issues as AMP, and we are going forward with the launch of our new speculative fiction imprint, Aura, this fall under the editorial direction of Nebula and Locus-shortlisted author/editor Peg Robinson, who trained under me at Aurora. In the past few days, we have already set our release schedule and assigned editors to stranded manuscripts, initiated the uploading of our backlist to our third party vendors, begun the self-audit into royalties, and have addressed any and all author/staff communications as they came in. If any AMP authors wish to contact me directly, they may do so at our email addresses (I am montoring all of them) or off-list here at any time and I will be happy to help.

Jennifer Robins
06-25-2011, 08:09 PM
I queried in April and was asked for the full June 22rd.

mscelina
08-08-2011, 06:02 PM
On Friday, the senior staff including myself, resigned. The AMP publisher has resumed full control of and responsibility for AMP.

veinglory
08-08-2011, 06:21 PM
Not, in my opinion, a positive development.

Stacia Kane
08-08-2011, 06:29 PM
Not, in my opinion, a positive development.


Ditto.

I'm sorry to hear this, Mscelina. I hope you're okay.

mscelina
08-08-2011, 06:45 PM
I'm fine. Very sad--AMP was my first home for my writing--but fine. I have no idea what will happen to AMP in the future. I think we were making good progress with our business plan, but we hit an insurmountable obstacle with the owner and determined that since we could no longer affect AMP in a positive manner, we needed to depart.

The owner did come out and make a statement that AMP was not closing its doors, and I can personally vouch that the company has a healthy and big release schedule until late winter of 2012, along with a full editorial staff hired in the last couple of weeks. And my books that are still in contract are remaining at AMP for the time being.

Nya RAyne
08-09-2011, 03:51 AM
As an author with AMP, I have to admit that this news makes me a little nervous. However, I do have high hopes that it will all work itself out in the end.

jupitergardens
08-09-2011, 05:56 AM
I've been debating whether to come forward with my story or not, but given the news today, I feel that I must...

(I have emailed this to Emily, including the certified letter tracking #, about a week or so ago.)

When I first heard about Aspen, I decided to check my contract. It had expired in March. I sent a letter certified, and through email, the first part of July after communicating with a member of the senior staff who had taken over. The certified letter has yet to be picked up.

Given the lack of word, I'd followed up with the second email and finally reached someone. When I mentioned this, I was told they didn't know who was picking up the mail. Finally, after follow up, I heard from the same member of the senior staff saying she'd have a letter sent out ASAP returning my rights. This was last Monday. Then, on Friday, I get an email from the SAME email address, but from the publisher, saying the letter will go out by the end of the month. As of today, no letter received and the certified letter still hasn't been picked up.

According to the contract, and the 30 day notice, my rights reverted to me last week. I am awaiting formal notice before doing anything and am hoping it gets taken care of by the end of the month as the publisher had said.

However, I am seriously concerned (seeing shades of Venus where the publisher went MIA) as are many others.

It is my hope that my story can provide additional information to authors. Thanks!

Mary Winter

mscelina
08-09-2011, 07:10 AM
Yes, Mary--that senior staff member was me, and as I did not sign your contract I could not legally return your rights without the permission of the publisher. The publisher who did sign your contract has to do that. I could have sent you a rights reversion letter if I'd received that permission. My suggestion is that you send your email directly to the publisher--she is the only AMP representative at any of the AMP addresses--and speak directly to the lone person who can help you with your rights.

As for picking up your certified letter, I would have been happy to do so if I lived in Colorado. As I live in Ohio, that's rather difficult. The publisher is responsible for the physical mail address in Colorado, and if the mail is neither sent or picked up, I'm afraid that fault lies with her.

I really am sorry your letter was relegated to a lower position on the list of things we were trying to address. Sandra Hicks is who you need to speak to. I did, however, forward her your email to me with my recommendation and I hope that she will act upon it in the near future. Best of luck to you--

jupitergardens
08-09-2011, 07:27 AM
The publisher who did sign your contract has to do that. I could have sent you a rights reversion letter if I'd received that permission.

I'm sorry if there was a misunderstanding, but your email to me said:


Mary,

If you'll send me your physical address, I'll send you a right reversion letter ASAP. I've already instructed that the book be removed from AMP and all third party sites.

Best--

Celina Summers

That tells me that the letter was going out right away, and not awaiting permission since you had said that it needed to go through the "directors" first. I have no wish to drag this out, but the changing stories and the lack of information concern me. Thankfully my plans for the story can wait, but that does not diminish the growing concern. (You had previously mentioned that everything was announced on the business loop -- a loop which I had no knowledge of and in speaking with another author she didn't either.)

I sincerely wish everyone the best and hope that all authors' concerns can be successfully resolved.

Stacia Kane
08-09-2011, 04:33 PM
Ladies, maybe this discussion would be best taken to PM, if it needs to be had.

mscelina
08-09-2011, 07:03 PM
It doesn't. The other poster can't PM me, and she needs to do as I suggested and requested and discuss this with the individual who can help her. I've said my last word on this matter. Ever.

jupitergardens
08-09-2011, 10:33 PM
Ladies, maybe this discussion would be best taken to PM, if it needs to be had.

I'm sorry. I deliberately kept my email as vague as possible and was only addressing concerns brought up by the other poster. I was hoping to avoid the kind of response that I had received. I simply wanted to relay my story in the hopes that it would help other authors make decisions. (There are several in my circle who are published and many of us were on the fence about the whole thing.)

I have the email from the publisher. I'm waiting until the end of the month and obviously, will continue any necessary correspondence with the publisher.

If anything came across like a personal attack, it certainly wasn't meant that way. We'll chalk that up to mercury being retrograde. It always messes up communication.

Thanks.

Stacia Kane
08-09-2011, 11:51 PM
I'm sorry. I deliberately kept my email as vague as possible and was only addressing concerns brought up by the other poster. I was hoping to avoid the kind of response that I had received. I simply wanted to relay my story in the hopes that it would help other authors make decisions. (There are several in my circle who are published and many of us were on the fence about the whole thing.)

I have the email from the publisher. I'm waiting until the end of the month and obviously, will continue any necessary correspondence with the publisher.

If anything came across like a personal attack, it certainly wasn't meant that way. We'll chalk that up to mercury being retrograde. It always messes up communication.

Thanks.


Nothing to apologize for. You did nothing wrong in posting your experience; I only meant that if you two were going to get into a back-and-forth about specific emails etc. it would be a discussion better carried on in private. :)

No worries.

Nexus
08-13-2011, 01:56 AM
http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/index.php

Does anyone know anything about this company. Any opinions or impressions?

CheekyWench
08-13-2011, 02:04 AM
<link snipped>

RobJ
08-13-2011, 02:04 AM
Duplicate thread here, might be of interest: <snipped>

Nexus
08-13-2011, 05:34 AM
Whoopsy daisy. Searched but didn't search well at all. Thanks.

Soccer Mom
08-31-2011, 10:03 PM
I have maintained my silence on this subject for a long time. But today I'm breaking it because I no longer have any books with AMP.

I didn't experience the long term contact problems with AMP because I was with the Aurora Regency imprint. I never had a problem talking to my editors or the AR staff. I saw the problems in other areas at AMP, but once the senior staff took over all operations, things drastically improved except in one area. The owner was still responsible for payment.

My checks stopped coming. They had always been sporadic and the publisher had a bad habit of sending checks without royalty statements so it was impossible to tell what I was being paid for, but the checks just stopped.

Things got so bad internally that the senior staff walked out. I know I'm not the only person who hasn't been getting paid or getting proper royatly statements. Once the senior staff left, the owner posted one or two cheery messages about how all checks would be out by Aug. 15th and statements a few days later. I have never received either.

Then she stopped communicating with anyone. Calls, emails, and certified letters have all gone unanswered. The author loop has been a frenzy of worry. Of the 13 books scheduled since the owner assumed full responsibility, only two have actually been released. Some people have been paid. Some haven't. To my knowledge, no one has received a statement.

Happily, I am now free. The owner finally agreed to sell the Aurora Regency imprint to the people who actually built ARand ran it. While I"m thrilled that AR will continue and that I'm out of the great swampy mess that is AMP, I feel terribly sad for the AMP authors still stuck in limbo with an unresponsive and irresponsible owner who holds their books hostage.

I would hate for anyone else walk into this mess, so I'm posting this as a warning to anyone thinking of submitting to AMP. I'm not even sure there is anyone still checking the submission box.

Bubastes
08-31-2011, 10:17 PM
I'm a new AMP author (my first book came out late July), but I already see problems. When the senior staff managed the place, everything went perfectly. I received exceptional editing, prompt communication, and fantastic help all the way around.

After the senior staff left, the wheels came off. I turned in the manuscript for my second contracted book on 8/8. The final editorial deadline is 10/3 and the release date is scheduled for 10/24. As of today, I haven't been assigned an editor or even received acknowledgement of the manuscript. Obviously, this book won't be released on time, if ever. I don't know what will happen to the book because the owner hasn't answered any of my e-mails. As a side note, she also hasn't returned the signature pages of my contracts even though I sent them in late June, so technically we don't even have executed contracts. She appears to be incredibly disorganized.

The other bugaboo, which may seem minor but made me lose my temper: AMP listed my second book on the "Coming Soon" portion of the AMP website under my real name, not my pen name. Outing an author's real name is NOT COOL and this problem should've been handled immediately, yet it took 8 days for the owner to remove my real name from the site.

I don't expect to be paid for my first book, unfortunately. I stopped promoting it when I noticed things going downhill. I'm thrilled the Aurora Regency authors got out of this mess, and I hope I'll join them soon. Don't submit to AMP. It's circling the drain.

mscelina
08-31-2011, 11:37 PM
Just as an FYI, Musa did purchase the Aurora Regency/Aurora Regency Historicals and I am still trying to help create a resolution for AMP that will be the least painful for the authors. As I have more news on that front, I'll let you know.

