• Guest please check The Index before starting a thread.

Aspen Mountain Press

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

priceless1

Banned
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
1,622
Reaction score
445
Location
Somewhere between sanity and barking mad
Website
www.behlerpublications.com
There is no personality clash, perceived or otherwise
If there weren't, you and Celina would have chosen your comments to me with a bit more care and respect...as I have done to you. This thread is about educating authors to the realities of publishing, so let's try to keep the discussion on track and avoid sinking this to a new low between a long-standing AW member who has a solid track record with always putting authors first.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,690
Reaction score
2,863
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
Perhaps you would care to point out where I disrespected you rather than just disagreed with you. I certainly never suggested a personal motive, nor do I believe there is one, on either side.

We just have different perspectives. That's allowed.
 
Last edited:

CaoPaux

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
13,737
Reaction score
1,585
Location
Coastal Desert
*ahem*

Whether it be personality clash or taking business issues personally, AMP authors have been informed of the difficulties they may face taking their books elsewhere without a formal letter of reversion. Next issue, please.
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
5,351
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
The best advice for any author who's been tied up with AMP is to forget about the turmoil and nastiness of that situation. Put it behind you. Focus on your next project, your next book, your next publisher--and that advice works for a writer with ten books there or one.

The main lesson anyone can take away from this debacle is practical knowledge--research your publisher in advance, understand the contracts you sign, be your own advocate. No one could have predicted what happened at AMP, so it's not like there's any blame to be assigned to the authors and staff. But at this point, chalk up what happened there as cold, hard, practical experience that will better your opportunities in the future because you will know what to look for. In a writer's life journey, the most important book is always the one you write NEXT. Every author has a trunk where unfortunate manuscripts go to die. There's nothing to be ashamed of with that. And regardless of whether you're talking about contractual language or things you've learned from your editor, it's your responsibility if you're sold on a career in publishing, to take what you've learned and incorporate that knowledge into your next project. Ignore the nay-sayers, pick yourself up and move on. Because there's nothing more here for you to learn. Veinglory is absolutely correct in one aspect of this--there is nothing to be gained by any kind of legal action against the publisher for the recovery of unpaid royalties or pain and suffering. Nothing. If you're going to sue for the fun and joy of paying a lawyer to discover that AMP's owner has nothing to take, then go ahead. Otherwise, put AMP in the past--where it belongs--and start focusing on your future.

With that said, it might be better to let this thread die a slow death. There's nothing more to be gained from poking the AMP dead horse.
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
5,351
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
Today I received my 1099 from Aspen Mountain Press. AMP reported the royalties income I SHOULD have received, but never was paid. So now I owe taxes on thousands of dollars that never made it to my bank account.

Fortunately, my FIL is a top notch accountant.

At any rate--any AMP author needs to check their 1099s against their check stubs (since no one got royalty statements for 2011) and make certain that they're paying taxes only on what they RECEIVED as opposed to what they are OWED.
 

amergina

Pittsburgh Strong
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
15,585
Reaction score
2,395
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Website
www.annazabo.com
:eek:

Wow. That's just... :rant:

Well at least you know how much AMP *should* have paid you.
 

Haggis

Evil, undead Chihuahua
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 14, 2005
Messages
56,217
Reaction score
18,298
Location
A dark, evil place.
I'm assuming you were not an employee, but a contractor, Celina. However, if you were an employee, chances are AMP also missed out on paying the appropriate payroll taxes, including the employer portion and the employee portion of Social Security. I'm glad you have an accountant relative. That should help.
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
5,351
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
Heh. Hardly comforting. And yet, by the same token, hardly surprising either. I have to admit, though--the sheer audacity of the owner of this former publisher really makes me want to...hit things.

But, unfortunately, I don't have time. I have to contact my attorneys, my accountant, the IRS...
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
5,351
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
I'm assuming you were not an employee, but a contractor, Celina. However, if you were an employee, chances are AMP also missed out on paying the appropriate payroll taxes, including the employer portion and the employee portion of Social Security. I'm glad you have an accountant relative. That should help.

Pretty much everyone is a contractor at a small press. Fortunately, there are alternatives to paying on the full amount. If you keep good accounting records (and I do) and can verify the lack of payment (easily verified) then you can pay only upon the accurate amount.

But man oh man--did she really think that anyone who's gone through the AMP debacle wouldn't sit down with their pay stubs and check the amount? If this was a fifty dollar thing, I'd still rectify the amount but I probably wouldn't raise hell about it. But this? to the tune of thousands of dollars? She can bite me.
 

Terie

Writer is as Writer does
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
4,152
Reaction score
953
Location
Manchester, UK
Website
www.teriegarrison.com
Today I received my 1099 from Aspen Mountain Press. AMP reported the royalties income I SHOULD have received, but never was paid.

Is it actually legal for someone to report income they didn't pay out? IOW, is she now going to find herself in a world of hurt with the IRS?
 

Terie

Writer is as Writer does
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
4,152
Reaction score
953
Location
Manchester, UK
Website
www.teriegarrison.com
Yeah. Falsifying financials is a big no-no naughty. She's going to get her ass handed to her for that one.

It makes me wonder if reporting all that money as 'paid out to independent contractors' is an attempt on her part to avoid paying tax on the money as her own income. It will be interesting to watch what happens next.
 

black13

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
59
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Website
lynneconnolly.com
Reversion of rights

I was with Triskelion.
After all the fuss, all the angst with the bankruptcy court, Siren Publishing bought all our remaining contracts at the sale and gave us release letters, for which I will always be grateful to them. I learned several things from the experience, and I share them with you, so you don't have to learn them the hard way.

