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Accomplice Press, LLC

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Momento Mori

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accomplicepress:
If a bunch of people were tearing down something you have spent the past year and a half putting every bit of your work and heart into, only to see it close due to life circumstances, you would probably get a bit defensive too.

Grow up.

No one here was tearing you down - commenters here were pointing out potential issues with your company - not least of which suggesting that people not get optimistic as to longevity. And as it turns out, those comments were right.

The fact that your company is not strong enough to cope with the "life circumstances" of the founders is typical of many start-up publishers run by people who lack publishing experience. They're under capitalised and poorly resourced and when they go down, they take the first publishing rights of manuscripts with it.

Those people "tearing down" your company were commenting in September 2009 - i.e. right back when your company was just starting up. Ironically, it was you who decided to reactivate the thread by complaining about comments over a year old and in doing so, brought more people's attention on your company.

You started commenting here yesterday to defend a company that by your own admission was shutting down anyway. That means you don't get to blame other people for your business failure.

MM
 

Old Hack

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OF COURSE ALL RIGHTS REVERT TO THE AUTHORS AND ALL OUTSTANDING ROYALTIES ARE PAID!... We are not a scam and never were! If ANY of you had ever taken the time to email us or talk to us, or to any of our authors you would know that. Our contracted authors know why we are closing and not one of them has any complaints about us.

I'm really sorry that you're having to close down: that must be very upsetting for you, and it is never easy bringing a business to a close.

But please: before you shut your doors for good, write to every single one of the writers you've signed up and let them know that you've returned their rights to them with immediate effect. Even if it states in their contracts that this will happen if you close, they'll still need that letter if they have any chance of getting a second contract for their book, and I'm sure that you wouldn't want to spoil their future chances by omitting this important step.
 

Momento Mori

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Mr. Anonymous
Questioning whether rights will be returned and outstanding royalties paid (while understandable given the circumstances) is also essentially asking whether the publisher intends to cheat his writers out of their rights and fair due, which is probably why accomplice press took offense.

Actually, it's a question that's asked because too many publishers close their doors, pack up shop and leave their authors in limbo. Therefore, it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask and one that any responsible publisher should be capable of answering without the use of the capslock key.

Honestly, I'd have had more sympathy with Accomplice Press if they had started off on this thread by saying that they were having to close down, instead of attacking a year old comment over the word "recruitment". In fact, reading Accomplice's first post here, I'd have had no reason to think that the company wasn't still planning on trading and accepting submissions - specifically because of this comment:

Beyond those points, we realize we are not for everyone. We encourage anyone who is thinking about submitting to us to read through everything on our website thoroughly and to research us.

MM
 

BenPanced

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Questioning whether rights will be returned and outstanding royalties paid (while understandable given the circumstances) is also essentially asking whether the publisher intends to cheat his writers out of their rights and fair due, which is probably why accomplice press took offense (and scams, by definition, cheat people, soooooo...) I'm sorry to hear you're closing. Best of luck to you.
No, those are reasonable questions anybody here would ask even Random House or any of the other Big Boys.
 

accomplicepress

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I blame NO ONE for my business failure. And your right, my company was not strong enough to withstand both of my parents getting gravely ill within days of each other. And this is just another start up failure to you, but this is what I have worked on and dreamed about my entire life. So very sorry if I am defensive when it seems like people are implying I intend to cheat the people I work with. I have never been anything other than professional when it comes to working for the best for our authors, and for people who have no idea of that to imply other wise makes me upset. But its done, its over. So go have your little laugh that another little start up failed. But remember when you are talking to the next little start up, that there are real people with real dreams behind them.
 

accomplicepress

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But please: before you shut your doors for good, write to every single one of the writers you've signed up and let them know that you've returned their rights to them with immediate effect. Even if it states in their contracts that this will happen if you close, they'll still need that letter if they have any chance of getting a second contract for their book, and I'm sure that you wouldn't want to spoil their future chances by omitting this important step.

This was done before any public announcements were made. Not only that but I am doing my best to assist them in finding other publishers who fit their individual needs. And thank you for your empathy.
 

brainstorm77

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Yes that is a fact. This is another start up failure. That's just the brutal reality of it all.

You are making assumptions. People asked questions, but not one person said you were out to cheat anyone.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with everything.
 