BenPanced
09-01-2011, 12:10 AM
I had some problems with AMP late last year when I was trying to get the copies I needed to sell at RT Booklovers' Convention. All materials to be sold at RTCon are distributed through All Romance eBooks and my AMP title needed to be added to their database. I couldn't do it so I sent an email to the publisher for her to take care of this. Unfortunately, my title was added too late to take advantage of ordering my copies for free; because of this, I had to pay cover and sell on consignment. Then I found out that I was missing royalty statements; I got checks okay but only one had a statement to correspond with it. Then when many other issues came to light, I went to check my contract and found a serious breach: when I originally signed in July 2010, I had to print two copies, initial the pages at the bottom, then sign and date both copies of the signature page at the end. I had to mail back one copy of the contract along with both signature pages for the publisher to sign and return. To date, I have not received my copy of the last page with her signature on it. I sent a letter certified/return receipt requested asking for my copy of this page, as my book has been selling with an invalid, possibly void contract. Shortly after that, I sent an email requesting copies of the royalty statements I'm missing. To date, I have not received any statements or the contract page.

This is my first book, and my experience is slowly turning into a nightmare. I've also stopped promoting my book since I don't feel I'm able to continue doing business with AMP. It's a relief to know the AR authors have been released from this mess, and I'm hoping for a swift, relatively painless resolution to mine. Please think twice before submitting to AMP; I'm beyond humiliated with what's happened to me and my fellow authors.

jupitergardens
09-01-2011, 04:09 AM
Just a quick follow up - the end of the month has come and no letter releasing my rights. My book is still up for sale. And the email I sent to the last known email address from which I received communication from the owner has gone unanswered. In addition, the personal email I found on their website (in a "help wanted" type page), bounced as "no such person."

I really loved that little novella and am sad that it's tangled up in this mess. :(

Jersey Chick
09-01-2011, 06:35 AM
Let me chime in as well - although I am fortunate enough to be an Aurora Regency Historicals author, so my contracts were also bought out.

I had two books released through AMP. The first one came out in July, 2010. For that book, I received all but 5 statements, but only two (IIRC - I'd have to check and I'm not home, so I can't) checks. And both checks were way late.

The second one came out in Nov. 2010. I haven't received a royalty statement for that one since February. I don't know if these royalties were calculated into the checks I received, since no statement came with any check. I have no way of knowing if I was paid everything I was owed, and by the time my contracts were bought, I didn't even care. I just wanted my books back.

My email requesting my rights returned was ignored. No response. Nothing.

I also feel for those AMP authors still tangled up in this, asking for answers and being ignored. It's terrible. It's frustrating. It's unprofessional and I'm glad I'm free of it.

Romantic Heretic
09-02-2011, 05:28 AM
My two books with AMP just disappeared from Fictionwise. No warning. Just gone.

I've pretty much stopped writing since my experience with AMP. As my favorite business book puts it, "You're in business to make money and have fun. If you're not making money or having fun, what are you doing here?"

I never cared about the money but writing stopped being fun.

amergina
09-02-2011, 05:49 AM
My two books with AMP just disappeared from Fictionwise. No warning. Just gone.

I've pretty much stopped writing since my experience with AMP. As my favorite business book puts it, "You're in business to make money and have fun. If you're not making money or having fun, what are you doing here?"

I never cared about the money but writing stopped being fun.

:Hug2:

I hope you get the fun back and can write again. It's makes my blood boil when this kind of thing happens to authors. :rant:

Giant Baby
09-02-2011, 05:56 AM
My two books with AMP just disappeared from Fictionwise. No warning. Just gone.

I've pretty much stopped writing since my experience with AMP. As my favorite business book puts it, "You're in business to make money and have fun. If you're not making money or having fun, what are you doing here?"

I never cared about the money but writing stopped being fun.

A bad deal can screw with your contracts, but only you can let that screw with your writing. It's easy to fall into, and okay to wallow for a minute or two if you need the breather, but screw 'em. Move on, and keep writing.

Stacia Kane
09-02-2011, 06:03 AM
My two books with AMP just disappeared from Fictionwise. No warning. Just gone.

I've pretty much stopped writing since my experience with AMP. As my favorite business book puts it, "You're in business to make money and have fun. If you're not making money or having fun, what are you doing here?"

I never cared about the money but writing stopped being fun.


Oh, man. :Hug2:

Just dittoing the others. Please don't let this take the joy away for you. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

mscelina
09-08-2011, 03:34 AM
I felt it necessary to post in this thread in person.

For the past couple of months, we've been in negotiations with AMP. AMP had offered to sell us individual contracts, and we countered by offering all our unpaid back wages/pay and all my future editorial royalties in exchange for as many authors as we could get. Unfortunately, today those negotiations were ended by AMP. We'd hoped to save as many authors/books as possible, but were unsuccessful.

I have no idea what will happen there at this point. My own books were still offered for sale on the AMP website this morning and I (and the other senior staff who resigned) remain unpaid.

I no longer have any open lines of communication with the owner of AMP.

jupitergardens
09-08-2011, 04:01 AM
If it helps those who are still having their books sold, I plan to put together the package that I'll be sending to vendors (Amazon is especially responsive to copyright claims by rights holders), and I will blog about how to put it together, probably on my author blog. It's my hope that within the next few weeks to start making the rounds of the vendors to try and get my book taken down. If this helps others...then all the better.

Stacia Kane
09-08-2011, 04:37 PM
If it helps those who are still having their books sold, I plan to put together the package that I'll be sending to vendors (Amazon is especially responsive to copyright claims by rights holders), and I will blog about how to put it together, probably on my author blog. It's my hope that within the next few weeks to start making the rounds of the vendors to try and get my book taken down. If this helps others...then all the better.


Just as a sidenote, please consider starting a thread here to share that info/your experience as well. Maybe in Roundtable or Novels...?

It sounds like something some of our members might find helpful, too.

Best of luck!

priceless1
09-08-2011, 06:48 PM
If it helps those who are still having their books sold, I plan to put together the package that I'll be sending to vendors (Amazon is especially responsive to copyright claims by rights holders), and I will blog about how to put it together, probably on my author blog. It's my hope that within the next few weeks to start making the rounds of the vendors to try and get my book taken down. If this helps others...then all the better.
This is so sad, and I hope you prevail. However, AMP appears to hold those rights, regardless of their current status. Unless you can prove your print rights have been reverted, vendors' hands are tied.

Bubastes
09-08-2011, 07:07 PM
This is so sad, and I hope you prevail. However, AMP appears to hold those rights, regardless of their current status. Unless you can prove your print rights have been reverted, vendors' hands are tied.

My understanding is that without documentation showing reversion of rights, like a letter from AMP, vendors won't act. Is this correct?

priceless1
09-08-2011, 08:40 PM
Absolutely correct, Bubastes. Vendors don't establish relationships with authors - only the publisher. Unless an author has a letter from the publisher verifying that all rights have reverted, vendors can do nothing.

Bubastes
09-08-2011, 08:47 PM
Absolutely correct, Bubastes. Vendors don't establish relationships with authors - only the publisher. Unless an author has a letter from the publisher verifying that all rights have reverted, vendors can do nothing.

Thanks for confirming. Since getting my book back requires action on the publisher's part, I'm not hopeful. There's zero communication as it is.

jupitergardens
09-09-2011, 12:47 AM
This is so sad, and I hope you prevail. However, AMP appears to hold those rights, regardless of their current status. Unless you can prove your print rights have been reverted, vendors' hands are tied.

When another publisher released new versions of my books after they'd reverted rights all Amazon wanted to see was proof that those rights had reverted. In AMPs case I have the contract that says it expires at the end of three years, and the certified letter which came back unclaimed, plus the email from Sandra saying she'd return my rights by the end of August (not that it ever happened). I figure it's worth a shot. All I have to lose is a bit of time.

And thanks, Stacia. I will definitely start a thread if I start getting positive nibbles. *crosses fingers*

Jersey Chick
09-09-2011, 02:21 AM
Good luck. It sucks that your books are being held hostage and by your, I mean ALL the AMP books. :)

William Weldy
09-13-2011, 01:17 AM
I received an acceptance email and publishing contract from AMP in July. I signed the contract and sent both copies back. I filled out the worksheet for cover art and sent it to the address given. A few days later I received an email from the cover artist stating she had forwarded the worksheet as she no longer worked for Aspen Mountain Press. Since then I have sent several emails to Sandra Hicks but have not received a reply. My question is: Since I have never received a signed copy of the contract from AMP, am I free to submit the manuscript elsewhere. Or do I have to go through the precess of getting my rights back

priceless1
09-13-2011, 01:31 AM
You signed a contract, so you have a deal with them. I recommend that you contact your publisher asap, and find out what's going on.

Nya RAyne
09-13-2011, 04:39 AM
William, if you haven't recieved the fully executed contract back from Sandra than you might just be one of the lucky ones--meaning I wouldn't count it as an executed contract.

Here's to hoping......

jupitergardens
09-13-2011, 05:25 AM
I noticed my book was down at the third party sites I checked. When I went to AMP's website, the cover is still there, but the book is not available. So I am considering the book down and moving forward. Thank you to everyone for your support and help!

William Weldy
09-13-2011, 07:52 AM
That's just it Priceless 1. I have tried numerous times to contact the publisher and I get no response. I'm hoping someone here can tell me is I'm under obligation to AMP or how I get out of that obligation.

jupitergardens
09-13-2011, 08:13 AM
That's just it Priceless 1. I have tried numerous times to contact the publisher and I get no response. I'm hoping someone here can tell me is I'm under obligation to AMP or how I get out of that obligation.

If you've signed the contract, then I'm afraid most publishers would consider the work contracted even if you don't have it back from the publisher.

Does the contract have a "must publish within X months" clause? If so, simply wait until that timeframe is passed and then the contract could be considered null. Though you may still want to contact the publisher at that time and see if you receive any response.

You could send a certified letter and once it's returned keep that as proof of publisher non-communication.

But really, I think if you were to shop the work around, most publishers would err on the side of caution at least until several months have passed.

priceless1
09-13-2011, 08:48 PM
That's just it Priceless 1. I have tried numerous times to contact the publisher and I get no response. I'm hoping someone here can tell me is I'm under obligation to AMP or how I get out of that obligation.
I understand your frustration, but the truth of the matter is that you signed a legal document. They should absolutely be in touch with you, and the fact that they aren't portends trouble. I imagine you've tried calling them as well, right?

jupitergardens
09-13-2011, 11:52 PM
I understand your frustration, but the truth of the matter is that you signed a legal document. They should absolutely be in touch with you, and the fact that they aren't portends trouble. I imagine you've tried calling them as well, right?