1. If a company goes into bankruptcy, whatever it says in your contract, the bankruptcy courts have the right to pull your contract back. Furthermore, if they suspect the company has been deliberately disposing its assets (and an author contract is counted as an asset) they can do it retrospectively. Just think about that for a minute, and the mess it could stir up. The bankruptcy clause in any author contract effectively means nothing. There needs to be a test case, probably on the question of if an author contract is really an asset without the cooperation and goodwill of the author.

2. It takes time. Bankruptcy proceedings won't be rushed. This is potentially a career killer. While bankruptcy is going through all the hoops, you can't touch the books. If you contracted for a series or characters, you can't touch them, either.

3. Siren gave us one release letter, which publishers accepted as valid. So if AMP published one release letter, worded properly, it would work for all the authors. Or if the company officially closed, that would work, too, since all contracts with the company would be null.

I'm really sorry about the 1099's. But don't forget - the IRS caught Al Capone when the FBI didn't (lol, not serious, I know it was more complicated than that). So if she has now got the IRS involved, that could be her big mistake.
 

Old Hack

Such a nasty woman
Super Moderator
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 12, 2005
Messages
22,453
Reaction score
4,930
Location
In chaos
AMP never went into bankruptcy.

Agreed. But I want to underline this point because it's a very important point to remember:

1. If a company goes into bankruptcy, whatever it says in your contract, the bankruptcy courts have the right to pull your contract back. Furthermore, if they suspect the company has been deliberately disposing its assets (and an author contract is counted as an asset) they can do it retrospectively. Just think about that for a minute, and the mess it could stir up. The bankruptcy clause in any author contract effectively means nothing. There needs to be a test case, probably on the question of if an author contract is really an asset without the cooperation and goodwill of the author.

2. It takes time. Bankruptcy proceedings won't be rushed. This is potentially a career killer. While bankruptcy is going through all the hoops, you can't touch the books. If you contracted for a series or characters, you can't touch them, either.

A reversion clause might not be worth anything if you sign with a publishing house which goes into liquidation. Everyone should consider very carefully who they sign with and if there's a suggestion that the publisher might be struggling financially, remember what you stand to lose.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,690
Reaction score
2,863
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
I doubt AMP is organized enough to become bankrupt as it stands. Whether they are officially closed or not is open to interpretation. I am not sure what the legal standard for this is. They aren't doing business.

But I would repeat that there was a time when they were a few years old, not struggling, paying good amounts in a timely manner etc. Which is when most of their authors signed on.

So while that is good advice, this is not the best example of something that quacked like a duck from the outset.
 

MaryMumsy

the original blond bombshell
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
3,351
Reaction score
731
Location
Scottsdale, Arizona
Authors who have 1099s for money they never received need to sit down with a tax professional right now.

As a tax professional, I cannot agree with this more. This is a very sticky situation. You could find yourself in more trouble than potentially owing taxes on money you never received. Even if you have been doing your own taxes, find a professional NOW!

ETA: that outfit with initials HRB does not qualify in this case

MM
tax CPA, not accepting new clients
 
Last edited:

JanetReid

Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
214
Reaction score
65
I must weigh in here and strongly urge anyone who receives an incorrect 1099 to consult the IRS immediately. Most IRS offices have walk in help centers and people on staff that will assist you.

The worst thing is to do nothing and assume it will all work out. If you are audited and the IRS wonders where the money is, they don't assume it's the issuer's problem. They assume it's yours. They don't have much of a sense of humor either.
 

JulieB

I grow my own catnip
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
2,403
Reaction score
213
Location
Deep in the heart o' Texas
I second (third?) the excellent advice given above.

The Form 1099 instructions say you should ask for a corrected document if yours is wrong. But I'd add that if you're already talking to a tax professional, ask them if they'll make contact, or at least assist you in drafting a request. And on the off chance that it *was* an error, you'll have given them a chance to correct it.

Also, multiple letters from attorneys and tax pros might get their attention.
 

MaryMumsy

the original blond bombshell
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
3,351
Reaction score
731
Location
Scottsdale, Arizona
Here's another question for the experts - what if you don't receive a 1099, you only barely made the minimum, and considering all my other emails went ignored, I can't get one sent to me. This hasn't happened... yet... but I wouldn't be surprised.

Just report all the income you received. The 1099 does not get attached to your tax return. You don't get in trouble for not receiving a 1099. They get in trouble for not issuing one.

MM
 

mscelina

Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you
Requiescat In Pace
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
20,006
Reaction score
5,351
Location
Going shopping with Soccer Mom and Bubastes for fu
As I said in an earlier post, fortunately my FIL is an experienced, top notch accountant so I'm all good there. But this situation in one where keeping good records--and for me, than means EVERYTHING, even emails--can really save your ass. Every author, regardless of who they are or who their publisher is, needs to maintain accurate records of everything that has to do with money. If I don't have those records, I can't remember what I was paid in January of 2011 unless I flip through my deposits and hope that the only think I put in the bank was that one check. For me personally, I keep a spreadsheet of every royalty payment--how many books were sold, how much in royalties I made, where they were sold and when I got the check and the check number. That way, when something like this tax crap comes up, I know exactly where to go to do my math.

And when it comes up short, I can print off the records that went in to each month's royalties and provide them to my accountant, who knows what to do with them.

Yet another lesson in the 'take nothing for granted' class that is...or was...AMP.
 

Featured Book