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Old Hack

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I don't think anyone here was suggesting that you were out to cheat people, Accomplice. But we've seen so many start-up presses here which have, for one reason or another, ended just as your press has, that we recognise how risky it can be for a writer to sign with a start-up press. Especially one run by people with little or no experience in publishing.
 

accomplicepress

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Actually, it's a question that's asked because too many publishers close their doors, pack up shop and leave their authors in limbo. Therefore, it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask and one that any responsible publisher should be capable of answering without the use of the capslock key.

Honestly, I'd have had more sympathy with Accomplice Press if they had started off on this thread by saying that they were having to close down, instead of attacking a year old comment over the word "recruitment". In fact, reading Accomplice's first post here, I'd have had no reason to think that the company wasn't still planning on trading and accepting submissions - specifically because of this comment:



MM

This thread was found by a staff member who then signed up to try to do some damage control and explain what we are about. The official company announcement of us closing was not done until today when I took over all accounts to go in and close them out (after each author had been consulted with on a one-on-one basis). So, for yesterdays posts...as far as that staff member knew, we were going forward.

And that is all.
 

Momento Mori

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accomplicepress:
And your right, my company was not strong enough to withstand both of my parents getting gravely ill within days of each other. And this is just another start up failure to you, but this is what I have worked on and dreamed about my entire life.

The personal circumstances may be different for each one, but I've seen this same story time and time and time again. Someone who's always thought of running a publisher one day decides to do so, despite having absolutely no previous experience of publishing. They open their doors to general submissions. Some authors decide to take a chance on them. Within a year to 2 years they've gone down the pan.

If your company had been better capitalised and better staffed, then you could have handed over the reins to take care of your parents. The fact that you're shutting up shop suggests you were only ever a one-person operation and the chances of such an outfit ever working are slim to none.

accomplicepress:
So very sorry if I am defensive when it seems like people are implying I intend to cheat the people I work with.

Nobody's said that. Your repeated attempt to assert that people have does not change that.

accomplicepress:
So go have your little laugh that another little start up failed.

Oh believe me, I'm not laughing. I've seen this happen so many times that there's nothing to laugh over.

accomplicepress:
But remember when you are talking to the next little start up, that there are real people with real dreams behind them.

Yeah. I'll also remember those authors whose dreams have also gone down the pan as they realise that the book they probably spent a few years writing has little to no chance of ever getting republished by a reputable company and only managed to sell at best a hundred or so copies.

My point is that it's not just your dreams here. It's the dreams of the authors who go down with you.

MM
 

Momento Mori

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accomplicepress:
This thread was found by a staff member who then signed up to try to do some damage control and explain what we are about. The official company announcement of us closing was not done until today when I took over all accounts to go in and close them out (after each author had been consulted with on a one-on-one basis). So, for yesterdays posts...as far as that staff member knew, we were going forward.

How classy of you to allow a member of staff to make posts when you already knew you were going down the tubes. And how classy of you to blame an anonymous staff member too.

MM
 

Mr. Anonymous

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Momento and Ben, all due respect, no snarkiness intended, but please see the part of my post where I said specifically to preempt your comments, (while understandable given the circumstances.)

I do not blame you for asking the question. It is reasonable. However, don't delude yourself. You are essentially asking the publisher if he's going to cheat his writers (to argue against this would be to argue that not reverting rights and paying outstanding royalties in the case of a closure would not be cheating writers.)

As such, accomplice press's caps lock defense did not take me by surprise. And all this righteous fury and moral indignation over a few uppercase letters strung together seems a little much to me, but well, maybe that's just me.

Honestly, I'd have had more sympathy with Accomplice Press if they had started off on this thread by saying that they were having to close down, instead of attacking a year old comment over the word "recruitment".

He explains what happened, so I'll just add given the context of this thread, his defensiveness makes all the more sense. The first thing he was exposed to was someone accusing him (with no evidence) of a business practice that no legitimate publisher would be caught dead doing.
 
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accomplicepress

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How classy of you to allow a member of staff to make posts when you already knew you were going down the tubes. And how classy of you to blame an anonymous staff member too.

MM

Wow, can't win with you. You know what, it doesn't matter any more. If any of our authors come around posting bad stuff we did to them, fine, then you can say "see I told you so". But since I am 100% confident that won't happen, I'm not worried about how classy you think I'm not.

Good luck to you all.
 

Momento Mori

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Mr. Anonymous:
However, don't delude yourself. You are essentially asking the publisher if he's going to cheat his writers (to argue against this would be to argue that not reverting rights and paying outstanding royalties in the case of a closure would not be cheating writers.)

Mr. Anonymous, don't delude yourself that you know the intent behind questions that I raise. That may be what you read into the question, it may be what you'd be insinuating if you were asking the question, but it was not mine.