The sad thing is, Priceless, the publisher isn't in contact with ANYONE. She doesn't reply to anyone's emails/phone calls/certified letters, etc.

But yes, that poster did sign a legal document, so may have to wait for it to expire in one way or another.

Bubastes
09-13-2011, 11:58 PM
The sad thing is, Priceless, the publisher isn't in contact with ANYONE. She doesn't reply to anyone's emails/phone calls/certified letters, etc.


Exactly. The publisher refuses delivery of certified mail (a few have managed to get through, but with no acknowledgement by the publisher) and fails to respond to e-mails or phone calls. No new books have been released since late August, so the publisher has already blown several weeks of release dates. No editors are being assigned to books under contract. Unfortunately, my copy of the contract only obligates the publisher to publish X months after final edits. If the manuscript never even reaches the editing stage, the publisher technically hasn't breached that portion of the contract.

jupitergardens
09-14-2011, 12:08 AM
Exactly. The publisher refuses delivery of certified mail (a few have managed to get through, but with no acknowledgement by the publisher) and fails to respond to e-mails or phone calls. No new books have been released since late August, so the publisher has already blown several weeks of release dates. No editors are being assigned to books under contract. Unfortunately, my copy of the contract only obligates the publisher to publish X months after final edits. If the manuscript never even reaches the editing stage, the publisher technically hasn't breached that portion of the contract.

Does the contract have an expiration date? I'd need to get mine out of the filing cabinet, but generally it's in the first section, grant of rights, that the contract is good for three years (as mine is, they may have changed it. I know they were talking about going to seven years for books that might make it into print and for the series in which mine was a part, but even many years ago I got the run around on contract stuff so never contracted the sequel to the book I have with them.). While it's still good to have that final release, that would at least be something, especially if you keep all correspondence to prove that the book never went to edits/never came out in the first place.

Bubastes
09-14-2011, 12:10 AM
Mine is a seven year contract. I signed it this past June. I'm not waiting seven years. AMP will likely either breach or go under way before then.

Romantic Heretic
09-20-2011, 07:54 PM
All my AMP work has disappeared from third party sites and AMP's home page. I was not alerted of this fact. Neither were my rights returned to me.

Sigh. :(

mscelina
09-20-2011, 10:16 PM
Rob, your work disappeared--as you specifically asked for in June, as I recollect. Remember? When you were sending demands to me to take the Covenants books down?--because all *your* work at AMP is also *my* work. In order for AMP to get paid for the Aurora Regency imprint, my rights to all my books had to return to me. It was AMP's responsibility to inform you of that.

Now, on to more important matters--

AMP defaulted this morning on its contractual responsibility to have all Aurora Regency and Aurora Regency Historicals book down from the third party sites and also on turning over the website, email and blogger accounts to Musa. Our contract with AMP stated specifically that these events would take place BEFORE September 20, 2011--an allowance we granted to AMP in order to give the owner the necessary time to remove the books.

This was not done.

The owner of AMP had no trouble rushing to the bank to cash the check, but couldn't manage to fulfill her contractual obligations after that. Despite numerous phone calls, emails and text messages warning her of the impending breach, the owner refused to respond.

In addition, the paychecks for the staff--editors, artists and administrative staff--which were due on August 25 were never paid. In five days, AMP will be two months in arrears on those paychecks. Here, too, despite repeated efforts to assist the owner in getting these royalties paid out on time, the owner either neglected to show up at appointed times or conveniently 'slept through' appointments where I was going to teach her how to do the royalties.

When the senior staff left AMP, we left the owner with the following: over a month and a half of books ready for formatting; all cover art for those books; a full staff; a release schedule set with multiple releases for each week through 2012; multiple email accounts that were all up to date; authors, editors and artists who'd begun to believe in AMP again; royalties and royalty statements provided correctly for the previous month and in progress for the current month; a brand new website with a shopping cart that was up to date; a tracking system where she could see the progress of each book within the company; a system for reviews in places and already active; the additional interest that a successful promotional campaign during AMP's anniversary week had generated; a historical fiction imprint that released over forty books in its first year that never garnered anything lower than a four star review, an imprint which, in its first year was responsible for more than forty percent of AMP's income--an imprint I built without any support, assistance, or financial input from AMP that I subsequently had to pay money to free from AMP; a new speculative fiction imprint ready to launch with releases set for frive months in the future; two new head editors a the imprints who were capable of running those imprints independently of AMP; and a group of loyal authors and staff who were willing to forgive her any small mistakes right at the beginning. Even more importantly, in the two months we took over AMP, we posted sales increases for the company in double figures--the first of those two months was never paid; the second of those two months is due to be paid on the 25th.

This is what she did with all that.

She released two books. Two. Both of them were released late. One was formatted incorrectly. Neither has been sent out for review. One was subsequently purchased in the Aurora Regency buyout by Musa.

AMP has continued to sell books that are out of contract, thus violating the authors' copyrights. AMP has continued to NOT pay earned royalties, both to the authors and the editors. AMP has defaulted--quel horreur!--on its contractual obligations in the purchase of the Aurora Regency imprint to Musa Publishing. AMP is no longer responding to any phone calls, text messages, emails, certified letters or snail mailed demands for information or satisfaction.

A plethora of authors are trapped at AMP as well--having sent in signed contracts to the owner and then never receiving a signature page back. They're trapped in limbo--no signed contract, no release date, no editing, no contact, no book. Despite numerous please to just release all those authors from contracts AMP obviously wasn't going to fulfill, the owner has refused to consider the release of anyone.

Some authors are begging AMP to let them PURCHASE their rights back. They, too, are ignored.


AMP had been given a second lease on life in the late spring and early summer. My only hope now for the authors and books still trapped at AMP is that the company closes, does not declare bankruptcy, and releases all those authors and books from contractual purgatory. There are a lot of people out a lot of money.

The senior staff that resigned? AMP owes them collectively for back pay, services (like website construction and design), etc. over six thousand dollars. My editorial royalties for the hundred plus books I edited while at AMP runs into thousands of dollars more. We were willing to forgive every cent of that money in exchange for as many contracts as possible, but AMP preferred to remain indebted to us and hold on to those increasingly bitter and angry authors and their books.

This demise is not pretty, it is no longer avoidable, and scores of people are suffering financially from the owner's continued ability to stick her head in the sand and avoiding the cold, hard facts that she's not only ruined her company, but the lives of people who just a few short months ago thought she was one of the good guys in epublishing.

Nya RAyne
09-21-2011, 03:22 AM
*bangs head on desk*

I need a gallon of something strong to drink!!

Romantic Heretic
09-21-2011, 03:55 AM
Rob, your work disappeared--as you specifically asked for in June, as I recollect. Remember? When you were sending demands to me to take the Covenants books down?--because all *your* work at AMP is also *my* work. In order for AMP to get paid for the Aurora Regency imprint, my rights to all my books had to return to me. It was AMP's responsibility to inform you of that.

I asked for the reversion of rights to one of my books, one that I solely wrote, because the contract had expired. I also asked for reversion of rights for the ones we worked on together when their contracts expired. I did not ask for those contracts to be nullified.

I know there is a lot of bad blood between us but I was not talking to you so I don't understand why you had to insert a personal comment here. I was just noting problems with AMP and alerting members of AW to that fact.

jennontheisland
09-21-2011, 04:16 AM
RH, I hope you get what you need from AMP. And that other authors who happen to post in this thread don't have their concerns written off as less important than the details of the dramatic demise.

mscelina
09-21-2011, 04:18 AM
I asked for the reversion of rights to one of my books, one that I solely wrote, because the contract had expired. I also asked for reversion of rights for the ones we worked on together when their contracts expired. I did not ask for those contracts to be nullified.

I know there is a lot of bad blood between us but I was not talking to you so I don't understand why you had to insert a personal comment here. I was just noting problems with AMP and alerting members of AW to that fact.

Yes, and I was informing you that your books didn't just up and disappear for no reason. There was no personal comment involved. Since AMP and its publisher didn't bother to inform you of what happened weeks ago, I thought I'd inform you as a courtesy. I'm very sorry you were left in the dark, Rob. You actually are one of the lucky ones. You're no longer entangled in this horrific mess.

BenPanced
09-21-2011, 05:16 AM
Earlier this morning, I mailed a formal letter demanding my signed contract page and MIA royalty statements by October 31. We'll see where that lands.

MariePinkerton
09-21-2011, 04:41 PM
[deleted]

gianni pezzano
09-21-2011, 11:56 PM
Unfortunately this situation also shows the loop holes in the contracts in situations like this. If one of the two refuses to open mail, etc, how can the contracts be honoured? This applies to both sides obviously.

I'm lucky I only have one book involved and am not owed money(it would have been my first published novel. It hurts already having lost one book 3 years ago to mishandling by a publisher, now I feel sick it's happening again with another...

I am working on the next and have at least 5 others planned. BUT, I can say this has affected me, as it has many others. I have suffered a mild depression over the last weeks and am now getting over it by working on the new novels...

I wish all those affected luck and hope that it does not last too long. But I won't hold my breath.

mscelina
09-22-2011, 12:30 AM
Always work on your next novel, regardless of what's going on. Always keep working.

I don't have fears that other unsuspecting authors will get caught in the same trap. AMP is not reading or responding to submissions either, so thankfully other writers are safe. It's just the ones who are entangled with AMP contractually that I feel the worst for.

gianni pezzano
09-22-2011, 12:38 AM
Thanks Celina, that's what I'm doing.

I truly wish you luck with MUSA. GIVE 'EM HELL!!!

mscelina
09-23-2011, 02:17 AM
This morning, the AMP owner published a note to the authors, promising to get some of the August releases up this weekend and asking the AMP authors to not discuss AMP matters outside the publishing family. She claimed that outside sources that exist only to spread vicious gossip were misrepresenting the situation at AMP.

This occurred after she banned a number of people from the AMP Authors loop, including myself, other authors who'd spoken out most publicly about the situation at AMP, authors who still have contracts with AMP, her current review coordinator and former staff members.

Bubastes
09-23-2011, 09:21 PM
Booting authors who still have contracts in force because they dared to speak up? That's from the PublishAmerica playbook.

mscelina
09-23-2011, 11:52 PM
That's kind of what I thought too. In a way, it really broke my heart. Booting me didn't bother me that much; if I'd had a contract with another company and violated the terms of that contract, I'd boot the people I'd pulled a fast one on too. What really bothers me is that the authors she's been ignoring, the authors she owes money to, the authors whose contracts she's holding hostage have been booted--with no recourse now to reach her and try to bring these standoffs to the end.

Very sad.

Old Hack
09-23-2011, 11:57 PM
Not just sad, but foolish too. If word hadn't spread before, it will spread now.

Bubastes
09-24-2011, 12:02 AM
Not just sad, but foolish too. If word hadn't spread before, it will spread now.

I hope so. I haven't seen a lot of discussion on the web about AMP's problems yet, but I hope more people pick up the story soon. At this point, I feel like bad publicity will be the only way to get any movement from AMP. She seems like she's still in denial.

jupitergardens
09-24-2011, 08:11 AM
Booting authors who still have contracts in force because they dared to speak up? That's from the PublishAmerica playbook.

Actually I can think of one very big and very most definitely still in business publisher that shuttled a bunch of authors over to a separate "biz loop". And at the time it gave me the wiggins because hindering communication no matter what is never a good sign.


I hope so. I haven't seen a lot of discussion on the web about AMP's problems yet, but I hope more people pick up the story soon. At this point, I feel like bad publicity will be the only way to get any movement from AMP. She seems like she's still in denial.

As much as I hate to say it, I do think some discreet mentions in other writer venues would probably be good. One of the things I would hate to think of is other authors who might not have the lines of communication with others that are found here, wondering "what's going on" and feeling very much in the dark. That's never a good place to be, and we've heard this situation is sadly impacting others' writing, again never a happy place to be. (Been there. Trust me.)

As long as the information is presented factually and without accusations/rancor, I don't see how spreading the word could be anything but informative for those who don't know and hopefully rights/career-saving for those who might be unknowingly in the quagmire.

mscelina
09-24-2011, 07:37 PM
This is topical: http://esthermitchell.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/dropping-the-legal-ball-a-publishing-nightmare-exposed/

mscelina
09-24-2011, 08:20 PM
As is this: http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/celia-kyle/beware-aspen-mountain-press/10150314848928821

Old Hack
09-24-2011, 08:45 PM
This is awful, Celina. Just awful. My heart goes out to everyone who is tangled up in this mess.

mscelina
09-24-2011, 08:59 PM
I'm in a lot better shape than most of the authors. I'm just owed money and my company was just cheated out of what they bought; but my books--and the books of the Aurora Regency imprint I built--are safe. These folks are having their copyrights infringed repeatedly, their books AND their royalties held hostage by a publisher who's posted TWO messages in two months; who's released TWO books in two months; and who, when provided with the actual royalties due to these authors by the office manager we brought in, went behind said office manager's back to claim that the figures from the reports were wrong--and then STILL didn't pay the past due royalties. Tomorrow when I wake up, the AMP staff (editors, including myself) will have been stiffed out of TWO months' royalties/pay. The promotions manager and book formatters are out more months than that. The books of these authors are being illegally sold on a website and organized through a tracking database that the publisher never paid the designer for. And one of those websites Musa purchased in the Aurora Regency deal--a website still not turned over to us. AMP didn't even take the Aurora books off the third party sites as contractually agreed--we ended up having to take care of that ourselves.

And the majority of AMP authors haven't received a royalty statement in over a year. Only one month out of the past fourteen did every author get a royalty statement--and that was the month the senior staff took over and got things done.

When we purchased the Aurora Regency line, we immediately reverted all rights to the authors. Every author had a standing offer for publication through Musa, one they were not obligated to take. I don't believe in holding authors and their books hostage. In the two months I was managing editor at AMP, I released numerous authors who'd been ignored for two years from their contracts. I kind of wish now we'd never taken over AMP. We gave a lot of writers the false hope that the company was actually going to be on the way back up and on track, doing things the way they're supposed to be. And now those selfsame authors are trapped there.

The publisher claimed in her last message that she would try to get some of the releases scheduled for August up this weekend. I'll be interested to see how many of those releases actually make it into the store--over the objections of those authors.

gianni pezzano
09-24-2011, 09:12 PM
Hi Celina and everyone, I'm not embarassed to say I'm one of the authors caught in this mess.

Don't feel guilty, I know you, Dominique and the others did your best while you were there and I can honestly state that in the short time I worked with you that things did go well. Contract returned in time, queries answered quickly, cover art out in days. The problems began (at least for me) AFTER you all left.

We authors know you suffered your own losses in the situation, as you state in this post.

So don't blame yourself for what happened to us, if anyone is responsible it's well explained in Esther's, Celia's and Cassandra's messages.


We're now fighting as much as we can to regain what is righfully ours. Then it will be back to the struggle that I have had for over five years looking for a publishe and/or agentr for my book, the one I'm now writing and the others I have planned. None of us plan to give up, we will fight and more importantly WE WILL CONTINUE WRITING!!!

I can truly say I wish you success in MUSA and I personally have no doubt YOU WILL.

gianni pezzano
09-24-2011, 09:30 PM
I just realized I better say what happened to me. I signed the contract for my novel at the end of July. Initially everything went well and the cover art was out in the beginning of august. Since I was told that editing would begin in days, I decided to stop work on the new novel to convcentrate on doing the editing properly.

I was told of the resignations on august 8 and that was the last time I had direct contact from AMP.

IN the weeks following I wrote tAMP 3 times to ask what was happening, all without reply. I kept checking the tracking site. NO changes, I noticed that virtually nothing happened in these weeks.

Finally I lost faith in AMP and decided to ask for the contract to be terminated and the rights returned to me. I even stated I am willing to pay for the costs of the cover art(which incidentally I like and stated I wanted possession of it...).

Since I now live in Italy I sent the letter via UPS, as per the contract details and a "Wallace" signed for it. I sent an email to AMP stating I knew the letter had arrived and that the sixt days had begun. I set the email to give me an electronic "receipt" when it was opened. never received the receipt. On wednesday, due to doubts about delivery I sent the letter again, this time via Fedex, envelope marked "signature addressee only" and on the AMP Author's loop I advised them that the letter was on its way and they had the telephone number to arrange delivery and to expect it on Friday. Yesterday the letter was delivered to a "K. Keith", rather than the person to which it was addressed.

Luckily I am not owed money, as I stated before, BUT I am disappointed, angry and am not scared to state I have suffered a bout of depression due to this issue. This is not the first time I have had a problem with a publisher(years ago I lost a major biographydue to mishandling of another publisher...)

However, I WILL NOT GIVE UP!!!

Little Red Barn
09-24-2011, 09:57 PM
hugs for the authors here.

have nothing to add ... at the moment and in this thread ... but the only way to get rid of these bottom feeder pubs, (we've all seen them; they scream, bully and belittle and point their finger to blame, to shift attention away from their own calculating misdeeds and mistakes, and don't send out statements and on and on) is by standing up and pointing the finger and educating others.

gianni pezzano
09-24-2011, 10:16 PM
Too right!

And if that phrase doesn't say I was born and raised in Australia nothing will...(!)

Bubastes
09-25-2011, 02:54 AM
Question: for authors whose books are being sold illegally, would it make sense to send DMCA takedown notices to third-party sites and to the host of the AMP site?

mscelina
09-25-2011, 03:47 AM
Absolutely, in my opinion. I know that if you provide the third party sites with documentation (ie--a contract that's obviously expired) or a web server with the same documentation, they'll err on the side of caution while the matter is being investigated. That's why keeping every piece of correspondence involving your publication process--from the publisher, office, editor, artists--is so important. I have kept every single email that was exchanged between myself and AMP, or between myself acting as an employee of AMP and any author or staff member I corresponded with. It's a PITA to dig through them to find something, but fortunately I have them to find. It's something I highly recommend for any author, not only to protect themselves from situations like this but also to document verbal agreements or (in my case) even hints about comma usage from my editor. Can't have too many of those comma splice emails. Ever.

mscelina
09-26-2011, 07:38 AM
After AMP's announcement at the end of last week that they would try to put some of the August releases up, no new books were released.

Also, after repeated attempts to contact AMP in regards to the portions of our contract with them that were breached, today we discovered that the domain/website of Aurora Regency that we purchased along with the book contract now has a splash page redirecting the reader to the Musa main page, leading us to assume that AMP intends to KEEP the domain and website and remain in violation of the terms of their contract to us.

Bubastes
09-26-2011, 03:56 PM
In other words, AMP (and not Musa) controls the Aurora Regency domain and website, correct? AMP actually believes redirecting people to the Musa site is enough to meet her contract terms with you? Unreal.

mscelina
09-26-2011, 04:44 PM
Correct. A domain and website, I might add, that was never paid for by AMP.

Bubastes
09-26-2011, 05:24 PM
Additional blog posts (including my own) mentioning the AMP debacle:

http://grace-wen.blogspot.com/2011/09/dont-buy-my-book-buy-my-friends-books.html

http://kimberlynee.blogspot.com/2011/09/well-hello-there.html

http://andy-onthefrizz.blogspot.com/2011/09/you-may-have-noticed-something.html

gianni pezzano
09-26-2011, 06:26 PM
I think the bes people who know the the pen is mightier than the sword(or the scales of Justice...) are we authors. Let's tell everybody the truth.

We don't need to embellish what we write about AMP is worse than anything we could have imagined. We siimply have to tell the truth...



Additional blog posts (including my own) mentioning the AMP debacle:

http://grace-wen.blogspot.com/2011/09/dont-buy-my-book-buy-my-friends-books.html

http://kimberlynee.blogspot.com/2011/09/well-hello-there.html

http://andy-onthefrizz.blogspot.com/2011/09/you-may-have-noticed-something.html

ajkjd01
09-26-2011, 06:45 PM
FWIW, I had a query outstanding with AMP, and just emailed to withdraw it from consideration.