Mr. Anonymous:
It is quite possible they had not, at that point, yet come to that decision. A recent post suggests as much. And given the context of this thread, his defensiveness makes all the more sense. The first thing he was exposed to was someone accusing him (with no evidence) of business practice that no legitimate publisher would be caught dead doing.

Except that they apparently were heading in that direction but hadn't bothered telling their staff until today and no one was actually accusing them of shady business practices - one person said that the publisher had tried to "recruit" them without going into specifics as to what that meant.

Businesses don't just close overnight. This was obviously in the pipework for a while.

MM
 

Momento Mori

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accomplicepress:
Wow, can't win with you. You know what, it doesn't matter any more. If any of our authors come around posting bad stuff we did to them, fine, then you can say "see I told you so". But since I am 100% confident that won't happen, I'm not worried about how classy you think I'm not.

Whatever, dude.

MM
 

veinglory

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Closing before any significant sales are made, and burning first rights, is 'bad stuff' and has just obviously happened to all of your authors. I am sorry you are having a bad time, but when in a hole, stop digging.
 

Mr. Anonymous

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Let's just let it go, shall we? Unfortunately, accomplice press is closing, and according to him, rights will be reverted and outstanding royalties will be paid. With that established, there's really nothing more to discuss, aside from the semantics of the word "cheat" and whether the publisher knew how he was going to react to the illness of his parents.
 

Stacia Kane

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Accomplice Press, I sincerely hope your parents' health improves, and I'm sorry to hear they're not well and that you're having to shut down to help them.


Here's the thing. When MM mentions that you're a start-up without the capital and/or experience to keep going because you have a family issue, she's not insulting you. That's not a put-down. It's a statement of fact. I know that to you, this was your dream, and you're being personally hurt by it. But to us, although we recognize it must be hard for you, and we recognize how hard it must be for your authors, this is just another story like hundreds of others, of people who did exactly what you did: started an epublisher, and had to shut it down.

Our concern here is and always has been your authors, who have now lost first rights on their books forever, which makes those books much less valuable in the market. That's nothing to do with you personally. It's why we do not recommend writers submit to start-up houses like yours. Period.

This isn't personal. Please stop thinking of it as being so. We don't know you; we don't even know your name. We just know that yet another startup epublisher has closed, whatever the circumstances. We know that lots of startup houses run by people who--like yourself--have no prior publishing experience aren't aware that they have to send the authors a formal letter reverting rights, and that's why we asked.

We're sorry about your dream. To be perfectly honest, the reason why these threads are here is to prevent dreams from being crushed, as the dreams of all of your authors have now been.

Please do take care, and again, I sincerely hope your situation improves.
 

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So go have your little laugh that another little start up failed. But remember when you are talking to the next little start up, that there are real people with real dreams behind them.
Believe me, no one is laughing. It's upsetting when a publisher fails because the authors are so gravely impacted.

I think it goes without saying that publishers have dreams fueling their business - it's what keeps our internal fires burning during the rough patches. Please don't make this about you - your personal dreams are of no consequence to authors because these are thepeople who believed you had a viable company who could get the job done.

If you keep your focus on the business end and put your personal feelings aside, maybe it'll be easier to not take offense at these posts.
 

Marian Perera

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But remember when you are talking to the next little start up, that there are real people with real dreams behind them.

And remember that if you're trying to sign up writers again without having enough experience, qualified personnel or startup capital, those writers are also real people with real dreams behind them. When amateur publishers go down, they can take other people's dreams - and rights, and money - with them.

That's why we look out for writers here.
 

IceCreamEmpress

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Mr. Anonymous, it is not unusual for publishers to close shop unexpectedly without doing the proper paperwork around rights reversions. I can think of six instances off the top of my head where people I know personally were affected by that issue--and in all but one of those instances, I would swear on a stack of Bibles that the closed publisher had all the good intentions in the world, but just hadn't thought through the ramifications of either opening or closing a publishing imprint.

So we're saying is the equivalent of "Hey, you've got seatbelts and airbags in that car of yours, right?" because we've seen lots of cases where appropriate steps weren't taken. What you're saying is that we're saying "Hey, you're putting your authors at risk on purpose" when that isn't the implication at all--publishers, especially one-person small publishers, do this without any malicious intent all the time.

I'm glad Accomplice Press has a commitment to dissolving its relationships with authors appropriately, and I wish them the best in closing up shop as easily and effectively as possible.
 

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