Here's the withdrawal email I sent.


"I sent you a query on August 24, 2011. At this point, based on my on-going research on submissions, I do not believe that we would be a good match. I am writing you to withdraw my query from consideration. I hope to revisit this in the future, and hope we might be a better match on a future project.

Thank you for your time and consideration. "

signed.

Bubastes
09-26-2011, 10:04 PM
Writer Beware has a blog post on this:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/09/trouble-at-aspen-mountain-press.html

gianni pezzano
09-27-2011, 08:24 PM
The situation with Aspen Mountain Press should not go off the first page of this section.

Potential authors should be warned. Saying that we all hope that the situation can be resolved quickly, without pain and especially without havint to resort to a legal battle that could do no good except for the lawyers...

For those who are no up to date with the situation these links will do much to explain what is happening.

Originally Posted by Bubastes
Additional blog posts (including her own) mentioning the AMP debacle:

http://grace-wen.blogspot.com/2011/0...nds-books.html

http://kimberlynee.blogspot.com/2011...llo-there.html

http://andy-onthefrizz.blogspot.com/...something.html

gianni pezzano
09-27-2011, 08:25 PM
I also this blog from Writers Beware


http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/0...ain-press.html

Bubastes
09-28-2011, 06:22 PM
The Coming Soon page lists 16 books:

http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/coming-soon/cat_16.html

AMP has missed 7 release dates already (including an 8/8 release date) and will likely miss 2 more release dates (10/1 and 10/3). One book has a TBA release date. The remaining 5 books have October release dates. AMP will definitely miss one of those (mine, on 10/24) because the final editorial deadline is Monday and I haven't been contacted by an editor.

gianni pezzano
09-29-2011, 06:00 PM
All of us involved with this mess should work to keep the news in everyone's eyes. For this rreason I am writing this message to keep the line on the front page and to warn other authors, editors, etc, about Aspen Mountain Press until the matter has been resolved one way or the other...

mscelina
09-29-2011, 07:57 PM
AMP is now two months in arrears paying its staff, not counting the huge outstanding and unremitted pay to the senior staff for their work. Also, as best I can discover, only a few AMP authors were paid royalties this month. Since the last message on the AMP Authors loop, there has been no communication from the publisher at all. And AMP remains in breach of contract with Musa publishing; the domain and website we purchased remains in AMP's possession a full month past the execution of the contract.

Nya RAyne
09-30-2011, 04:48 AM
I've also finally opened up about my issues with AMP on my blog. Feel free to check it out by clicking the link.

veinglory
09-30-2011, 05:02 AM
The Coming Soon page lists 16 books:

One of those books is mine and on my request the contract was cancelled.

mscelina
09-30-2011, 07:26 AM
Your book is still up? Good grief. That was over two months ago, wasn't it?

Old Hack
10-01-2011, 01:29 PM
According to an AWer posting elsewhere on this site, Aspen Mountain Press has recently been advertising for proof readers (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6599440&postcount=10).

Fallen
10-02-2011, 12:04 AM
I feel really awful....

I was hunting around for volunteer proofing jobs about two/three months ago when the advert went up (must have been when everything started to kick off and they lost people). The same went for editor adverts. Had no idea what was happening until Old Hack pointed me over here today, guys. Sorry.

Last time I'd checked, Aspen was a pretty decent publishing company with positive reviews from here. It was certainly one I'd have loved to have gotten involved with.

I'm glad my nose got pulled in another direction.

They've kicked a lot of people in the gut over this by the look of things. I'd like to know how they rest at night. Even on the basic level of proof, I wouldn't be able to.

gianni pezzano
10-02-2011, 06:58 PM
As always, let's keep these messages on the first page so the news is always fresh.

The way things are going there may be developments in the near-medium future as some third party sites have begun removing book and possilbly also action being taken for authors to be paid royalties and/or the return of rights...

Terie
10-02-2011, 07:14 PM
As always, let's keep these messages on the first page so the news is always fresh.

Bumping a thread when there's not actually anything new to say is pretty pointless. If someone googles AMP or comes to AW and does a search, this thread will be found. In the meantime, there are many other publishers -- both good and bad -- to discuss. The point of AW isn't to have all the problem publishers perpetually on the first page.

gianni pezzano
10-02-2011, 08:04 PM
I accept your point.

mscelina
10-02-2011, 08:10 PM
The nice folks here in B&BC are really good about getting the news out to everyone about publishers in trouble, Gianni. We tracks publishers for YEARS here. The people who need to know, know--and when something new happens, they'll know that too.

Like this: yesterday, AMP sent Musa the authorization code for the transfer of domains--so apparently the owner IS watching some things on line. This thread at least. As of the moment, all the AMP staff has been unpaid for two months, only two authors have come forward as having been paid royalties in September, no authors have received royalty statements since June, and the arrearage in pay for the senior staff still continues to the tune of thousands of dollars.

But Musa DID get the Aurora Regency domain/website so there has been SOME action.

gianni pezzano
10-02-2011, 08:40 PM
Hi Celina, as I said to the previous point I understood and I have to admit loking at it once more I was a bit ungracious it was not my intention and hope she sees this to understand...

I just sent you a query at MUSA through the house email system. I don't expect a quick reply, take your time as tomorrow I start "polishing" part one. You'll understand...

Thanks again and I'll try not to be so "pushy"...(!)

cryaegm
10-03-2011, 05:11 AM
But Musa DID get the Aurora Regency domain/website so there has been SOME action.
YAY! I've been reading up on this and so glad to hear you guys finally got the domain/website. I still feel terrible for the authors of AMP along with the staff.

This is terrible to see happen. :/

triceretops
10-03-2011, 08:31 AM
I'm really distressed to see this. Wasn't Aspen Mountain up there with the big five best e-publishers at one time? Certainly were contenders, and they've always had a pretty good rep from here. Too bad.

Tri

Bubastes
10-04-2011, 09:08 PM
The Coming Soon page lists 16 books:

http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/coming-soon/cat_16.html

AMP has missed 7 release dates already (including an 8/8 release date) and will likely miss 2 more release dates (10/1 and 10/3). One book has a TBA release date. The remaining 5 books have October release dates. AMP will definitely miss one of those (mine, on 10/24) because the final editorial deadline is Monday and I haven't been contacted by an editor.

AMP blew 2 more release dates on the Coming Soon page, so they're up to 9 missed books (that we know of -- some books might not have even made it onto the Coming Soon page).

mscelina
10-04-2011, 10:21 PM
IT's more than 9 books. Every one of those release dates, I'd scheduled multiple books--sometimes as many as four.

Bubastes
10-05-2011, 05:02 AM
Fictionwise has removed all Aspen Mountain Press books from its site.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
10-05-2011, 07:10 AM
So did the Aura imprint ever get off the ground, and if so, is it safe at Musa too?

I was foolish enough to flog the Aura launch over at Boulder Writing Examiner without checking here and seeing mscelina's post about the AMP founder's leave of absence -- not that it was known yet then how bad it would get, but I hope I'd have at least been savvy enough to warn readers that bumps in the road had been experienced up to that point!

So. Posting a follow-up now, linking heavily to this thread and to the Writer Beware post, but am anxious to find out what became of the Aura imprint specifically.

Thank you for keeping us in the loop, Celina.

mscelina
10-05-2011, 08:47 PM
Nicole, we tried to purchase Aura as well, but the owner of AMP said no.

Aura's scheduled launch was October 1, with an additional multiple-book release scheduled for October 3. None of those books have come out. Aura books were scheduled to release every week in October.

mscelina
10-09-2011, 07:49 AM
Some interesting things have been happening with the AMP situation this week. Multiple authors served third party sites DMCA notices, which resulted in AMP books being booted from (I believe) all of AMP's online retailers. One author also served a DMCA notice to the AMP website's host, which resulted in the website being taken down.

Interestingly, however, the AMP website was back up and in operation within a few hours. After sending a notice to the authors about the "illegal takedown of the website," and about "some notices going out in email" the AMP website was updated, removing out of date banners, and also the book of the author who'd gotten the website taken down. AMP appears to be attempting to address some of the more patently obvious contract breaches.

However, AMP staff and employees have now gone two and one half months without being paid. For me, personally, that unpaid royalty amount (which includes quarterly payments from third party sites) runs well past a thousand dollars--not counting my percentages as head editor of the AR imprint (which sold under the AMP banner until September) or the managing editor of AMP. Only a few authors have received royalty payments--two that I'm aware of. I have only heard of one author having communication in the past few days. I personally have sent emails, texts and left voice mails--to no avail.

As best I can tell, AMP has the ability to get the website back online and to continue to sell books despite the multiple breaches of every author's contract at this point, but does not have the ability to answer correspondence, even to answer the phone, to remove out of contract books from the website and retailers, to distribute royalty statements, to pay their authors and staff, to publish the already edited and completed books waiting to be released, to edit and prepare their contracted books for publication, to respond to third party sites asking for confirmations, to keep their authors reasonably informed...in short, to do anything other than to put that website back up after an author had it removed for violation of copyright and breached contracts.

For me, this is personally devastating on multiple levels. I relied upon the royalties I earned at AMP for my personal finances. I also have a very real and personal connection with most AMP authors, and in particular with the scores of books I edited there. And in the process of all this mess, I have lost a very good friend and publishing mentor. Aside from B&BC and commenting on what's happening now, I haven't spoken out publicly about what happened at AMP. Unless I see some serious movement on the company's part to stand up and address the grievous injustices currently ongoing between AMP and their authors and staff, I might have to end my silence.

*shrug* Musa may fail spectacularly in the future. Who knows? My business model may just bankrupt us.

But a quick, clean death is infinitely preferable to holding over 400 books and 100 authors and staff hostage. I have now reached the point where I can no longer justify my continued silence about the situation or what led to this situation. I hope that AMP finds a way to right the ship. But at the moment, AMP has no staff--and with the old staff not getting paid no prospects for getting a new one--no third party retailers, no submissions, no releases, and, apparently, no desire to do the right thing.

It's a damn shame.

Dominique Eastwick
10-09-2011, 08:53 AM
I prefer to not speak in these forums, but I feel that my silence now looks to be showing support for AMP and its business practices. I am coming out of lurkdom to simply say, I stand behind what Celina has said. As one of the four Ex-Staff that left AMP in August, as well as an author, I am heart sick by what I am seeing happen to authors I loved to work with and a company I was once proud to promote.

It is well past time for AMP to let the authors go. Stop the nightmare and let the healing begin for all involved.

priceless1
10-09-2011, 06:25 PM
I've been watching this implosion and wonder what on earth is wrong with the owner? Is this ego or sheer insanity? I can't imagine the energy it must take to rip off that many authors and employees.

mscelina
10-09-2011, 08:54 PM
It's a bad situation all around. The owner of AMP has been a dear friend of mine for several years and I know she's not a bad person. She hasn't been sitting there trying to think of new ways to rip off her authors. I honestly think--thought--that she's just so overwhelmed that she didn't know where to start.

BUT--that opinion has changed a little this morning. Now threats are being issued to at least one author who's spoken out publicly about what they're going through. For some reason, apparently this whole nasty affair is now the AUTHOR'S fault. I'm seeing no remorse or feelings of responsibility from AMP--only silence, now broken by a terse "reap what you sow" kind of message.

I'm starting to get that blogging feeling.

priceless1
10-09-2011, 08:59 PM
Celina, I understand being overwhelmed. We all get that way at one time or another. But this is outright idiocy, and she needs to get a grip on her situation and do the right thing for her authors and herself.

mscelina
10-09-2011, 09:04 PM
I doubt that she's all that overwhelmed. She wasn't so overwhelmed that she couldn't get that website back up within a few hours of the takedown by the domain host. But she can't answer emails? Cut a few checks? Even correspond with her authors?

No. That whole *overwhelmed* card she's been playing doesn't add up anymore. As I said, I thought she was overwhelmed. But now, I can't think that this is anything other than deliberate.

Old Hack
10-09-2011, 09:06 PM
You're right, Lynn.

I've seen a few publishers get overwhelmed with things, and it never goes well if they deny that it's all too much for them, or if they go silent, or if they start lashing out at their authors.

The person in charge of AMP (I don't know her name, sorry) needs to revert rights, pay what she can, and clean up her publishing house. It will be painful: but it will also be cathartic.

I send good wishes to everyone involved in this horrible mess, and hope it gets resolved soon.

BenPanced
10-09-2011, 10:35 PM
She's not overwhelmed. She's outright ignoring us and playing the "i haz a depwessed" victim card. People fell for it in the beginning but with the current turn of events, they're getting fed up and starting to fight back. It's almost as if she's daring us to lawyer up.

mscelina
10-09-2011, 11:07 PM
I don't know if she's watching my blog or not--I KNOW she's watching this thread b/c of a couple of references that have been made to things that have been said--but I'm organizing my notes, correspondence, spreadsheets, chat transcripts and what have you now.

As I said, I've pretty much given up on a fair and swift resolution here. I have personally urged Sandra Hicks to release the authors' books and close up shop numerous times in the last six months. I have assured her that most of the writers would just be so happy to get their rights back that a lot of things could be forgiven. I have warned her that being non-communicative with her authors will have the worst possible ramifications. Hell, I've even offered to do the royalties myself and I don't even WORK there anymore. Nothing. Zip. Nada.

I don't believe that anything other than the HARD way is going to be AMP's ultimate path. I don't believe she has any intention of paying her authors and staff. I don't believe she is ever going to even acknowledge that a problem exists. So I'm organizing my information and breaking my silence on my blog. It's the only thing I can think of to do, and I don't think it'll be enough. But I won't be able to forgive myself if I don't try.

priceless1
10-10-2011, 12:44 AM
Well then, I suppose until she makes herself whole again, she's little more than a thief. Not an illustrious reputation to have...

Night2Dawn
10-10-2011, 02:27 AM
I'm one of the authors also, and I've kept silent because I own a small publishing company, and I'm trying to downplay the negative. There was a time when I looked up to his publisher and hoped I could learn from her.
I've gone months without royalty statements. I sent a certified letter requesting my rights back to Dark Side of the Moon, and sent emails to the AMP site. Like the other authors, my posts and letters were ignored. I felt bad for the woman because of her depression. But being able to put a site back up within an hour and posting about it tells me she's able.
In retrospect I have learned plenty from this woman. I've learned what NOT to do when publishing other people's work.
Barbara

Gravity
10-10-2011, 06:49 PM
This may be a dumb question, but has anybody filed a report with the police? With her noncommunication, she may be getting ready to run.

Birol
10-14-2011, 03:42 AM
Gravity, she has school-aged children and is separated from their father. If she runs, that would be an entirely different set of problems for her. So far, her responses have been reactive; running would be far more proactive and out-of-character with the actions she has (not) taken to date.

Soccer Mom
10-14-2011, 06:00 AM
Celina has a very brave post up on her blog where she details everything that went on. It's much worse than has been previously admitted. The owner was using author royalty money for personal expenses. I have seen the documentation. Her former staff hoped she would make things right but today she made it clear she has no intention of doing so. Those interested can read it all on the blog.

http://kaantira.blogspot.com/2011/10/breaking-my-silence-on-aspen-mountain.html

Stacia Kane
10-14-2011, 06:43 AM
Celina has a very brave post up on her blog where she details everything that went on. It's much worse than has been previously admitted. The owner was using author royalty money for personal expenses. I have seen the documentation. Her former staff hoped she would make things right but today she made it clear she has no intention of doing so. Those interested can read it all on the blog.

http://kaantira.blogspot.com/2011/10/breaking-my-silence-on-aspen-mountain.html



(Bolding mine.)

If there is indeed documented proof of that, then this is fraud and theft, and the police should be called immediately.

Seriously. These people who start these small presses and steal and hide need to be held accountable, and I really hope someone will do so. Call the District Attorney for your city or county; call around until you find someone who'll talk to you. I'm not sure if there will be some kind of Mail/Wire or Computer Fraud division or what, but find someone to speak to. If the AP owner is in a different state from you call the FBI in her area and speak to them. Don't give up.

Maybe if she has the police or the Feds at her door she'll decide rather than go to jail she'd rather just pay back the money and give everyone their rights back.

Either way, the authorities need to be notified. This isn't the time to be "nice."

priceless1
10-14-2011, 06:59 PM
Celina has a very brave post up on her blog where she details everything that went on.

http://kaantira.blogspot.com/2011/10/breaking-my-silence-on-aspen-mountain.html
Wow, what a rat's maze. I wonder if the web designer has control of the website with the web host. If so, he/she could simply take it down since he/she hasn't been paid. That would certainly get some instant attention from the owner.

amergina
10-14-2011, 07:02 PM
My heart goes out to all AMP authors. What a horrible situation.

The whole "same account for personal and business" bit has me going :eek: .

There's just so much that could (and looks like did) go wrong with that...

Sheryl Nantus
10-14-2011, 07:02 PM
Either way, the authorities need to be notified. This isn't the time to be "nice."

So true.

I see so many small presses pulling the "family" card when the going gets rough - oh, we're just like family, she treats me like a sister, we're all in this together...

This is business.

Call the cops.

ajkjd01
10-14-2011, 08:58 PM
mscelina-

I spoke to you at RT last year in Columbus. I don't know if you remember me, but I can absolutely tell you that I queried AMP based on my interaction with you.

Let me say, as someone with some background in law and law enforcement...you ABSOLUTELY need to be contacting the FBI. I'm assuming that employees and authors are in more than one state, and that all of the affected employees and authors are more than one state. Because this is crossing state lines, the FBI is the agency to contact. Hands down.

I understand not wanting to cause a former friend that kind of grief. On the other hand, this is no longer about being overwhelmed. It's no longer about empathy. And it's no longer about her daring people to "lawyer up". Right now, it's about fraud.

PM me if you want to chat about this.

Dani
10-14-2011, 10:41 PM
I absolutely agree with the above posters who are urging for law enforcement involvement. I think also lawyers should be getting involve at this point as well. I realize some of the authors and mscelina have somewhat of a heavy heart because this person was a friend/mentor/advisor etc, but this situation is unforgivable.

The authors caught up in this mess need some closure, their rights back and compensation. And if the last part isn't possible, the first two parts are vital.

My heart goes out to all of you, including the staff who have been burned by non-payment of wages. I don't know what I'd do about the electricity, phone, internet, child care, food, medical bills and student loans if my monthly paycheck wasn't here. I can only imagine what you're all going through.

Terribly sorry this happened to you all. I hope AMP thinks about your lives, your children, your financial situations. She/they would have to be heartless not to take care of her/their obligations.

Dani
10-14-2011, 11:21 PM
Actually I wanted to add something else, now that I've read mscelina's blog post. As someone who owns her own business and filed taxes recently for that business, you might also consider contacting the IRS about Ms. Hicks use of company funds for personal accounts.

It was a sticky business with me because I had done the same thing. Although, I don't have anyone I pay out to except myself. I'm not entirely sure, but I think you may be able to sue her individually, not just the company, because she used the business account for personal use. It might make small claims court a more viable option. The damage there are 5k max (though i'm sure that varies state-by-state and district-by-district).

This means that should the company go bankrupt, you might be able to recoup your losses by suing her. Something that wouldn't have been an option if she had kept the accounts separate. This is based on what my accountant had to say to me when she saw I had been mixing my accounts. The information could have been wrong. (but she's a smart cookie, so I doubt it)

PS: the cost in colorado (denver) to file a small claims case can be found here: http://www.denvergov.org/GeneralInformationandAnnouncements/FilingFeesSurchargesandCosts/tabid/430789/Default.aspx

It's about $55. I think that's worth it.

gianni pezzano
10-14-2011, 11:33 PM
Hi Dani,

thanks for the contribution, but this would not resolve the issues for authors such as myself who have a contract, the books have not been edited, we do not know when, nor if they will be.

At this stage we have no faith left and would simply like the rights returned to us to look for another publisher...

I sent my letter over a month ago(others have done so much sooner) and we have had no reply...

I definitely believe a group action would be best. Those owed money are more options, but civil action will probably take longer to resolve...

Gianni

Old Hack
10-14-2011, 11:36 PM
I've read Celina's blog post now and am horrified by how bad things have become at AMP.

Ms Hicks' behaviour does seem to me to be consistent with someone who is severely depressed. I don't think that depression would excuse her behaviour: but it would explain it, and so despite the awfulness of the situation I can't quite bring myself to condemn Ms Hicks just yet. If I'm right, and Ms Hicks is severely depressed, she simply won't be able to understand how badly she's been behaving, how unacceptable her actions have been, or how she could possibly put things right now.

I'm no doctor, so this is just my personal opinion. But my opinion has been informed by my having struggled with depression for most of my life, and by my having watched a very close and dear friend almost ruin his business and his marriage because of depression-led obsessions.

Don't underestimate how depression can transform someone. It's a terrible disease, which is dreadfully misunderstood. I know this doesn't make it any easier for anyone who has been affected by Ms Hicks' actions to cope without the money they're owed, or anything like that: but it might explain why things have got as bad as they have, and it might explain why Ms Hicks' behaviour has been so erratic and extreme.

Dani
10-14-2011, 11:45 PM
Hi Dani,

thanks for the contribution, but this would not resolve the issues for authors such as myself who have a contract, the books have not been edited, we do not know when, nor if they will be.

At this stage we have no faith left and would simply like the rights returned to us to look for another publisher...

I sent my letter over a month ago(others have done so much sooner) and we have had no reply...

I definitely believe a group action would be best. Those owed money are more options, but civil action will probably take longer to resolve...

Gianni

I agree about the group action for authors, but my small claims advice was more for the reclamation of funds for the staff whose wages were unpaid. In their case they have a definitive amount of damages which they can prove.

I don't know about the authors and what remedy they can take other than civil suit. Does anyone know if winning a small claims case - even if monetary amounts are negligible also prove breach of contract? If you even win a penny in court, does that not null the contract which reverts rights to the author/s? (I'm speculating)

Truth is that if she's missing deadlines and cannot work, my guess is she will miss court dates and such and thereby grant the plaintiff judgement by default.

@OldHack I know depression is debhilitating and it destroys lives and business etc, but in this case, when Miss Hicks can manage to cash checks and spend money from her business account, I think we can probably say that she's not too deeply depressed to be non-functioning.

gianni pezzano
10-14-2011, 11:52 PM
In many ways AMP is in breach of contract with ALL the authors. However, the contracts do give protection in both directions and we have to follow the contract which allow for termination in case of breaches by the publisher.

We cannot approach other publishers until we have done this. I do not complain about this as not doing things probably cuold lead to problems not only for the authors, but also for the new publisher.

For those who think we should just go ahead and "do our own thing", if we do not observe/conform with the contract how can we complain if someone else does so?

I also think your right about Ms Hicks. Her depression no doubt exists, but from her behaviour it seems to be very, very selective...

gianni pezzano
10-15-2011, 12:00 AM
"For those who think we should just go ahead and "do our own thing", if we do not observe/conform with the contract how can we complain if someone else does so?"

Badly worded and not quite what I wanted to say. Contracts should be respected by both sides. If we ourselves do not respect the contract is no reason we ourselves should not.

In the long run the consequences fall on those who break not on those who respect them...

Fallen
10-15-2011, 12:01 AM
Celina has a very brave post up on her blog where she details everything that went on. It's much worse than has been previously admitted. The owner was using author royalty money for personal expenses. I have seen the documentation. Her former staff hoped she would make things right but today she made it clear she has no intention of doing so. Those interested can read it all on the blog.

http://kaantira.blogspot.com/2011/10/breaking-my-silence-on-aspen-mountain.html

Jesus... that, what she's done, it's heartbreaking. I feel for the ex-staff, the authors, but also for AMP itself. You can see it taking its last few breaths, but she won't stop beating it and allow the dignity it deserves....

I only hope all authors get back their rights.

Dani
10-15-2011, 12:03 AM
For those who think we should just go ahead and "do our own thing", if we do not observe/conform with the contract how can we complain if someone else does so?



I'm not sure anyone feels you should go ahead and do your own thing. I think all of us just are heartbroken for the authors with AMP whose intellectual property has been stolen and whose trust has been abused.

I wish I had a magic answer for you all. Or even that I had gone to law school to offer up some advice. It's just sickening that this could happen.

<3 to you all.

gianni pezzano
10-15-2011, 12:07 AM
Unfortunately worse still when you're on this side...(!)

From my discussions with other authors we've all suffered and I can say I'm not an exception...

Jersey Chick
10-15-2011, 12:10 AM
I just finished reading Celina's blog post and I'm in shock over just how bad it is over there. "Mess" doesn't even begin to describe it. Unreal.

Old Hack
10-15-2011, 12:11 AM
@OldHack I know depression is debhilitating and it destroys lives and business etc, but in this case, when Miss Hicks can manage to cash checks and spend money from her business account, I think we can probably say that she's not too deeply depressed to be non-functioning.

Depression doesn't stop someone functioning: it stops them from functioning properly.

When I've been really ill, I've been perfectly able to do some things without any difference at all: but other things have been completely beyond me.

It was usually the things I felt the most anxious about that paralysed me. So, cashing a cheque could be a good thing, not scary, not anxious, and so possible; answering an email when I know I should have answered it the week before? Impossible. No matter how much I know I have to do it.

As I said earlier, I'm not trying to excuse Ms Hicks' behaviour. But I don't see much understanding here about how hugely incapacitating depression can be, and I wanted to try to address the balance. Your response is a perfect example of how people just don't get what depression is: I hope I've helped clarify that for you now.

mscelina
10-15-2011, 12:14 AM
There are two things I want out of all of this--for the authors to get their publication rights back and for the unpaid staff to get their pay. That's it. I have tried every available avenue open to me to bring this mess to a cordial, amicable conclusion. I failed--not because of anything I did, but because the owner did not believe that the situation was serious, that the authors had legitimate complaints, and that none of the contracts were actually breached.

Well--and a third thing too. I want Ms. Hicks to get the help she needs so she can recover from the series of things that have knocked her down. Am I still angry about what's happened at AMP? You betcha. I always used my royalties to pay for my house. We've had to scramble to survive. But Ms. Hicks was once my dear friend and my mentor. It took me a long time to realize that you can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved. And to me, that's tragic.

firedrake
10-15-2011, 12:17 AM
Depression doesn't stop someone functioning: it stops them from functioning properly.

When I've been really ill, I've been perfectly able to do some things without any difference at all: but other things have been completely beyond me.

It was usually the things I felt the most anxious about that paralysed me. So, cashing a cheque could be a good thing, not scary, not anxious, and so possible; answering an email when I know I should have answered it the week before? Impossible. No matter how much I know I have to do it.

As I said earlier, I'm not trying to excuse Ms Hicks' behaviour. But I don't see much understanding here about how hugely incapacitating depression can be, and I wanted to try to address the balance. Your response is a perfect example of how people just don't get what depression is: I hope I've helped clarify that for you now.

This. Depression can just freeze you. You know that things are going tits-up around you and you know what needs to be done to put things right, but you just....can't.

Ms.Hicks' behaviour doesn't strike me as being the deliberate behaviour of a criminal, more like a person who is in a mess and can't find a way out.

Having said this, I've been following this thread, and I really feel for all caught up in this disaster. I hope it gets sorted one way or another.

Dani
10-15-2011, 12:23 AM
Your response is a perfect example of how people just don't get what depression is: I hope I've helped clarify that for you now.

On the contrary, I do know exactly what depression is and how it can affect someone. I lost my mediation business in 1998 because of depression. I left bills unpaid, clients not contacted, lease agreements lapse and checks uncashed.

I would not have been able to negotiate a deal at ALL back then, let alone work a deal out where I could manage to refuse a sale of a failing company and keep the rights of individual contracts. My sanity at the time wouldn't have allowed decisions beyond "OMG SOMEONE IS OFFERING ME MONEY, I CAN TAKE IT AND RUN." In my situation, someone could have offered me 1/10th of the value of my company and I would have taken it because it would have seemed an answer to my prayers. I probably would have been in worse straights but I wouldn't have been able to see beyond that 'godsend'.

I think it's valiant of you to defend someone with depression, but in this case I believe you're wrong.

If you read the blog post you can see the very rational choices she is making in regards to selling her company. Indeed, you can see just how shrewd she is to retain the contracts. In this way she has the leverage to sell to another publisher the contracts in question.

She may be burying her head in the sand, which is typical of depression, oldhack, but she is selectively doing so. This tells me she has at least some common sense with regards to the situation.

Btw, she also states she is seeking treatment. This is a red flag for me that she is not under the full duress of depression. She has the wherewithal to make correct decisions. She's choosing not to.

This is, of course, my personal opinion. I could be wrong. I often am. But it is what I believe.

Unimportant
10-15-2011, 01:00 AM
Dani, I don't think everyone with depression has the exact same problems/inabilities. It affects each person individually. Some sleep excessively; others get insomnia. Some cry; others turn to stone. Some have a friend or partner who recognise what is going on and can convince/force them to get treatment; others don't. Some have chronic lifetime depression; others have episodic depression.

Your experience with depression is valid for you, of course, but it doesn't necessarily equate to what every other person with depression would experience.

Old Hack
10-15-2011, 01:12 AM
I don't want to turn this thread into a discussion about depression and Ms Hicks' mental health, so after this post I'll drop it: but I wanted to say a couple of important things first.


On the contrary, I do know exactly what depression is and how it can affect someone. I lost my mediation business in 1998 because of depression. I left bills unpaid, clients not contacted, lease agreements lapse and checks uncashed.

First up, I'm really sorry to hear that you've had problems with depression. It's a horrible illness, and very difficult to cope with.


I would not have been able to negotiate a deal at ALL back then, let alone work a deal out where I could manage to refuse a sale of a failing company and keep the rights of individual contracts. My sanity at the time wouldn't have allowed decisions beyond "OMG SOMEONE IS OFFERING ME MONEY, I CAN TAKE IT AND RUN." In my situation, someone could have offered me 1/10th of the value of my company and I would have taken it because it would have seemed an answer to my prayers.

That's how depression hit you: but when it hit my friend, he became obsessive about money. He didn't leave a single cheque uncashed; he juggled his bank accounts around like nobody's business, and made a lot of money doing so. What he didn't manage to do was bring money into the business because he was so focussed on money that he overpriced every job he was asked to do, and squeezed his suppliers so hard that they refused to do business with him. He exaggerated the cost of everything in his favour. I was reminded of him when I read how Ms Hicks had demanded $250,000 for her company. That seemed completely disproportionate to me, as did other aspects of her behaviour.

Depression affects everyone differently. The only constant is that people tend to be erratic and irrational when in its grip. Unless we're there, we can't judge: but having done a lot of reading between the lines in Celina's blog, I can see a lot of paralells between Ms Hicks' behaviour and that of other people I know have been depressed. That's all.

Al Stevens
10-15-2011, 05:21 AM
I think trying to legally recover what's owed can get into the blood and turnip situation. Your former friend is not meeting her obligations because she is broke. No matter how she got that way, she did.

As difficult as this might seem, I think the best thing for you to do, for your own well-being, is to cut your losses, back away from the good fight and dedicate your attention to Musa, which shows so much promise.

A crusade like the one against AMP can become a psychic energy sink. It can suck all the life out of you. You can spend all your waking hours dwelling on it. And stress is a killer.

Certainly, you can offer advice and moral support to those whose titles are being held in limbo. But I wouldn't go beyond the call of duty to try and fix it. The wall has been hit.

My 1/5 of a dime's worth of objectivity. Got no dog in this fight. Toss it if it doesn't work. Let me know if you need a shoulder.

Nightmelody
10-15-2011, 06:35 AM
Having suffered with clinical depression in the past I was willing to let things ride for awhile at AMP. Two of my books there are in the Del Fantasma(publisher generated) series, so would take extensive rewriting to resub anywhere else and my writing plate is full right now with other projects. Also, my early days there were so nice, checks and statements every month, decent sales...I hoped it would turn about. Then I hoped she'd sell to Musa or another epublisher...now it looks like the grinding down of yet another epub.

I swear(well, whine), I will never get a real backlist. As soon as I get one, the epub explodes and I'm left to start all over.

Bubastes
10-15-2011, 06:28 PM
I have a new blog post up about AMP: http://grace-wen.blogspot.com/2011/10/aspen-mountain-press-continuing-train.html

gianni pezzano
10-15-2011, 06:47 PM
I would put this as a separate post, however, I still can't do a new post and I don't want to annoy the moderators with one liners to reach the 50. In any case I don't think I have mush to go.

One of the lessons in the AMP mess is the situation regarding the authors' rights and their return in case of such a situation. This is not the first timesuch a thing had happened and I don't think it will be the last (unfortunately).

I'm just wondering if there could be a central registry of somesort for authors' rights, similar to what now happens to copyright. Any request for return of rights due to breach fo contract, etc, will then need to be done by a separate, independant third party. This would also avoid possible (and expensive) legal action in case of dispute...

The situation would not be easy to start off, but I think in the long term such a registry could avoid situations such as the one at AMP where the owner refuses to even open lteers, etc, let alone answer them or comply with the request.

I wonder what everyone thinks of this....

CaoPaux
10-15-2011, 06:54 PM
The 50-post rule for starting new threads only applies to the Share Your Work forums. If you'd like to start a new thread re: a registry for publishing rights (?), I suggest the Roundtable.

gianni pezzano
10-15-2011, 06:57 PM
Thank you, my mistake. I'll do that now

priceless1
10-15-2011, 07:21 PM
Hackie, you always were a much nicer person than I, so I give you great kudos for your charitable thoughts re Sandra Hicks. I see so many authors with heartbreaking stories when I talk to them at writer's conferences, so it's more difficult to empathize with her situation.

Facts are she has clearly breached her contracts over and over again and has steadfastly refused to entertain releasing her authors, and they're suffering mightily. Their situation is much easier to appreciate than Sandra's.

The question remains, what options are open to authors? Contacting the FBI is a choice, but not a realistic one. They're overworked and understaffed as is. There aren't enough "victims" for them to pick up the baton and run with it.

That leaves legal means. For US authors, the most logical avenue would be Small Claims. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know if you can file in your home state or you have to file in the state where AMP is, but it's worth finding out because it's not expensive to file. She doesn't have a contractual leg to stand on, so she'll either not show up, in which case the author wins, or she shows up and loses. Either way, the author wins.

The question authors need to ask is how much their books mean to them and whether it's worth the time, energy, and expense of traveling out of state (if you have to file in AMP's state). Is there anything in the contract that stipulates mediation in case of a dispute?

Al Stevens
10-15-2011, 08:30 PM
I don't know whether small claims court can impose a reversion of rights, which is what authors would want. Somebody ought to talk to a lawyer.

Bubastes
10-15-2011, 08:34 PM
For me, it's too early to bring legal action. The contract requires the author to send a certified letter notifying AMP of the breach. AMP then has 90 days to cure the breach. If AMP fails to cure the breach, the contract terminates. Of course, termination of the contract doesn't mean AMP will actually take down books, as evidenced by its continuing sale of out-of-contract books.

I still have a good chunk of my 90 days left, but I'm using the time to research my next options. Unfortunately, I don't trust AMP to send me a rights reversion letter even though the contract requires them to do so, but I hope publishers will accept my other documentation instead.

priceless1
10-15-2011, 08:47 PM
I don't know whether small claims court can impose a reversion of rights, which is what authors would want. Somebody ought to talk to a lawyer.
One would have to check the claims in their states, but in CA, it says:

In California, the maximum a plaintiff can recover through the small claims process is $7,500. The limit for suits involving a surety company or guarantor is $4,000; if the guarantor does not charge for the guarantee, the limit is $2,500. The limit for a claim brought by a corporation or LLC is $5,000. The statute of limitations is 4 years for issues involving written contracts, 2 years for issues involving oral contracts, 2 years for personal injury issues, and 3 years for cases involving property damage. An attorney is not allowed unless he or she happens to be the plaintiff or the defendant.

It's a simple matter of the aggrieved party presenting the contract as proof that it has been nullified by the merits of non-payment or not publishing a book within the stated parameters (if she included a deadline, that is). The long and short is that authors have a lot of proof of contractual malfeasance, so why not see if it can be argued out in Small Claims.

Haggis
10-15-2011, 09:04 PM
Ms.Hicks' behaviour doesn't strike me as being the deliberate behaviour of a criminal, more like a person who is in a mess and can't find a way out.


Everyone who never received the two signed pages of the publishing contract back from Ms. Hicks, please raise your hands.

Okay, I don't know how many that is exactly, but I know I never got them back and many others have said the same thing. This is deliberate. I'm not in a position to judge if it's criminal behavior, but it seems clear Ms. Hicks had no intention of returning those documents. Perhaps she had some reason other than that she already knew she had no intention of honoring the contract. But for the life of me I can't imagine what that might be.

mscelina
10-15-2011, 09:42 PM
The problem with AMP's owner originates with her belief that the 90 day clause to address breach of contracts saves her from any kind of consequences and gives her the ability to SOLELY determine what constitutes a breach and what doesn't. She is most definitely not a lawyer--and clearly does not understand the ramifications of her own contract. Ignoring the correspondence with notification of breach does not mean that AMP is innocent of the breaches of contract.

I, at least, have spoken with several lawyers regarding the situation at AMP. The advice is always the same--follow the directions in the AMP contract and start the ninety day countdown. At the end of ninety days, then AMP is in violation of copyright.

priceless1
10-15-2011, 09:48 PM
Celina, does the lawyer say anything about small claims court? It's the cheapest way for authors to get some closure to this nightmare.

gianni pezzano
10-15-2011, 09:51 PM
It could be, but the authors would have to show how much money they are owed and back that up. This owuld be difficult for them to do individually...

It would NOT resolve the issue for those authors who simply want their rights back. I'm one of them...

Soccer Mom
10-15-2011, 09:58 PM
Celina, does the lawyer say anything about small claims court? It's the cheapest way for authors to get some closure to this nightmare.

Per the terms of AMP's contract, all lawsuits must be filed in Colorado, the state where AMP operates. Here is a link to the Colorado Bar's Self-Help (http://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/Local_Small_Claims.cfm)page for small claims. Here is a how-to file small claims booklet (http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/File/Media/Brochures/smallclaimsweb.pdf)put out by the Denver Bar to assist folks in filing.

mscelina
10-15-2011, 10:00 PM
As I said in the follow up blog post to the big one yesterday, most of the authors just want their rights back. To be honest, the majority of the trapped authors either had small by steady royalties OR were the authors I contracted after the senior staff took over to fill gaps in the release schedule and to launch the speculative fiction imprint. That last set of authors isn't owed a PENNY by AMP so it makes absolutely no sense to me why the owner isn't releasing them at least. She hasn't released a book since the week after we resigned from AMP.

So for those authors, small claims court would do no good.

Interestingly enough, the authors who were making big or good royalties at AMP were usually the ones that she paid on time and sent a royalty statement to. That was something we noticed in her habits; she kept the big names happy and let the less known ones slide.

The authors and books that are trapped at AMP are, to my way of thinking, a far worse situation than the royalties owed until the last three months. Once we left, and the owner didn't pay the third party quarterly royalties in addition to the AMP website royalties and the monthly-paid Amazon royalties is when the financial duress really kicked in company-wide.

But those royalty breaches are on the 90 day countdown. The authors with problems with royalties BEFORE then have been victimized by the owner's deliberate lack of knowledge of her own contract. It's like she thinks if she ignores them, everything is just going to go away.

And then if the money is really gone, spent for personal expenses, and she declares bankruptcy for herself and the business, then those authors are really screwed. Not only will their royalties then be tied up with the bankruptcy trust, but their book rights will be too.

Soccer Mom
10-15-2011, 10:02 PM
It could be, but the authors would have to show how much money they are owed and back that up. This owuld be difficult for them to do individually...

It would NOT resolve the issue for those authors who simply want their rights back. I'm one of them...

Actually, small claims can also be for the return of property, which is what these authors are seeking. You can also sue in small claims to perform a contract, set one aside, or comply with restrictive covenenats.